You may or may not understand exactly what social selling is. In fact, it may sound like something that doesn’t warrant your attention. However, you would be wrong. It can help you to bring your business to the next level by selling like crazy. LinkedIn is the perfect forum through which to do it.
The reputation of the sales concept
Unfortunately, when a lot of people think about selling and salespeople, negative thoughts may come to mind. This may be the case with you too. In fact, when you think about social selling on social media channels, including on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc, you may associate it with spam. Social selling means leveraging your brand by populating with the most appropriate, effective people with the right insights and the right relationships. However, it is very important for you to understand that if you go about social selling the right way, you may be able to increase your business’s revenue significantly. LinkedIn will enable you to successfully do that. Of course, that is the ultimate goal. Of course, there are other positive side effects that will occur before you actually get to the point of increasing your Return on Investment (ROI).
Social selling through LinkedIn will increase your website traffic, which, in turn, will generate more leads. More leads will eventually lead to greater ROI. It is important to keep in mind that social selling is different from other types of selling to some extent, although there are basic skills (and a basic foundation) that they share. There are basic selling techniques that you should implement in order to increase your selling capabilities. Beyond that, there are other, more advanced elements that you should incorporate into your selling approach.
Creating the foundation: Of course, the foundation must exist (and be solid) before you can do anything else with any hope of succeeding. Your foundation must be well thought out, professional, and effective online.
Choosing the most effective prospects: It isn’t enough to have prospects. You need to have the right prospects. Your prospects need to be a perfect fit for what you are offering. Your objective goes beyond merely selling something once to that person (eventually). What you want to do is to build a strong, enduring relationship with that person. He or she will become loyal to you and your brand if you do it the right way.
Establishing yourself as a subject matter expert (SME): After you have established your credibility and trust with the other person, you will be able to establish yourself as a subject matter expert and when a person needs what you are offering, you will be the first person they turn to.
Engaging your potential customers: Part of the foundation of any meaningful relationship is the interaction. It is critical to your success that you engage your prospective customers. You have the potential to have amazing, stimulating, extremely valuable discussions that can lead to all sorts of wonderful places. Let it take you where it will.
Continually fortifying your established relationships: As you build your relationships, it is extremely important for you to focus on continuing to bring value to the relationship. It will probably be mutual and you and the other person will both get a lot out of the relationship.
Developing the relationship to the point where you interact online and in person: This will add a great deal of value to the relationship that you share. Interacting online is very valuable, adding that other layer to the relationship will really make the interactions that you share with the other person much more meaningful.
How to get the most out of social selling
There are some easy things that you should do before you start to get into social selling through LinkedIn. They don’t require a great deal of effort but they will make a big difference to your results and they are well worth it because of that.
- Make sure that you use a professional photo and that your profile is complete (on every social media channel that you use).
- Make sure that your profile is appropriate for what you are doing (WIIFM).
- Make sure that you have a substantial number of recommendations to share with other people.
- Ensure that your content is top quality and that it expresses your ability to solve the other person’s problems.
- Engage with your prospective customers consistently and regularly.
- Share interesting and valuable content that you feel would be beneficial to the other person.
- Work your LinkedIn groups to the best of your ability. Leveraging those groups will definitely pay off.
- Make use of your first-level connections to connect with connections on other levels.
- Do your best to interact effectively and leave comments and questions for other people.
- Interact with other people without any agenda in mind besides the desire to solve the other person’s problems.
If you use the correct social selling approach through LinkedIn, you will be able to bring your business to the next level (or even the level above that). There is no telling how far you can take it. Interestingly enough, all relationships have the same basic foundation and the core of that foundation is the human/emotional element. You will succeed in your social selling efforts through LinkedIn if you can develop context, collaboration, and amazing content. If you remember to always relate to the other person on an emotional level, you will always succeed.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.