As 89% of B2B professionals use LinkedIn for lead generation, LinkedIn is the go-to tool for generating new prospects and turning them into real-life customers. It provides every marketing and sales professional with the opportunity to start meaningful conversations with their connections by building relationships and providing a real value to them.
But how do you start conversations on LinkedIn so that those same chats you have with your prospects turn into deals?
To find it all out, we sat down with Brynne Tillman and Bill McCormick from Social Sales Link – a company that transforms the way professionals grow their businesses by leveraging the power of LinkedIn for social selling to start more sales conversations.
Brynne Tillman is the Linkedin Whisperer and CEO of Social Sales Link. For over a decade she has been teaching Entrepreneurs, sales teams, and business leaders how to leverage LinkedIn for social selling. As a former sales trainer and personal producer, Brynne adopted all of the traditional sales techniques and adapted them to the new digital world. In addition, Brynne is the author of The LinkedIn Sales Playbook, a Tactical Guide to Social Selling.
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Bill McCormick is the Chief Sales Officer of Social Sales Link. He discovered the power of LinkedIn and social selling over 5 years ago.
Now, Bill’s passion is to take what he’s learned and pass that on to those in sales, helping them leverage LinkedIn to build stronger relationships, taking connections from the digital space to the face-to-face.
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Social selling is the art of building meaningful relationships to find, connect with, understand, and nurture sales prospects so that you’re the first person or brand a prospect thinks of when they’re ready to buy. In fact, 78% of salespeople engaged in social selling are outselling their peers who aren't. What’s more, social sellers are 51% more likely to achieve sales quotas.
To build those relationships, Brynn and Bill say you need to start more conversations on LinkedIn by taking three simple and actionable steps.
The first one is to earn the right of having that conversation. You can do that only by providing enough value to the person you’re talking to, so that they know it’s worth their time.
Then, you need to master the ask/offer ratio. It explains the concept of us asking a person’s time or money (or an investment) and the end of that investment, they’re going to walk with one of those three responses:
The third and final step is to be a resource. You should give away so much value that at one point to believe you gave too much. But then, you keep on giving more.
Brynne: When we come from a place of giving, of abundance, of being a resource, we master the ask/offer ratio naturally and we earn the right to get the conversation.
Bill: But you need to lead to your solution, and not with your solution. As salespeople we think we have the best product, the best service, the best solution for our clients. And we really should believe that. But when we lead with that, it doesn’t make much sense to people because they see right through it, since everybody is saying the same thing. And that’s leading with the solution – to be pitching all the time. On LinkedIn, this feels as if you’re throwing business cards all the time at their faces and they don’t hear you.
What you actually want to do is leading TO the solution, guiding people to it, and giving them value, so they see you not only as a though leader and an authority figure, but also see the credibility of what you do. That’s when people will begin contacting you and seeking you out, because you know you’re the credible source in the industry.
Brynne: Yeah, and for salespeople that’s really hard, because we want to pitch! We really want to tell them how great we are, how we can help them. But instead of talking of how we can help them, simply help them. Let them test-drive you through your insights.
As LinkedIn originated as the social network for new job opportunities, we’re used to think of our profiles there as the up-to-date resumes we need in the professional world. But in B2B sales and marketing, we want our LinkedIn profile to be a comprehensive resource, with value at its center. When it comes to social selling, we should use it as tool to educate our prospects, get them to think differently, to make them curious and urge them to test-drive our insights.
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