Last week I heard a new term for Melonie Dodaro, a partner of ours from Top Dog Social Media - the term was Social Proof. The context of Melanie’s explanation of Social Proof was in describing LinkedIn recommendations.
The power of the recommendation is for the sales professional to clearly indicate to future buyers that they've done this before, and can add true value to their business. As she was describing Social Proof to a group of sales professionals, a Eureka moment passed over me in thinking about the way that we tackle our recommendations.
In our Social Selling training curriculum, recommendations are a part of Module #1 - Building a Buyer Centric Social Profile. In essence, this is the baseline to all business development with social selling, leveraging LinkedIn as your 800 pound gorilla to development new relationships. But here’s the fundamental challenge we've been seeing with the recommendations page on sales professionals personal LinkedIn accounts. The challenge is that recommendations are housed on your LinkedIn profile, but many times the recommendations that you want to leverage, are sitting on other sales reps profiles in your company. You want to leverage that great recommendation from Walmart, but in fact it’s Susan who has that recommendation on her profile.
I’m going to pose you an alternative. The alternative is to leverage your corporate LinkedIn page as one centralized repository for LinkedIn recommendations. As shown here, you will note that every sales professional is able to drive their prospects and clients to this page to recommend your solutions.
As you are far along a buyer’s journey, you can guide that buyer to this page to give true Social Proof to your solution. We been recommending the clients use this for about two years now. It has fundamentally changed the way that sales teams look at leveraging LinkedIn recommendations to driving net new relationships.
As a next step, take a moment to rework your company’s LinkedIn corporate page. At the top of Products & Services, you will create a new landing page for your solution. You will now have your entire sales professionals guide their prospects and clients to this page to fill in their recommendations. Think of the authenticity of these personal recommendations. This is not like corporate logos all over your company’s website; this is what everybody else has. What you’re going to have is real life recommendations from real customers, telling real-life success stories.
If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out – 10 Steps to Building a Social Selling Machine. Find the topic of Social Selling interesting? Click below to book a time in my calendar to explore further!
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