Posted: Wednesday 20th September 2017
Author: Jonathon Barnes
Someone has just cold called the office. They didn’t get to talk to who they wanted or know who that was and their various questions show a lack of research. The call failed. Is there another way to engage with business professionals?
There is a growing appreciation that digital users are real people and need to be engaged with as such. Terms such as “H2H” are in some cases replacing B2B. It’s all about human to human, person to person, not just B2B or B2C. Human to human? Sounds like a cliché, right? Hear me out.
A business does not have emotions or interests. A business will not engage with what you’re saying (or selling, for that matter). But people do. People who work at businesses, people who have needs and people who will respond to your relevant message.
But where are they? At exhibitions? In a telephone directory? Maybe.
The business professionals you need to talk to are some of the 500 million LinkedIn members.
So how to engage with them? It’s called “social selling”. But that doesn’t mean simply throwing content on a company page. There’s a process to it.
Your LinkedIn profile is not a CV. Many people, quite rightly, originally created their profile around their CV, outlining their skills and the experience they have. It is almost as if they are talking to a future employer and detailing their past successes.
But there is another way. Your profile can explain your sectors’ landscape, outlining what is going on and how you can help your current and future connections. It conveys the ways you can help new connections achieve their goals and make it clear why they should connect and engage with you.
When sending a connection request, don’t just send the auto-generated LinkedIn one. Do your research and send a personalised message. Make it relevant and state an opinion, your opinion. Make it clear that the individual will benefit from connecting with you.
Then follow up with something interesting, not a sales pitch. A connection is the start of a relationship. This is the “social” part of social selling. It is far more important than the "selling" part, which takes care of itself later.
Want to see how many people are using LinkedIn like this? Look at someone’s profile. Does it read like a CV? Does it just list their job title under their picture? You will find most people are still using LinkedIn in the old way. But things evolve – for example, did you know you can edit your unique LinkedIn url?
The other great point about Social Selling is that not many people are using it. Oh sure, in five years’ time everyone will be. But right now there is an open door and an opportunity to get ahead of your competition. So take it.
Steps to social selling:
Rewrite your profile
Share content on a regular basis
Create a content hub
Link to articles on LinkedIn and not just to links to the content hub
Identify individuals you wish to connect with
Do your homework
Keep it personal, relevant and interesting
Individuals will connect with you, read your updates and engage with you. When that individual has a need or is in a position to purchase, who will they come to?
That’s right – you.
Want to know more? Then ask us and we will show you.
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- The Evolution of lead generation; LinkedIn and Social Selling