Surprise! The tools you need for better sales are right there in front of you, but you might never see them until somebody points them out. Most sales professionals recognize that using LinkedIn for Social Selling can be very effective, but not everyone knows exactly how to do that.
All it takes is a little concentration to see everything on the page in front of you, along with a few hints about what is hidden in mouse-overs and drop down menus. LinkedIn's secrets can be even more valuable than that in terms of generating pipeline and more qualified leads.
Here are some of the sales results you can expect from making better use of these unknown LinkedIn features, according to research from the Aberdeen Group and LinkedIn Sales Solutions:
- 15 percent more renewals
- 31 percent improvement in sales teams hitting quota
- Full pipelines, warm introductions and better insights on over 230 million LinkedIn users
Are you ready to unlock a stockpile of secret weapons for better sales in less time? Here are the top LinkedIn Social Selling tips and tricks that are hiding right in plain sight.
Secret #1: Send Messages To Group Members
When you are looking through your groups and you see a post or comment that grabs your interest, you have several great ways to message them. For example, you can post a comment, which builds your reputation, or you can reply privately, even if the member is not a connection.
How to use it: You can use alternate messaging features to prospect from your existing groups, or you can even join the group of a promising prospect as a way of starting a new relationship. The big benefit here is that you are playing in their sandbox, showing you understand their pain points, and avoid the cost of InMails.
Secret #2: The Interactive Media Showcase
We've talked many times about the importance of a spectacular LinkedIn profile, covering both what you need and what you need to avoid. The one area that deserves a lot more attention is the space for interactive media. The Summary section and every job title allows you to add rich media like video, slide decks, charts, maps, etc. There are more than 300 content types that you can be embed.
How to use it: Build a full-fledged media gallery for your LinkedIn profile. If you can do it, prove it. SlideShares and infographics are both shareable and popular, greatly expanding your visibility across new networks.
Secret #3: Sync Up Connections
Social Selling is about connecting, but how do you keep track of 4,000 or more Connections? LinkedIn' has already thought of that. Click your Connections menu along the top of your screen and then go to the Settings menu on the right hand side. Here's where you can sync up your calendars, add contacts from other networks and export all of your connections to email or a spreadsheet.
How to use it: The power of Connections is what you do with them beyond LinkedIn. You can use them for email campaigns or sync up your calendar to find out who you contacted when and why. Don't waste valuable brain space trying to remember everything about each person. Using great notes and automation, you'll be able to speak to every Connection like they are a close friend.
Secret #4: The Pulse Publishing Platform
Comments and simple posts have their uses, but sometimes a long blog post is the only way to deliver the kind of valuable information that prospects want. Pulse is the way to deliver it to them.
How to use it: Publishing on Pulse delivers where it matters most. Kathy Caprino discovered the power of Pulse when her blog on "6 Toxic Behaviors" generated 3 million views, which "opened doors for new projects, consulting gigs, speaking engagements, and radio and TV interviews." Pulse can be your proving ground, where you build influence by sharing authentic content for your network.
Secret #5: Boolean And Saved Search Capabilities
When you devote a little time to becoming an expert in Boolean search, you will supercharge your prospecting. Investigate all the options in Advanced Search, such as narrowing the search by job titles, company size, zip code or keywords in the company profile.
How to use it: Spend less time and deliver more qualified prospects in the time you are on LinkedIn.
Secret #6: Hidden Relationship Notes
How much useful information has slipped away because you didn't write it down? Now, you can keep it all in a handy spot. Go to your Connection's profile. Next to Contact Info is the Relationship tab. There are options for general notes, check boxes for segmenting them, reminder alarms, an area for how you met and a field for who introduced you.
How to use it: Absolutely nobody else can see this information. Use it wisely and free up more memory space. Use the alarm to keep your schedule on track.
Secret #7: The Member Follow button
How can you learn about a prospect if you haven't connected with them yet? The secret Follow button solves that. Once you find a prospect that you want to know more about, just go to their profile and put your mouse on the down arrow next to Send InMail. Unless their profile is set to Private, the first option is View Recent Activity. Up in the right hand corner will be a friendly yellow button that says Follow. Notice that the follower count is the number of connections they have, not the number of people following their updates.
How to use it: Now all of their status updates and posts will appear in your news feed. You'll discover what stories they have liked or shared, what comments they've made and what companies they are following. You'll be able to find out what they care about and spark conversations on those topics.
Turn These Secrets Into Sales Habits
LinkedIn is actually packed with incredibly useful features that simplify every stage of the sales process. Ultimately these 7 features are great tips to enhance your LinkedIn however we recommend seeking out support to further develop your Social Selling. With the right guidance, these new tips can harden your behavior into a successful Social Selling habit.