There’s a simple reality that’s going to help you dominate on LinkedIn, and it’s this: You need to engage with people. The reason social networking works so well is because of its social nature.
You might be thinking, Wow Amar, great, you just stated the obvious, but listen to this. Most people join social platforms, they’re not social, they don’t engage, they don’t educate, and they don’t take any action to help other people.
Should you just leave LinkedIn then? Why even waste money on Navigator at that point?
But since you probably already have Navigator, let’s break it down. There are a few simple things you should do over the course of the next few weeks to help you maximize your investment and start generating interest, pipeline, and revenue.
1) The Org Chart
If you haven’t yet mastered the usage of LinkedIn’s Link Builder feature, you’re missing out. The Link Builder feature is possibly one of the greatest attributes of Navigator, allowing you to supercharge your results by getting access to people that you may not have even known existed in the account that you’re targeting.
Let’s give you an example. Most sales people on LinkedIn will simply use it to find people they already know and connect with them. The next group of people will use the Link Builder feature in Navigator to search for people in their account and add a few more that they weren’t aware of.
But, the group of people you should emulate, and the group of people you should go after, are the ones that can be classified as the “free thinkers.” This group of people go after potential allies, advocates, and supporters in each of their accounts.
You can choose from 22 search filters to narrow your search. TeamLink will display the current employees who are connected to members of your network. You can ask those mutual connections for introductions.
This is the holy grail for social selling. Scratch that. It’s the holy grail for sales.
You want people to listen to you, to admire you; but most importantly, you want them to learn from you. These people that you may not have even been aware of, they’re likely in different departments, they may be in different levels within the organization. By going after these people, you begin to take your message, your value, your brand, directly to them. That’s a power that’s completely unleashed because of LinkedIn. Are you doing this today?
I want you to open up a sales opportunity in your CRM tool, and I want you to see who’s in CRM under the opportunity. Which actual people have you listed there? Is it a VP, a director, or a manager? Now, run that same search with that account in Navigator and try to find those people, but now try to find other people in their departments.
For example, if you’re selling it to the HR Department, and you have the VP of HR and the Director of Talent Acquisition, and maybe another person listed as a potential buyer in the CRM, connect with them on LinkedIn.
But, who else in HR is there? Which other advocates outside of HR do you feel you should connect with? What is the solution that you’re trying to solve with your HR product, and what lines of business will that touch? Shouldn’t you also find the people that it’s going to touch and connect with them there? This is the power of scale as presented and available through LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
2) Categorize People In Your Accounts
I’m sure most of you who have LinkedIn Sales Navigator are using the feature called “Mark as a Lead.” This is an obvious feature to use, but what I want you to do is start to create the game plan for what you are going to do with these people.
The beauty of Sales Navigator is that you can create a customized feed that only has to do with your target accounts and the people you’re prospecting.
Unlike the regular version of LinkedIn where you can connect with lots of people, and everyone’s noise will be in the same feed, in Navigator you can control the level of volume in it. You can control the types of messages you want to see in there.
Activity can be sorted by "Most Important," or "Most Recent," but also by people who have changed jobs, leads who are in the news, leads who are sharing content, accounts in the news and accounts sharing content.
This is a huge benefit for busy sales professionals. I encourage you to use this feature but also try to tie in the benefits of what I talked about in Section 1 which is, “Go after people that are potentially not even on your radar.”
So, by aggregating the words of an entire account and all of its key players together, you can begin to get a very quick and accelerated view of what matters to them and what you can do to position your solution to help them. Customized account feeds is a game changing feature, and if you’re not using it, I encourage you to do that today.
3) Go Outside of LinkedIn
I know this post is about Navigator, but indulge me for a few moments.
LinkedIn is one social platform, and your buyers are using multiple digital channels to do all kinds of research, and you need to find them where they are.
Get creative here for a second. You’re selling cars. Maybe you should live and read on the top car blogs that are out there. Maybe if you’re selling a piece of software, maybe you should go and try to see what people are doing and saying about you on G2 Crowd.
The key is that you need to have a footprint that’s bigger than just LinkedIn. The benefit of living on other platforms is that you get multiple perspectives. You’ll get to learn things that you may not be aware of if you’re limiting yourself to your LinkedIn feed.
Now, this sounds hard, and it sounds very time consuming, but does it need to be? No.
There are tools out there that you can utilize like Google Alerts, where you can set, where you can let the world’s biggest brain, i.e. Google, work on your behalf, and bring information to you.
Try setting up alerts for accounts you're targeting: you can focus on industry insights or company news.
As sales professionals, our job is to help contextualize and deliver our solution in a way that makes the most sense for our potential buyers. Would you agree? Then, why wouldn’t you want to use these automated tools to your advantage?
The Bottom Line
Navigator is fantastic, but in order to use it effectively, you need to actually go out there and engage with people. You can make org charts. You can mark people as leads. You can do all of that, but in order to get the full benefit, you have to go out and talk to people.
I know most of us are accustomed just to making calls and sending emails. And, the idea of social sometimes is scary. Sometimes we have our own beliefs and own notions of how much engagement is necessary.
Some of our students tell us that it’s aggressive to “Like” someone’s post more than once a week or that it’s not in good form or good etiquette to comment on prospects’ status updates more than once every few weeks or a few days.
Where did these notions come from? They’re simply limitations and constraints in their minds. No one except you believes them to be true, so why not actually just try to do it in a way where you can talk to people as often as possible?
If our job in sales is to speak to people, to collaborate with them, to show them the value of what we’re trying to bring to them, then talking is a central component of that. That’s why I really encourage you to do what I said at the start of this blog, “Go out and talk to as many people as possible.”
The data in LinkedIn is great. The people are there. The way to organize them effectively is there. But, if you don’t step up to the plate and talk to them and engage with them in a meaningful way, this entire exercise won’t help you. And, at that point, do you really even need Sales Navigator or do you even need LinkedIn, or Facebook, or any other social tool out there?
Start talking, sales professionals. It’s good for you.