Written by: Dounia Senouci
Although there were times when it could have been questioned, due to the increasing number of professional social media, today there is no doubt that LinkedIn is the professional social media par excellence. And even more today, when Microsoft just put a price on it of 26 million dollars.
Most people around me have an account on LinkedIn. Usually, they are well-established professionals with a technical profile and they do not really care about their future, because of their own personality and because the dynamic of recruitment is high enough for them to not worry. However, this is not the case regarding the profiles of sales agents, executives and self-employed workers. Even the most reluctant professional has ended up creating his profile (I know somebody who is particularly against LinkedIn but who has also finished by creating an account).
Thus, if this is your case and you have not a profile yet, create it as soon as possible. Then, you have to complete it carefully. There are a lot of articles that will help you to do it. I think that this is better for you to read some of these articles before I tell you what you already know.
You need to be patient. If you think you will gain customers next week, don’t do it, because you might ruin your reputation. Too many nerves, too much hurry and pressure for the potential customer. Even though it makes sense, sales depend on your product cycles, set yourself a minimum period of three to six months.
Pick one of the options of your client list and the profile of the customer. If you are already an advanced user, creating a buyer persona will help you reflect on how is your client and why is he buying from you.
Use one of the Premium features that LinkedIn offers. The simplest one is already useful for what we need, which is basically filter by different criteria and tag users according to their interests.
Once you have clearly defined who is your target, do a research by the title that you target tends to use: “IT Manager”, for example. You will have to do it again later using close terms such as: “CIO”, “IT director”, “technology director”, etc.… Filter by the location (“Spain”) and, if necessary, by the sector “Transport”. Voilà! You have hundreds of potential clients.
Now is the moment when I advise you to be patient again. It is so easy to ruin the relationship we want to create sending requests for connexion that already include an offer, for example.
First: everybody on your list cannot be client. Choose those who can be your clients and focus on them. Working with those who will not be your clients is a form of pester and LinkedIn will block your for spamming. One of the worst things you could do on LinkedIn is sending a contact request to a person who does not understand what you both have in common or the point to be in touch.
Always remember why you think that this professional can be your client. Send him a little note, which always has to be personalized, as an attachment to the contact request. Something polite, which does not jeopardized one of you. Something like “it would be very interesting to stay in contact in the future”. Give him a hand and do not oppress him.
Once he has accepted you among his contacts thank him and tell him that meeting him in person at some point will help you improving your image.
Once you have sent the request, regardless of whether he accepts you or not, in your contact list you have the opportunity to segment. I advise you to segment according to the buyer person you have built. In this way, in the future, you will submit queries following this standard. Another standard can be the level of interest that you think they can have (classification A/B/C). Segments more complex should already been managed in your CRM.
A reasonable period of time has elapsed. It is appropriate in order that the consumer does not realise that our only interest in this contact is the quick offer and the easy closing (if it exists). We talk with them. We write him to tell him that we will be near to his area and that you would like to meet him. Or even that you would like to continue a relationship more personal out of LinkedIn and ask him his personal email address.
In order to make sure of the strategy success, it is crucial to follow this path with honesty and with the desire to build a medium or long-term relationship. LinkedIn is a tool to make you known in a friendly way, just like it could be at the right time a cold call or the introduction of a friend.
When creating a successful sales department, we need tools that help us to organise and make easier your job. One of the main tools is to attract qualified leads. In Amara, a team with over 10 years of experience in studying and adapting the working methodology to the new working environments will help you to do it successfully.