As we are very much living in a technical age today, with all things tech being the backbone or driving force, to the degree in all that we do is technology driven. We have long said good-bye to the days where prospecting was defined as sitting in the local diner with the Yellow Pages while asking the waitress who the biggest accounts in town were and there you have your prospects! We now have to take a strong look at technology and how to leverage its use in our efforts to increase sales.
How do we do this? The answer to this question is ever changing but today the answer is the utilization of social media platforms like LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a virtual powerhouse in terms of online social networking! This professional social site has 44 million U.S. users and that number is growing at a rapid clip daily. Early this year, I was in attendance at the 2012 IPPA Sales & Marketing Workshop in Las Vegas where this was online social selling the focus. One of the great takeaways from this conference was that with an applied strategy centered around social sites like LinkedIn, you could expect the following;
- Increased visibility and interaction both personally and professionally.
- Gain more meetings with prospects, making warm not cold calls.
- Increased contacts resulting in a stronger network.
- Gain a distinct competitive edge with targeted accounts/prospect.
- Picture – Your connections need to be able to see you, this goes far to establish trust and credibility. You’re essentially putting a face to the name of your company and yourself as a partner.
- Summary – Connections can get to really know who you are and the value that you can bring to their organization. This section needs to be personal and speak to results that you have delivered in all organizations that you have been associated with.
- Recommendations – Prospective clients can see what others have to say about doing business with you. Your recommendations need to be up-to-date and speak specifically to your experience, skills, services, and you personally. Recommendations should represent a variety of contacts (i.e. co-workers, clients, vendor partners etc.). The key here is that you can never have too many great recommendations!