• Mustafa Nemat Ali

Social Selling II: Personal Prospecting Through LinkedIn



Wondering what is the best way to use LinkedIn for prospecting? To approach the customer, you first have to be where the customer is. As LinkedIn is a social networking platform, it is of utmost importance to build your presence so people can distinguish you from others.


With the rapidly growing user base of LinkedIn, onboarding a bulk of companies every day, it is a given to establish your own presence and identity. If you do not take the initiative to approach your prospect and educate them about your product, there is a great chance your competitor already is.


If you have the skills and knowledge to navigate through the platform, as a sales rep you have struck gold. So we are here to guide you on how to best use LinkedIn for successful social selling.


Tips for Social Selling on LinkedIn

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· Regularly Share Company Content


Many top companies and talents are now using Linkedin to add a personal element to their prospecting. This is an effective method to nudge your prospects in a natural and subtle way. Sharing content on the regular about the company, its products and activities educates people about you. This is a surefire way of building credibility in the eyes of the prospects and letting them know the human behind the business.


It always works in your favor to use your LinkedIn profile to educate the prospects about the industry. Keep them and yourself updated on any news by sharing relevant news, blogs, articles etc.


For example: If you work in the internet industry and there is some new update about a popular software, you can share the details on your LinkedIn profile. There are two benefits to this; firstly, people will be aware of current events and secondly, your name will pop up in your connections’ notifications. So it is a win-win situation.


Updating your profile on a daily basis may seem overwhelming but it is not that complicated. A simple status update is sometimes also enough to get your profile in the notifications of your connections. Start a conversation with a question related to your industry or share a poll to get an idea of what your connections think. Sharing relevant and interesting content by others and trusted sources is also a great way to garner attention for your LinkedIn profile.


Tip: The LinkedIn algorithm prefers video content so share that on your profile. Getting on the algorithm’s good side is a huge plus!




· Get Active and Join The Conversations


Looking to get noticed on LinkedIn by potential prospects? The best way to do it is to join the conversations and engage with them. This requires for you to be present and active in groups or pages where your prospects are present.



There is a lot more to LinkedIn than just your main feed. There are many communities on LinkedIn that are industry-specific. These communities allow members to engage with each other on common interests. These communities can give you access to a broader customer range and tap into the potential that exists in these groups.


Don’t know where to start looking? Well, a simple quick keyword search will set you on the right path. Search for industry-related keywords that target your niche. This will introduce you to groups for social selling. To approach prospects in these groups, you should know the product well and understand the needs of the potential customer.


Many people part of the B2B groups usually are seeking answers to specific questions or looking for recommendations. This is where you come in, putting on your best face to sweep them off their feet. As a salesperson, this is an opportunity for you to share relevant content that is an answer to their pain point. Coming across as a helping hand put across a good impression of you and the company you may represent. Using this chance, make a connection with the person and communicate with them on a more personal level.


Being active on LinkedIn is not a very hard task as the threshold for what 'active' is low. As individual activity shows up in the LinkedIn main feed of others who follow you, you can take advantage of it. Engaging with content can help your profile pop up in others’ notifications and feeds more often.


For example: Liking and commenting on a post is enough to highlight your profile to new prospects and boost your company’s content.



Don’t burden yourself with sharing wise and thought-inducing knowledge bombs every day. Engage with your prospects by being mindful. Congratulate them on any promotions, work anniversaries, new jobs or any other achievement. Posting company content, liking and commenting on posts is enough to pin you as an active member of the community.


· Follow The Right People


It is always a good idea to nurture your leads and prospects on LinkedIn as much as possible. Connect with new people every day and build a rapport with them. Through consistent profile activity updates and passive sales pitches, you can raise the interest of your prospects in your product or services.


When we say follow the right people, it means the relevant influencers of your industry. They can be your entry point to a broader customer pool. Connect with them and manage a beneficial relationship. They can recommend you to others around them as well. Endorsing you to new prospects whilst also helping you build credibility.


Tip: Follow one new influencer every day to diversify your prospects and put your social selling practices to use.


· Grow Your Network


In the world of sales, your network is a valuable asset. It can lead you down the path of successful conversions. It is crucial as a salesperson to put yourself out there. Build meaningful connections by sharing your thoughts or presenting yourself to potential prospects. Networking is essential to find quality prospects and gain access to the buying process in this digital age.


After your profile is all set-up and optimized, you can elevate your networking game. The process of building your networks and prospecting is time-consuming. LinkedIn is a very resourceful platform. It allows salespeople to target specific prospects in certain geographic locations.


  • Make Use of Common Connections – To find relevant prospects and potential connections in your industry use common connections that you have. For example, your employees and alumni. Or you can use groups that you have joined on LinkedIn related to the industry to approach people.


  • Take Advantage of the “People Also Viewed” Bar – Visit the profile of your optimal prospect and click on the “People Also Viewed” bar and see other similar profiles and people to add to your connections.



  • Contact Prospects In New Roles – People joining a new job role or switching up their fields are more open to trying out new products and services. So you can use this opportunity to reach out to the prospects you follow who are in a new role to build a meaningful connection.

Tip: You can congratulate them on their new job. This way you can engage with the prospect while also making your presence known to their connections.


  • Investigate Your Competitors’ Networks – Sometimes you do not have to go through the complicated process of finding and getting a new prospect. Instead, it is much easier to sell to the customer of a competitor with a compelling argument.


  • Scroll through Skills and Endorsement Sections – When going through the profiles of your connections and prospects, focus on the skills and endorsement sections. You can use the skill related keywords to search for people with similar skills. Check out the profiles of people who endorse your prospect. Chances are they share similar interests and can be a potential quality prospect!


  • Check out the People Who Comment on Your Prospects’ Posts – When browsing through your activity feed, keep your eyes peeled for the comments on your prospects’ posts. The people interacting with your prospect are a good fit for your social selling process. Their comments provide a good base for you to follow through with and start a conversation.

Tip: Start a conversation on the topic they have shown interest in. Sharing articles or key information that might be helpful to them.


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· Engage Prospects With Recommendations



LinkedIn is a hub for B2B communication. There are many who turn to it when looking for solutions for their problems and opportunities to grow. If you are looking for quality prospects, you need to understand their needs and pain points. When you know what issue they are struggling to resolve, you can recommend a solution. This way of highlighting your product or service as a solution to the problems of the prospect adds value to their life.


Instead of giving recommendations, you can engage your prospects and connections on LinkedIn by asking for their feedback. This way they can feel that their opinions matter and also make your profile and brand personable and approachable. Maintaining meaningful relationships and communication with the prospects brings forth a higher conversion rate. Make giving and asking for recommendations a regular part of your prospecting efforts.


Tip: Keep track of your prospects’ profiles. Keep yourself updated about their activity and any queries that they may have. You can use it as a chance to help them and showcase yourself and your company in a positive light.


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· Build Credibility Through LinkedIn Learning



People always want the best that they can get. If you have the skill and knowledge that is of use to someone, there is a higher chance of them choosing you. As a salesperson, one needs to build their credibility in the eyes of the prospects. What best way is there to do that, if not displaying your skills for the world to see?


LinkedIn enables the users to add any certifications from courses they have taken on their profile. There are many courses also available for the users to learn from. They establish the person's mastery of a skill. You should work towards increasing your knowledge and keep up with the changes by enrolling into courses on a regular monthly basis. LinkedIn Learning is a great resource to have for this purpose. The online training courses are useful in broadening one’s horizons and skills. It helps people achieve the professional goals they set out for themselves. Take skill assessments so your potential prospects and profile visitors can get an idea of what level you are at. With good results and evidence backing up your abilities, prospects can put their trust in you.


Tip: Take courses related to your industry and share them on LinkedIn. Showing it off to people who visit your profile.


Conclusion

LinkedIn has a lot of potential that helps to not only achieve but surpass your sales goals. With the right steps taken, you can increase your sales turnout, building a loyal customer base as you go. Prospecting is a complicated process. It requires for one to be on their toes to identify opportunities and follow through with them. By implementing the steps and tips outlined in this blog, you can up your sales game. Meet your targets by employing personal prospecting as your weapon of choice. So, are you ready to start prospecting?