Social Selling: 5 Ways Not to be Sleazy (And Close More Deals)
(First Published on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/social-selling-5-ways-sleazy-close-more-deals-viveka-von-rosen)
We all know that LinkedIn (and now beBee) offers professionals the ability to network focusing primarily on professional interactions. Which makes them pretty different from say Snapchat, Facebook, INsta and Twitter. It also means that many people jump into a sales conversation WAY too early!
While advertising and marketing products through social media can prove financially beneficial, abusing your connections on LinkedIn (and other social sites) with hard sales tactics can really backfire! You can, however, create a great rapport with your prospects by focusing on social selling. If you are interested in expanding your online footprint and want to move into LinkedIn Social Selling, here are five steps and methods you need to utilize.
ONE: Create an Effective, Professional Profile
Every aspect of your profile (on LinkedIn - and I'd argue beBee too) must showcase a professional look. In fact, beBee just changed it's focus to "Successful Personal Branding".
This begins with adding a background image that reflects your business brand. And if you can add your contact info to it, more power to you! Are you graphically impaired? You can find someone of Fiverr.com to do it for you. Or go to RelayThat.com and use their LinkedIn/Social Background template (your first 10 images are free - that's what I used on my recent background image)
You will also want to add a professional photograph. (On LinkedIn make sure to zoom in! With the new User Interface, the image is small, so you want to be recognizable. No long body shots.) No goofy duck lip insta-images. People are not looking for a date on LinkedIn (I'm not sure about beBee!). They want business partners they feel confident buying from.
The more information you put about the company in the profile the better. This includes adding a summary (2000 characters), providing media such as a video introduction, presentation or other content can showcase your business as well. If you have any videos on your website make sure to include these on your page. Media is proof and adds credibility.
TWO: Leverage Connections
Social - be it Facebook, LinkedIn or beBee - is all about networking. Through networking, you form mutual connections, just as you would in the traditional business world. Nurturing these connections can lead to sales. Should you identify a connection between you and another business or individual you wish to sell to, do what you can to nurture this mutual connection. LinkedIn shows you whom you have in common (now under Highlights) and beBee has its bees in common... so actively nurture and leverage that relationship. Not only can you learn more about these potential buyers through the connection, but prospects will feel more inclined to do business with you if they have already done business with a mutual friend or previous (or current) client. Use Introductions and ask for referrals!
THREE: Connect With Your Top Clients
Grab your past and current client list and start connecting! It doesn't matter if it is a lone individual or a larger business - make sure to connect with your clients.
Nurturing and growing new relationships just through social media can take time. As you already have a strong rapport with your customers, this connection will do one of two things. First, it helps build your professional relationship with the current client. Second, it may lead you to additional customers similar to your current top tier clients. Either way, it helps boost sales and leads while using the LinkedIn Social Selling advantage.
FOUR: Monitor Your Client's Feeds
Clients will update information about their own business or professional needs. By staying on top of their real-time information, you instantly gain a beat on if they need additional products or services you can offer. The more you know about your clients and what they are doing, the better off your own business is. Perhaps your client just signed a major expansion deal and you know they will need more of your company's products. You can customize a marketing plan, create new sales services or offer a discounted price based on the new client information. In the business world knowledge is power, so educate yourself on your clients. Also, feel free to congratulate them on any business advancements they make. Gratitude can go a long way.
(P.S. - This is WAAAAY easier to do in Sales Navigator on LinkedIn - or on beBee and Facebook for free).
FIVE: Publish Content
This is a feature far too few users use. However, that is good for you because it will help you "produce honey" and stand out from the competition and position you as an expert. (Well, if your content is any good). You may be surprised as to the different ways you can use Publisher/. Not just blog posts, but videos, SlideShare, even podcasts! (Just make sure to get and add transcriptions!)
Publishing content gives you access to a host of advantages. First, it keeps your profile constantly in front of your connections. They will receive notifications on when you publish new material. The content can prove insightful and answer vital questions a client may have about your business. Your published content can also attract new connections who may never have found your profile otherwise. There really is no reason why you shouldn't publish content to LinkedIn. It is easy, you're likely already publishing content to other social media accounts, and you'll reap the rewards from doing so. Go here to access Publisher on LinkedIn and here to produce Honey :) The benefit to publishing on beBee is your content is WAY more likely to be seen on Google! (So maybe don't publsih on your Blog and beBee)
LinkedIn and beBee are both free networks you need to take advantage of. Not only does it expose your business to potential clients and partners you'd typically never come in contact with otherwise, but the networking aspect makes it a vital tool in growing your company. Now, by taking advantage of different Social Selling opportunities, you can directly profit off of the social media account. All you need to do is begin implementing these five different tips.
And of course, my latest book, 101 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand is all about - just that!
Viveka is the author of "LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day" and "LinkedIn: 101 Ways to Rock Your Personal Brand" and is featured in LinkedIn's "Sophisticated Marketer" eBooks and is known internationally as the “LinkedIn Expert”.
CEO of Linked Into Business, and HighQualityLinkedInLeads and also hosts the biggest LinkedIn chat on Twitter on Tuesday nights. Forbes has listed her as a top social media influencer, and she has been cited in Money Magazine, Ragan, CNN, Forbes, Mashable, The Miami Herald, Social Media Today and The Social Media Examiner!