This post originally appeared on LinkedIn on May 9, 2014 and is authored by Greg Hyer.
Sales Managers are getting really excited about the opportunities that Social Selling can bring to the table. But most don’t even know where to start when it comes to rolling out the approach to the team. Below, I have listed five tips to help you prepare your team for social selling on LinkedIn. Think of these tips looking your best when prospecting online. Will it help if you were wearing a suit or a t-shirt and jeans when meeting a new prospects?
1. The LinkedIn Profile Overhaul
Encourage your Sales Team to update their LinkedIn profile to look like an industry professional rather than a job seeker. Work with your marketing team to identify keywords they can use in their profile so when someone searches for that word your team comes up. And don’t just stop overhauling their profile in the experience section by updating their most recent experience. Encourage them to go back through their past experience and see how that content can be made relevant to the industry and customer they will be calling into. Buyers buy more from people with experience and understand the needs of their industry.
2. Join Groups and Contribute
When you join a group, don’t be a spammer. Join in on the conversations already happening. If nothing is happening, start a discussion that has nothing to do with your product. Discussions that are fun to participate in can help you increase your visibility in the group and eventually become a top contributor. For example, if you sell to marketers at software companies, ask the member of the group what’s the funniest TV commercial they have ever seen. Discussions like that are fun to participate in. As participants roll in continue the discussion and eventually invite them to connect.
3. Follow LinkedIn Company Pages of Customers and Prospects
Ok, so LinkedIn company pages may not be the most popular feature of LinkedIn but that may change very soon. So for now, the reason you want to follow company pages of your customers and prospects is so you can engage with the content they share and have quick access to who is on LinkedIn that works for the company. When your customers and prospects share content, read it and if it’s relevant to your network, reshare it. You’ll build your brand and credibility hence making you a person people want to do business with.
4. Share Marketing’s Content
Yes, you do have enough time to share Marketing’s blog posts and white papers. If you don’t think so, read my “Damn Simple Approach to Social Selling” post here on LinkedIn. Work with Marketing to identify content your Team can share on LinkedIn. Make sure you are providing Marketing feedback on what content is engaging by showing them some sort of engagement stats. There are a number of free tools with a small learning curve like Hootsuite, Buffer and Bit.ly that you can use to share and track.
5. Connect Your Team