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Example of a LinkedIn Strategy That Gets Big Payoffs

  
  
  

Linkedin StrategyWhile selling for a growing technology company, Jill Rowley embraced "social selling" via LinkedIn, Twitter and more with a vengeance! Check out her LinkedIn strategies below to see why she is consistently a top salesperson.

Here's a little food for thought first. In our 2013 Sales/LinkedIn research, we found that top sellers share relevant content much more that their counterparts.LinkedIn Strategy

If you break these numbers down further, 20.3% of top sellers ALWAYS shared content versus only 6.4% of everyone else. (Get Cracking the LinkedIn Sales Code now to discover what else top sellers are doing. The research may surprise you!)

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To me, selling is all about relationships, building trust and establishing rapport. That’s why and how I use LinkedIn. And it all starts with your profile. It has to be created with your buyer in mind. Most salespeople don’t realize that.

My headline showcases that I’m a team player and major contributor. I have eleven recommendations. On my profile, I post presentations that are relevant to my buyers, such as case studies and analyst reports. I link to our company blog so that everyone can see our thought leadership content.

I see myself as an information concierge. I constantly look for good information that my prospects and customers would want to read – and share it with them via updates and Tweeting.

In my sales, I’m very targeted and strategic. LinkedIn helps me find the right people at the right companies. Using the advanced search function, I’ll enter in the company name, marketing titles, then keywords like automation, operations, and web.  I use what I call a “surround strategy” – meaning I want to identify a number of folks in the organization that would be involved in our decision. I never want to be “single threaded” and just have one contact.

And, I surround my prospects on multiple channels too. I invite them to connect on LinkedIn. I follow them on Twitter. I retweet their tweets. I add them to my Google+ circle. I check them out on SlideShare. I want to know them intimately.

I’m always thinking, “How can I leverage my network too?” I’ll even check out the University of Virginia Alumni group on LinkedIn to see if I can find a person who can help me connect with a targeted decision maker. It’s been extremely effective.

When I reach out to people, I say something personal right away so I can create an immediate connection. I study people’s profiles carefully to find out what’s important to them professionally and personally. After doing that, I send them a message via LinkedIn with a connection request.

Each message is personally crafted to show I’ve done my homework. For example, I might start: “Wahoowa (our school battle cry)! Please allow me to use our UVA connection to e-meet you. I received a BS in Commerce in 1994.” Then, I’ll go on to mention:

  • Something about their profile/accomplishments I found interesting or relevant.
  • Names of mutual acquaintances or interests.
  • What my company does – but focus on the issues or business goals we help companies with. (It’s never, ever a product pitch.)
  • Several other companies we’ve worked with so they know we’re a credible resource.

Finally, I’ll close by asking if we can connect briefly to explore if our company is a good fit for their needs.

This approach has been highly effective in starting conversations. It gets me in the door, positioned as a valuable resource. But it’s not for salespeople who are looking for shortcuts and quick sales. It takes time to do the research and create personal messages. And, I want to be seen as a trusted advisor and expert in my area.

It’s a long-term strategy that's led to lots of business already, so I know it pays off big-time. I’ve been a top rep for many years now. And, in 2011, I was even named the Employee of the Year.





Jill KonrathJill Konrath is an internationally recognized sales strategist. As author of two bestselling books, SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies, she's a frequent speaker at sales meetings and conferences. For more fresh ideas, download her free Prospecting Toolkit.


Comments

Thanks for the article Jill & Jill. Even though sales is a numbers game, imagine the numbers AND a personal touch. I agree about the Linked In content. If you check your analytics afterwards you will see the proof.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 04, 2013 11:20 AM by Julie
Thanks for interviewing Jill Rowley and sharing her wisdom regarding social media in the sales process. 
 
I think characterizing her as a "top salesperson" is a little misleading. She is a social media maven for Eloqua and now Oracle, spreading best practices for inbound marketing.  
 
I'm a big fan of both of you Jills and it's all good advice. It's just not salesperson-to-salesperson.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 04, 2013 11:24 AM by Bill F
Great article by Jill Rowley. How does she get so much info into her LinkedIn invite window when space is very restricted? Can you ask her to provide one or two examples of her carefully crafted invitations? thank you.
Posted @ Tuesday, June 04, 2013 2:02 PM by norman L
Jill is hitting the nail on the head with her approach!
Posted @ Tuesday, June 04, 2013 3:53 PM by
Glad you're liking this article featuring Jill Rowley's advice. Couple clarifications I'd like to make. When I interviewed Jill for this article this winter, she was still in sales for Eloqua. Her territory was Northern California. And, at the same time she was very active online because she'd discovered the power of social media. She was NOT paid for that work. But when Oracle bought her company, she officially became a social media maven.  
 
Also, @norman -- Jill does not always send her emails via LinkedIn. In many cases, she uses regular email.  
Posted @ Wednesday, June 05, 2013 10:40 PM by Jill Konrath
Well, I just started using LinkedIn and most of my connections there are the ones that I'd meet on other social media sites and I'm happy that they're not hesitant to accept my invite there. This is because we have that relationship. Found LinkedIn as a big player on social media that's why joining there is never that easy.
Posted @ Saturday, June 15, 2013 2:52 AM by Belinda Summers
This is a FABULOUS comprehensive how-to guide for using a tool without being a sleazy salesperson. Concise, informative, wonderful. Thanks for posting.
Posted @ Wednesday, July 10, 2013 10:46 AM by Marisa Lather
Exposure to social media has help businesses gained recognition. Incredibly a great page you've got in here indeed. thanks a lot for sharing.
Posted @ Thursday, August 29, 2013 2:26 AM by angry birds golden eggs
Great tool. I've been using it for a while now.
Posted @ Tuesday, March 25, 2014 8:50 AM by Fiona McFarlane
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