How to Create a LinkedIn Social Selling Strategy
What is your LinkedIn social selling strategy? If you don't have one—or your sales team isn't generating leads on LinkedIn—you're not alone. In fact, most dealers and reps are mimicking the mistakes of marketers.
They're relying on attraction and influence tactics. Instead, trust your selling instincts to an effective LinkedIn social selling strategy.
Avoid what we already know doesn't work: influencing. Help your reps start provoking prospects. The key to unlocking more appointments is compelling prospects to share pains and ambitions sellers can work with—not hoping to influence them into action.
Why Your Sellers Are Failing
A sales rep or dealer's LinkedIn profile can be a lead generation magnet. Likewise, groups, direct messages and InMail can be too. So why are sellers experiencing such poor results?
LinkedIn experts keep pushing techniques that FAIL. Not because they're bad people. Because their ideas are simple to execute. Too simple.
"I think it is so unprofessional when people just keep regurgitating or recycling articles that they wrote in the past or sharing links over and over to try to gain interest," says Mike Reed. Mike is a front line rep for a client of mine who's asked to not be named.
This is why most sellers fail. They're going to modern-day battle with pitchforks being sold by self-appointed experts. Many of which have never sold anything!
"Next thing I know is that seller or subject is now being seen as credible (by their superiors) just because they are constantly in regurgitating information," laments Reed.
And the beat goes on. Monkey see, monkey do—we fail more.
What You REALLY Don't Have Time For
I know many sellers say, "I don't have time to invest in a LinkedIn social selling strategy." My clients tell me this daily. Plus, most don't know what to do with it—and how to go about it.
The result is reps doing as little as possible of what is as easy as possible.
What you REALLY don't have time for is techniques that are easy to do—that fail!
- Promoting content in updates and in Groups
- Adding rich media to your profile
- Being seen as an expert in Groups
Fail, fail, fail.
Dump Attraction and Influence as Goals
The first step to setting your LinkedIn social selling strategy is to disregard success metrics coming from today's LinkedIn gurus. Your sellers must reach beyond grabbing attention of buyers or trying to influence them. They must reach beyond:
- teaching connections something new—so reputation rises
- counting number of views and comments on posts/updates
- applying a personal view to company-supplied content when posting
After all, how can "improved reputation" a meaningful outcome for a rep?
Today's top social sellers know—they cannot afford to live like marketers. They don't get paid to broadcast on social media and hope for attention and engagement.
Sellers get paid when we engage in ways that move us down the sales funnel—closer to a closed deal.
That's why your goal must be direct provocation of prospects that connects to a lead capture and nurturing process.
Start Asking These Questions
Need a LinkedIn social selling strategy that empowers reps with the right tools? We've got to start asking better questions of experts, consultants and sales trainers.
Questions like HOW, exactly, does:
- promoting content shorten selling cycles?
- adding rich media to a profile create leads?
- being seen as an expert lead to more appointments being set?
Your team isn't failing because they're slow or stupid with LinkedIn prospecting. Nor are you a laggard for not having a LinkedIn social selling strategy. If you're still reading you're ready to take action on my call to action.
Make sure your dealers and reps don't mimic B-to-B marketers. Trust your selling instincts. Let them guide your LinkedIn prospecting strategy.
Help your reps start provoking prospects to take action and arm them with content that scratches customers itches—in ways that generate more appointments for sellers. Let me know how it's going or if you have questions in comments!