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Today's article features Robbie Johnson, Channel Manager for SPS Commerce and a principle in Social Media Performance Group. His creativity and tenacity in using LinkedIn for sales to create this big-time opportunity is something we can all learn from.
Keeping in front of your prospects is essential for sales success. It often takes between 10-12 emails or phone calls before you actually connect. And, in most cases, they're not ready to make a change.
So how can you nurture prospects and keep in touch without being a pest? And, better yet, how can you contact prospects in a way that elevates your credibility?
As a partner in Sales for Life, Jamie Shanks is constantly pushing the boundaries of what's possible with LinkedIn and other social selling tools. I'm always learning new things from him -- which is why I think you'll like today's article about the business value of using LinkedIn.
Who's your biggest sales competitor? It's not who you think. It's the status quo. Doing nothing is the absolute easiest thing for people to do -- even if the process or products they're using now aren't doing a good job.
Over the years, I've always lost about 50% of my identified prospects to no decision. Sometimes it truly doesn't make sense to change. I can live with that. But other times it is foolhardy to stay with what they're doing -- yet they still do. Those are the times that drive me crazy.
Did you know that overall, you're 5X more likely to get a sales call returned if you have a personal connection with someone? To me, that's an amazing statistic. In a world where people are swamped at work and suffering from information overload, it's the best way to capture their attention.
So what does that mean you should be doing? In essence, implementing a connection-based strategy to reach new prospects.
Today's post from the Chamber of Commerce features business-growth advice for small companies.
Small business owners are always looking for new sales leads on a tight budget. While money is often spent on sales campaigns to establish new clients, a powerful tool is usually overlooked: strategic partnerships.
Lori Richardson believes that companies are leaving potentially millions on the table by not taking advantage of strategic partnerships.
So how many LinkedIn groups do you belong to? I’m in 50 – the maximum allowed -- and there are tons of reasons for it. But first, lets talk about the kinds of groups you can join.
My personal favorites are groups that my prospects belong to -- in my case, that’s VPs of Sales, but for you it may be Clinic Directors. Or, if you sell to specific vertical markets such as printing or financial services, you can belong groups with that focus. And finally, if you sell in a certain geography, you’ll find LinkedIn groups too.
Ever had a situation where your one and only connection in a company is too busy to meet with you or just doesn’t have any urgency to change? If so, it’s time to take action.
The first thing I want you to do is to go to this person’s LinkedIn profile. Scroll down and keep your eye on the right side. Stop when you see “Viewers of this profile also viewed …” Below that you’ll see a whole bunch of other people – and virtually all of them are colleagues of your deadbeat prospect.
I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn looking at people’s profiles. I think they’re a gold mine of information for savvy sales professionals who wants to learn as much they can about their prospects before contacting them. And, the best thing about these profiles is that they’re self-created. Many of your prospects are sharing invaluable information about themselves on LinkedIn.
Let me tell you specifically what I’m looking for.
Finding the Prospecting Needle In the LinkedIn Haystack.
When we did our 2013 Sales & LinkedIn survey, lots of people shared their thoughts and strategies about how they were using LinkedIn. I love what Paul Meyers had to say:
"I use Linkedin as a surgical tool when I need to ferret out a very specific individual decision maker within an organization – the guy who holds the purse strings. Since their staff is well trained to keep annoying sales guys away, LinkedIn helps me find them."
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© 2013 Jill Konrath