The 25 Worst LinkedIn Sins

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We all make mistakes on social media every once in a while, and that’s okay. But the gaffes on this list go one level beyond — into the realm of sin.

LinkedIn is arguably the most important social media site for salespeople, so a mistake on this network carries consequences. However, if you have sinned against your LinkedIn profile or connections, we’re here to help. Get forgiveness from your network by reversing these 25 blunders immediately. Absolution is attainable, but only if you stop committing these crimes.

1) Not having a picture.

It’s disconcerting to people when they can’t put a face to a LinkedIn profile. So much so, in fact, that profiles with pictures are 11x more likely to be viewed. If you don’t have a picture, you’re missing out on a considerable amount of profile traffic from recruiters, prospects, influencers, colleagues, and a bunch of others who aren’t even on your radar. If you think about views as votes, you’re losing the election to become someone’s salesperson, next hire, or new connection by a landslide.

Granted, it’s better to have a bad picture than none at all. Still, there are some types of pictures that are bound to scare away the people you’re looking to connect with. If your picture contains duck lips, a bathroom mirror, a dog/cat, a beer, a pained expression, or a cheesy power pose, get a new one. ASAP.

2) Not having a summary.

As a writer, I completely understand the fear a totally blank page can strike into your heart. Instead of writing any summary — perfect or less so — some LinkedIn members succumb to intimidation, and just forgo it entirely. This is unfortunate. The summary section is the place where you can let your personality and passion shine through. Without it, your profile might as well just be a resume, which isn’t terribly interesting to most people (recruiters excepted). If your profile is lacking a summary, commit to sit down and write one.

3) Writing your profile like a resume.

I don’t think LinkedIn would’ve taken off like it did if it was merely a database of resumes. Resumes are stiff, formal, and self-promoting. LinkedIn profiles, on the other hand, should be conversational, personal, and other-promoting. Not sure what I mean? Take a salesperson for example. Instead of bragging about how many months they surpassed quota by X%, a sales rep’s LinkedIn profile should instead describe the success they’ve helped customers achieve and brag about their accomplishments. By promoting clients instead of themselves, the salesperson will attract prospects rather than recruiters. 

4) Headlines packed with buzzwords.

“Guru.” “Ninja.” “Rockstar.” Unless you’re a spiritual master, a secretive assassin, or a member of Van Halen (respectively), these words should not be in your headline. Not only are they over the top and cringe-inducing, they’re also self-promoting, which we’ve already established is a no-no. Instead, Craig Rosenberg recommends answering the question “Who do I help and how do I help them?”

5) Writing in third person.

If you don’t address yourself in the third person in everyday conversation (and I really hope you don’t), why would you write your profile like that? Even Barack Obama describes his current position on Linked In as “I am serving as the 44th president of the United States of America,” so I think you can stand to drop the third person language. 

6) Not including an email address or Twitter link.

Salespeople should make it as easy as possible for prospects to find them and reach out to them. For this reason, make sure to include additional contact information and link to other social media accounts on your profile. Buyers want to work with people who are readily accessible, and there’s nothing more frustrating than having to hunt down an email address when it should just be there. 

7) Throwing keywords to the wind.

And speaking of getting found, why is it that we’re ultra-conscientious about inserting SEO keywords into our personal websites but not at all when writing our LinkedIn profiles? Sprinkling in a few keywords throughout your LinkedIn profile that your target audience is likely searching for has been proven to boost views. The job of a sales rep becomes a whole lot easier when your ideal buyers come to you, so don’t neglect this crucial step.

8) Asking for something way too soon.

I accept most anyone into my network so long as they write a brief message in their request (more on that later). This works out well 99% of the time. But occasionally, I’ll get a spammy message seconds after I accept someone, asking if I can take a half hour meeting to talk about synergy, or provide three referrals in X area. Whoa there. You wouldn’t demand something of someone you just met in person, so why would you do this on LinkedIn? If you have an ask, warm up your new connection first by commenting on one of their posts, or sharing an interesting article with them. 

9) Not personalizing connection requests. 

You might think sending a few “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” requests aren’t so bad. Unfortunately, you’re wrong. According to HubSpot’s “Is Social Selling Creepy?” survey report, 64% of buyers and consumers said they’d regard a generic LinkedIn request from a salesperson as “creepy.” Don’t scare your prospects away. Customize your requests using this template as a model.

10) Sending pointless messages.

These are preferable to messages that ask for something way too soon, but still. People are busy, and reading a message like “Have a great week” or “Good to meet you” takes up time without adding value to the relationship. Unless you have something worthwhile to share, skip the message, and go “like” a few of your prospect’s posts instead.

11) Sending spammy InMails.

LinkedIn should not be treated as another channel to spam people on. If you’re mass sending InMails to everyone in your network, you’re doing it wrong. Any interest you might receive in your message will likely by counteracted by a significant number of disconnects. If your message isn’t specific enough to be intended for one person and one person alone, don’t send it at all. 

12) Being overly selective about your network.

I know not everyone will agree with me here, but from my perspective, there’s no real downside for salespeople to accept the majority of requests they receive. The more people you have in your network, the bigger reach you have. The bigger reach you have, the more potential referrals at your disposal to call on and get introduced to a prospect. Of course, however you’d like to craft your network is up to you. But if a person has a valid reason for wanting to connect with you and said as much in their personalized connection request, why not accept them?

13) Not taking advantage of profile views.  

Profile views aren’t just ego boosters — they’re also conversation starters. If someone looks at your profile, consider sending them a message asking what sent them by. Once you get the context around the view, you’re free to pursue a relationship. Check out how sales trainer Rick Roberge uses this tactic to his benefit in this post.

14) Leaving your “Recommendations” section empty.

Social proof is incredibly powerful in business today, and what is a LinkedIn recommendation if not a mini-endorsement? A sparse or bare Recommendations section is wasted real estate that could be valuable for getting a new job or attracting buyers. With this in mind, salespeople would be wise to request recommendations from their customers, vouching for a positive buying experience and ongoing relationship. If you’re not sure how to approach such a request, put this recommendation-seeking email template to work, and watch the social proof roll in.

15) Posting a single piece of content to more than one group. 

It’s understandable to want your post to be viewed by as many people as possible. But when you publish the same article in two or three groups in a row, it shows up in your connections’ feeds as three identical back to back items. And nothing makes you look like a spammer more than having the same post show up multiple times. If you’d like to post one article in multiple groups, be sure to space out your publishing times so you don’t annoy your network.

16) Leaving pointless comments.

If you read a post and you’re not compelled to make a substantive comment, that’s fine. A “like” will suffice, and it’s much better for all involved than a pointless comment such as “Great!” or “Good!” If you’re not prepared to advance the conversation, don’t enter it at all. 

17) Only using groups to promote yourself.

Would you stay friends with someone who randomly showed up to get-togethers and then refused to talk about anything but themselves? Not a chance. So why do the same thing on LinkedIn? Users who use groups solely to post links to their blog, company website, newsletter, or product pages will quickly develop a bad reputation. 

Occasionally promoting yourself is fine, but make sure it’s both relevant and not the only type of content you contribute.

18) Being stingy with your “likes.”

Social selling isn’t just about messaging and connecting with potential prospects. It’s also about interacting with a buyer on social so when you do reach out with a call or email, it’s not so out of the blue. One of the best ways to do this is by “liking” a prospect’s posts. Even if the buyer doesn’t really know who you are, they’ll gain a sense of familiarity with your name and associate you with positive feelings. So don’t be stingy with your likes — spread ’em around like virtual pats on the back.

19) Not turning your activity feed off when updating your profile.

“Emma has a new profile picture.” “Emma updated her volunteer experience.” “Emma has a new skill.” Thrilling news for your connections to receive in their feeds (/sarcasm). When you’re doing a major overhaul on your profile, make sure to set the “notify your network” option to “no.” That way, your connections won’t be tired of your updates when you post something of substance you’d actually like people to read. 

20) Not being a member of a single group.

This is a sin for so many reasons. First off, did you know you can message group members without being connected with them? Not to mention that people often look at the Group section of your profile to get a sense of your interests. Finally, people will connect with you based on a shared group. But if you don’t have any groups to speak of, you won’t reap any of these benefits. Join and participate. 

21) Not taking advantage of LinkedIn publishing.

Blogging can be intimidating for someone who’s never done it before. But consider the fact that every time you hit “publish post” in LinkedIn, your entire network receives a notification. That’s a lot of totally free promotion for your inbound marketing efforts. If you’re in sales, show buyers they can trust you with their business by writing up your thoughts on an industry shift.

22) Viewing profiles anonymously. 

As I said above, profile views can start conversations. Unfortunately, people can’t strike up a relationship with “LinkedIn member.” You’re on LinkedIn to expand your network, so don’t hide behind an anonymous grey box.

23) Updating your LinkedIn once — and never again.

We get it: Your primary focus is selling, which means refreshing your LinkedIn profile probably isn’t high on your daily to-do list. However, your page will quickly get stale without periodic attention. 

Every two to five months, review it for out-of-date information and any missing details. For example, maybe your customers’ average ROI used to be around 20%. But now that the product is more robust, it’s shot up to 30%. Adjusting that statistic is an easy win.

Or maybe you’ve gotten a glowing testimonial from a client since the last time you updated your profile. You’d definitely want to include that compelling piece of social proof. 

24) Not following any influencers.

One of the best ways to get into your prospect’s mind is following the influencers they subscribe to on LinkedIn. You’ll get exposure to the same ideas, news, and viewpoints as them — which will not only help you understand where they’re coming from but will give you valuable fodder for conversation as well.

To find the best influencers to follow, visit the profiles of 10 or so of your best customers and copy the accounts in their “Interests” section.

25) Being passive about your “Skills” section.

People will typically endorse you for skills whether you ask them to or not. Yet letting others decide what appears in this section is a missed opportunity. You want to be recognized for the abilities that will most attract new prospects, like “inbound marketing” if you offer an inbound marketing platform or “digital advertising” if you work in media sales. 

First, identify the top three skills you’d like to be known more. (LinkedIn’s new profile update highlights the three skills you’ve been endorsed for most frequently.)

Then, send an email to your coworkers, professional connections, and partners asking if they’d be willing to endorse you for those skills. Most will be happy to do so — make sure you offer to return the favor by endorsing them for their own top skills.

LinkedIn isn’t the easiest platform to master. Case in point: We found 25 sins to include on this list. However, armed with your new knowledge of what to avoid, you can use LinkedIn to its full advantage.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in May 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/sales

Want Your LinkedIn Profile to Stand Out? Don’t Include These 10 Overused Words

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Now that social selling is a legitimate way of growing your pipeline, it’s crucial your LinkedIn profile makes a good impression.

The first major mistake salespeople make is targeting the wrong audience. But if your profile is tailored toward prospects, rather than recruiters, there’s another big pothole you need to avoid.

It’s easy to fall back on well-used terms like “experienced,” “strategic,” and “excellent.” However, these words will make buyers’ eyes glaze over. They’re so worn out they’re essentially meaningless.

LinkedIn recently released the top 10 buzzwords you should avoid in 2017. Here’s the list, along with our suggestions for more convincing swaps.

1) Specialized

What it means: To concentrate in a specific area.

Unless you’re a Jack (or Jill) of all trades, you specialize in something. Announcing that fact to the world doesn’t make you seem more qualified: You’re stating the obvious.

The fix: Describe what you specialize in. That’s what you — and your profile visitors — care about, anyway.

For example, if you’ve worked in B2B SaaS sales for most of your career, you might write, “I’m a senior Account Executive with seven years of experience in B2B SaaS.”

2) Leadership

What it means: To officially or unofficially guide a group of people.

Whether you’re a front-line sales rep or a manager, you probably exhibit leadership in some way. Salespeople can motivate other reps to hit or beat their targets, as well as share best practices and useful techniques. Managers are clearly leaders: They’re responsible for helping their team meet quota month after month (or quarter after quarter).

The fix: Highlight the specific impact you’ve had on your peers or reports. The more quantified, the better.

To give you an idea, you could say, “I organized a weekly session with the other SDRs on my team to discuss our highest-performing email templates.”

3) Passionate

What it means: You’re excited about your work. Money isn’t the sole (or even the main) reason you do what you do.

This adjective is overused and doesn’t say anything special about you. In addition, salary is a big incentive for many salespeople — and there’s nothing wrong with that.

The fix: Talk about why you’re passionate and/or what you appreciate. Maybe you love selling healthcare equipment to hospitals because you know how many lives that equipment saves, or you’re enthusiastic about providing restaurants with inventory management software because your mom owns her own restaurant.

4) Strategic

What it means: You make intelligent, carefully plotted decisions.

“Strategic” is a buzzword. Ideally, every step you do or do not take at work would have reasoning behind it.

The fix: Share your decision making process. Writing about how your customers achieved a 20% growth in revenue after you analyzed their customer retention framework and found a major opportunity is five times more compelling than calling yourself strategic.

5) Experienced

What it means: You’re well-versed in a particular industry, market, product category, or role.

Like “specialized,” labeling yourself as “experienced” doesn’t do much to make you sound impressive. Experience is a function of your maturity in the job and exposure to different circumstances — meaning it should be apparent from your work history.

The fix: Pinpoint what makes you experienced. Have you worked in real estate for the past 10 years? Do you know the ins and outs of startup sales after having been on the ground floor at your past two companies? Are you adept at navigating complex buying processes due to your time selling enterprise-wide technology solutions?

Once you’ve identified your areas of experience, describe them in your summary.

6) Focused

What it means: You zero in on your goals and pursue them relentlessly, ignoring less important projects until you’re done.

This tired adjective will prompt major eye-rolls. If you want to stand out, cut it from your profile.

The fix: Prioritization is an important skill. Although “focused” isn’t the best word to show you can prioritize, you shouldn’t exclude the concept from your profile.

Instead of calling yourself focused, come up with a time you met (or exceeded) an ambitious goal. For instance, perhaps you brought on five top-performing salespeople in one month by spending one-third of your time on hiring and recruiting.

You need to put aggressive goals at the top of your to-do list to be successful, so details like these will prove you’re focused.

7) Expert

What it means: You outperform your peers at a specific ability, topic, or niche.

Since many people claim to be experts when they’re not, saying you’re an expert usually backfires. Prospects will automatically be more skeptical when they read this.

The fix: Delete “expert” wherever it appears as an adjective. Your sentences will normally read just as well without it — if you’d previously written you were an “expert salesperson,” now it would say “salesperson.”

If you’ve used “expert” as a noun (e.g., “home security expert”), write about your typical results instead. To give you an idea, you might say, “My clients typically see a 60% reduction in crime.”

8) Certified

What it means: You’ve obtained a certificate for a class, course, or skill.

This buzzword isn’t glaringly bad. As long as you’ve actually gotten a certificate (meaning you’re not using “certified” as a synonym for “expert”), you can get away with using it.

The fix: However, if you want to mix it up, you can say “licensed” or “verified,” or highlight the significance of the certificate. Perhaps you’d write, “After earning the Inbound Sales certificate, my close rate increased by 10%.”

Also, make sure you’ve added your credentials to the Certifications section of your LinkedIn profile.

9) Creative

What it means: You find out-of-the-box, sometimes unusual ways to accomplish your goals.

Creativity is a desirable trait, but it’s one of those things people have to take your word for unless they’ve worked with you directly. And in that case, you don’t need to promote your creative abilities — they’ll already be familiar with them.

The fix: Call out a creative strategy or game plan you’ve used. Suppose a prospect was struggling to get foot traffic to their store, so you advised offering free classes to draw in random pedestrians. Citing these examples of creativity help buyers understand the value of working with you.

10) Excellent

What it means: Your results were outstanding, or you’re atypically good at something.

Excellence is far more believable coming from a third party. It’s not convincing to say your partners see “excellent ROI” or your company offers “excellent customer service.”

The fix: If you have verification from an external source — like a customer blog post, industry award, press mention, or testimonial — highlight that instead.

To illustrate, check out this before-and-after example:

Before: “ServiceNow provides excellent support. Our customers always have trusted experts to turn to for advice and information.”

After: “As one of our customers said, ‘I’ve never experienced better customer support. ServiceNow makes my life so much easier.’ Read more here: [link.]”

Has this post inspired you to refresh your LinkedIn profile? Let us know in the comments!

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated for comprehensiveness and accuracy.

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Source: blog.hubspot.com/sales

4 Tips for Connecting With Your Prospects on Facebook

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If you had to choose between LinkedIn or Facebook for connecting with prospects, which would you choose?

The right answer might be Facebook. According to the 2017 State of Inbound report, salespeople have more success reaching buyers on this platform than LinkedIn.

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What’s more, 74% of respondents say they use Facebook professionally. It’s clear Facebook is no longer just for finding old classmates or looking at cooking videos.

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But it doesn’t matter where you’re connecting with your prospects if you’re not using the right strategies. The following four tips will guide your approach.

1) Use Facebook as a Touchpoint

Because Facebook’s search is less powerful than LinkedIn, consider using Facebook to build rapport with a buyer after you’ve identified them as a potential fit.

For example, perhaps a lead downloads one of your content offers. You email them and offer to answer any questions; the same day, you send them a friend request on Facebook.

Not only does this keep you top-of-mind, your prospect is likelier to accept your request because you seem familiar.

To learn more about modern selling, click here to download the free 2017 State of Inbound report.

Once they’ve become your Facebook friend, use the platform as another touchpoint.

Here’s a sample cadence:

  • Day 1: Email and Facebook request
  • Day 3: Call
  • Day 5: Email and “like” a Facebook post
  • Day 7: Call with voicemail

Although you can message Facebook users whom you’re not friends with, it’s probably not the best use of your time.

These messages will show up in a separate tab:

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The chances of your prospect seeing you’ve messaged them — let alone reading your message — are low.

2) Show Your Personality

Facebook feels less buttoned-up than other platforms. With that in mind, you can be a little more personal and casual when you talk to prospects. If you’re too formal, you’ll seem out-of-touch.

But don’t want to go too far in the other direction. Use proper punctuation, spelling, and capitalization, and steer clear of acronyms.

To illustrate, here are three opening lines.

Too formal: “Hello, John. I hope you are well. Given your interest in local marketing, I thought you might be interested in this blog post.”

Too informal: “yo john. check out this fire post on local marketing”

Just right: “Hey, John. Wanted to pass along a post on local marketing I thought you’d like — there’s some good stuff in the second section about sponsorships.”

3) Be Human

Thanks to your prospect’s profile, you have access to a ton of handy information. Use these details to build rapport; for example, if you both love the Netflix show Stranger Things, you might kick off a conversation by saying, “Hi from a fellow Stranger Things fan. I’m wondering if … ”

Beyond their hobbies and interests, you can also take advantage of their work history. Many people fill out their Facebook profiles with their current and former job titles and employers. Ask a relevant question about their career, such as, “I see you transitioned from Support to HR. What was that like?”

You can use this intel as well to create valuable introductions. For example, if the buyer is a channel sales manager, and one of your business contacts is as well, you might ask if they’d be interested in talking to your contact and getting her thoughts on some common partner acquisition challenges. If they are interested, it’s easy enough to add your contact to the chat. (Of course, ask your connection for permission first.)

4) Keep Your Conversations Short

It’s much quicker and less interruptive to confirm your meeting time with the buyer over Facebook Messenger than email. The day before (or the morning of), send them a quick message along the lines of, “Hey, just wanted to check in about our call at X time. Does that still work for you?”

Unlike answering an email, which requires a certain level of thought, the prospect can reply almost instantaneously.

The same principle applies to random questions either of you may have. Maybe they’re speaking with their boss and need to double-check your product’s dimensions. Instead of sending you an email or calling you, they can simply pull out their phone, message you, and get an answer — all while talking to their manager.

On your end, perhaps you’re looking into potential integrations they’d benefit from and want to know whether they use one of your partners. It takes just two seconds to message them and find out.

Facebook can be a powerful tool in your arsenal. Follow these tips, and your Facebook friends will translate to closed deals.

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Source: 4 Tips for Connecting With Your Prospects on Facebook
blog.hubspot.com/sales

The Sales Message That Generated $27,000 in 30 Days

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If you believe LinkedIn InMails “just don’t work” for connecting with prospects, you’re experiencing user error — not medium error. The user error is simple: Your messaging sucks!

As we launched a new social selling training product for the SMB market, I wanted to test an assumption on messaging effectiveness using LinkedIn InMails.

I have an empirical bias towards highly contextualized, humanized, “blended” messages that incorporate both video-based insights and short-text with a direct call-to-action. My empirical bias comes from training more than 75,000 sales professionals, but I thought I would publish the results of our recent social selling campaign to convince you.

I used four different types of InMails. Each of the four test message groups received 300 InMails to the same buyer persona, industry, and geography. 

InMail Type #1: The Text-Based Hard Sell

My message style was simple and direct:

  1. Question to push the buyer off their status quo.
  2. Statement with empirical data to solve perceived challenge.
  3. Landing page link.
  4. CTA to schedule a call.

Results: 5.5% response rate, $0 sales in 30 days from campaign

I didn’t have a lot of faith in this type of LinkedIn message, and the data was pretty clear. Most of the 5.5% responses were a hard no, as I didn’t build any value. Some respondents were actually pissed off at me for being a product pusher!

InMail Type #2: The Text-Based Open-Ended Conversation Starter

This open discussion was meant to gauge two things:

  1. Has social selling been a key priority in your personal learning?
  2. If yes, is Sales for Life’s content one of your core resources?

Results: 11.5% response rate, $12,000 sales in 30 days from campaign

The follow-up discussions had two paths, each based on the buyer’s interest in social selling and personal learning. Think of the message as a filtration process. The messaging style clearly showed me that LinkedIn InMails can be used similar to Facebook, Google, or Twitter chats. Remember most buyers read and respond via mobile, where the InMail conversation thread is very chat-like.

Those that moved further into the sales process (and purchased) needed to have immediate, definitive interest in social selling, as this campaign was for only 30 days. That doesn’t mean others that I had discussions with won’t become buyers in the future … they will!

InMail Type #3: The Text-Based Highly Personalized Discussion + Hard Sell

These text-based messages were written specifically to each buyer. I leveraged one of the three sales principles of social selling: Triggers, insights, or referrals that were very, very specific to the buyer or their business.

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  1. Major internal (such as a job change) or external (such as Merger & Acquisition activity) triggers to contextualize the urgency to speak.
  2. Relationship “Sphere of Influence” connection to our customer base.
  3. Insights from their competitors showing a shift in the market, and the risk versus opportunity.

Results: 17.5% response rate, $12,000 sales in 30 days from campaign

Context really helped here. Buyers can clearly tell when I’m writing to them specifically, and you can see the impact on my response rate and revenue.

InMail Type #4: The Video-Based One-to-One Direct Message With a Hard Sell

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Results: 37.3% response rate, $27,000 sales in 30 days from campaign

I’m going to let the data speak for itself! I make highly humanized, highly contextualized videos in a one-to-one relationship with the buyer. It’s like I’m in the office sitting next to them.

Vidyard ViewedIt is a magical tool in sales professionals’ hands that can drive social selling activities.

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This approach may not work for every salesperson. Response and buy rates vary heavily on buyer awareness of your solution, your influence power, how well the message resonates with them, and more. But these results are still valuable if you want to break out of the mold and try something different in your sales approach. Happy selling!

Editor’s note: This post originally appeared on Sales for Life and has been republished here with permission. 

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Source: The Sales Message That Generated ,000 in 30 Days
blog.hubspot.com/sales

The 4 Messages You Need to Start Closing More Deals from LinkedIn

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It’s a fact — salespeople prefer making “warm calls” to “cold calls,” and they always will. Fortunately, if you’ve got a LinkedIn account and a few active connections, you’re in a good position to use the networking site to elicit powerful referrals that make a “warm” call a whole lot easier to execute.

Here are two strategies to consider.

Strategy #1: Targeting a Specific Referral

Say Ken Client is a first-degree contact of yours. You happen to notice that he’s directly connected on LinkedIn to Paula Prospect, to whom you want to be connected. What do you do?

Easy. Send Ken this message:

“Hey there, Ken, I happened to notice on your LinkedIn profile that you’re connected to Paula Prospect over at ABC Company. How well do you know her? Would you be willing to introduce me?”

Typically, Ken will reply by saying something along these lines: “Sure, I know Paula, and I’d be more than happy to introduce you.”

Respond:

“Ken, I got your note. Thank you so much for that. My experience is that in this kind of situation, an email introduction can work very well for everyone involved. I have attached a template for your review. Please feel free to edit it in any way you want.”

The template you attach for Ken’s approval will briefly introduce you as a potential resource for Paula, and close by suggesting that Paula reaches out to you.

Usually, Ken will simply send your message to Paula, copying you on the email.
You want to watch for that email, because shortly after you get it (ideally within a few seconds!), you will email both Ken and Paula with this message:

“Hey there, Ken. Thanks so much for the introduction. Paula, I’m looking forward to speaking with you. I’m out of the office on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of this week, but I will be back in on Thursday. I will reach out to you by phone then. What’s the best number to use?”

When Paula emails you back with the number — and most of the time, she will — you will have set up the world’s easiest “warm” phone appointment.

Strategy #2: Requesting Multiple Referrals

You can use this simple tactic to leave every meeting with a warm referral. At the end of your call with Ken Client, ask something along the following lines:

“Ken, if I could send you a list of people you might know who could benefit from working with us in the same way you have, would you be willing to help me target the individuals you believe it would make the most sense for me to talk to?”

Because you’re offering to do the heavy lifting, it’s easy for Ken to answer with, “Sure, send the list. I’ll be happy to take a look at it.”

Identify 10 or so of his first-degree contacts on LinkedIn to whom you would like an introduction. Send Ken that list accompanied by something like:

“Hi Ken, as we discussed, I found some names of people who might be good prospects for me, but I need your help qualifying them. Can I ask you to scratch out any names you think wouldn’t be a good fit for any reason? If you don’t know them, they don’t pay their bills, or they don’t need what I have, just scratch them out. Then, if there is anyone left, let’s talk about why you think they would be good and how we should handle the introduction.”

You can handle the follow-up discussion with Ken to narrow down the list of names, and then send him the email introduction template that you created for Strategy #1. You just might find yourself with three to five powerfully targeted referrals you can call with your contact’s blessing. Try it in your next meeting.

For more ideas on the best ways to use LinkedIn to support your sales process, see our book LinkedIn The Sandler Way, which is available as a free PDF download.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: The 4 Messages You Need to Start Closing More Deals from LinkedIn
blog.hubspot.com/sales

3 Ways Sales Reps Can Use Linkedin to Sell More Than Ever Before

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Following the loss of Advanced Search in the recent LinkedIn update, hundreds of salespeople announced they were cancelling their accounts.

But if you know what you’re doing, the latest upgrade won’t harm your social selling strategy. It actually means you can find, connect with, and sell to prospects just as successfully as before — maybe even more.

1) Prospecting

Search for Your Ideal Buyer Profile

If you have a list of the target companies that match your Ideal Buyer Profile, type each business name into the search bar and hit Search.

Select Companies from the navigation bar underneath and find your target business in the drop down menu.

Open the Company page to see if they are a good fit based on size, vertical, maturity, similar companies, and/or recent updates.

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If they seem like a fit, click on their list of employees. Identify which ones match your Buyer Persona and request to connect with them (see #2 for more details.)

Do you have mutual connections? Ask one of them to introduce you. Just like real-world networking, your outreach will be more successful if referred by someone the prospect already knows, likes, and trusts.

Search for Your Buyer Persona

If you know the role of your Buyer Persona, you can type that job title into the search bar and click Search. The People tab will display a list of results from a range of different companies on LinkedIn.

Use the power of Boolean search. The options available are AND, OR and NOT. Parenthetical searches for a complex search and quotation marks to signify an exact phrase are also still allowed.

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Once some results are displayed, you can filter by first, second, and third-degree connections. You can also select additional criteria like Location, Company, or Industry.
As with the previous version of LinkedIn, you can save three custom searches. Whenever a new user fits these criteria, you’ll receive an email alert. Saving searches reduces the number of ad hoc searches you’ll run, helping you avoid going over the free limit.

2) Connecting

The jewel in the crown of this update is the option for free users to personalize their connection invitation.

Writing a custom request previously required selecting the “friend,” “colleague,” “customer,” or “alumni” option or using “other” and entering their email address.

If you didn’t use one of those options, you were forced to send a default “I’d like to add you to my LinkedIn network” request or buy a premium package to send InMail messages.

Go to someone’s profile, click “Connect,” and then select “Add a Note.”

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Explain why you’re requesting to connect: Does the person know you from a recent networking event or trade show? Alternatively, describe what’s in it for them if they connect with you.

One of the biggest mistakes I see on LinkedIn is coming on too strongly to prospects. Including a time and date for a meeting in your connection request is the equivalent of trying to kiss someone at a party before you’ve even asked their name. In the real world, you would expect to get a slap for being presumptuous.

It’s no different on LinkedIn. Let them agree to “shake your hand” before you take the conversation any further. Without this crucial step, your connection request might be ignored or, worse, reported as “I don’t know this person” and your account restricted.

3) Engaging

Do you typically launch straight into a sales pitch two seconds after meeting someone? No, you find a way to start a conversation — normally by making a comment or asking a question. If the other person ends up revealing a problem, you try to help them.

LinkedIn has applied this concept to its new Notifications section. This section helps salespeople interact with their connections on a more human level by suggesting “non-salesy” messages, such as:

  • Happy birthday.
  • Congrats on the promotion or work anniversary.
  • Thanks for endorsing me.

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Use these messages to initiate, advance, or revive relationships with prospects. For example, after congratulating someone for a promotion, ask a related question such as “Are you still involved in finding solutions for [problem your product can solve]?” Be creative.

LinkedIn is a powerful tool that allows salespeople to amplify their networking reach beyond the confines of the traditional business breakfast. Use your free account to identify, connect with, and help local, national, and global opportunities. When buyers both understand how your product or service can solve their problem and know, like, and trust you as a person, their purchase becomes a no-brainer. You don’t have to sell.

HubSpot Free Sales Training

Source: 3 Ways Sales Reps Can Use Linkedin in 2017 to Sell More Than Ever Before
blog.hubspot.com/sales