Sales teams are increasingly turning to social media for prospecting and attracting the attention of buyers. Sadly, though, many sales professionals are using social platforms poorly, unable to break through the clutter and find success.
Art Sobczak, author of “Smart Calling,” and Crystal Thies, “The LinkedIn Ninja,” shared proven LinkedIn secrets in a webinar titled “Seven LinkedIn Mistakes That Kill Sales.”
The 7 Mistakes
1. You position yourself the wrong way
Too many sales professionals inadvertently position themselves as job seekers on LinkedIn. Prospects and potential buyers don’t want to read about your sales volume and conversion rates. It sends the message that you’re more concerned with quotas than a buyer’s business needs. Instead, sales professionals must position their profiles to match what buyers are looking for.
2. Your headline isn’t optimized
By default, LinkedIn sets your job title as your headline. Thies argues that this has little effect on influencing buyers and capturing their interest. Your headline is often the first thing people read about you, so Thies recommends creating one that contains these three things:
1. What you do functionally
2. Who you serve
3. What results you get
3. Your summary doesn’t speak to your target
This third point ties back to overall positioning. Your LinkedIn summary is your primary marketing message. For sales professionals, it’s a space to share an elevator pitch, not a bio. Use your summary to discuss how clients benefit from your services and always remember to:
1. Speak in first person
2. Use present tense
3. Use active verbs
4. Your profile isn’t optimized for search
Sales professionals need to make sure they are coming up in the searches of potential buyers. To do this, start by asking yourself what someone would type into Google if they were looking for what you sell. It’s best to use targeted terms and phrases throughout your profile, focusing on your headline, title, honors, awards and recommendations.
5. You aren’t using LinkedIn Advanced Search to find prospects
The most effective way of conducting targeted prospecting on LinkedIn is through the Advanced Search feature. You can conduct Boolean searches, filter by connection type, and even save searches for future reference.
6. You aren’t engaging in your news feed
It isn’t enough to simply set up an account and sit back. Sales professionals need to be actively engaged on the platform by liking, commenting on and sharing posts that appear in the news feed. This will help you expand your network.
7. You aren’t following company pages
Along with personal pages, companies can create organizational profiles where they share status updates and acquire followers. Sales professionals should follow the company pages of prospects, as well as the organizations their prospects would likely follow.
BONUS MISTAKE: You’re not using LinkedIn Groups
Sales professionals should use groups to expand their networks and improve prospecting. While groups can be complex, according to Thies, those who use them are 70 percent more likely to get an appointment on an unexpected sales call. Join groups relevant to your target market and jump into discussions of value.
Free eBook: 42 LinkedIn Tips for Inside Sales
Gain access to 42 tips from industry experts Ken Krogue and Jamie Shanks on how to grow your business through LinkedIn.
Image credit: Flickr via Nan Palmero