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sales

LinkedIn Networking Tips for Sales Professionals

August 16, 2013

In today\'s world of ever-changing technology, having a LinkedIn account is a no brainer. However, what separates the best salespeople from the rest of the pack is having a standout profile. Take your business to the next level by using these tips to LinkedIn networking.

1. Create the Ideal LinkedIn Profile:
Networking and gaining new clients on LinkedIn begins with having an excellent profile. When a connection or new referral searches your profile the first thing they will view is your profile and headline. Consequently, having a profile that highlights your skills, abilities, education and experience is of the utmost importance. Complete the profile to the 100% that LinkedIn recommends by focusing on treating the profile like a cover letter. Don\'t skimp on any aspect of the profile by skipping to the beginning or the end. Instead, have a strong and professional headline that highlights what you do for your clients. The more focused the headline, the more likely it is that potential clients will continue reading your profile.

2. Make Connections:
LinkedIn allows users to expand their networks by connecting with like-minded individuals and potential clients. When sending a connection request, LinkedIn asks users if they want to send a personalized invitation to the other individual. Instead of taking the easy road and selecting one of the pre-existing LinkedIn invitations create a powerful first impression by writing a unique message. Create an immediate connection and long-lasting impression by taking the time to write a message to every potential connection. A customized invitation is more likely to make a potential client remember a conversation they had with you or be more likely to exploring a relationship. The extra 30 seconds to write an invitation may lead to additional business for your company.

3. Ask for Recommendations:
LinkedIn allows users to request that a connection write a recommendation to be displayed at the bottom of their profile page. Often, several excellent recommendations are what makes the difference in gaining a new client from a competitor. While posting what peers and former employers say about you is important, what the best salespeople do is post recommendations from prior customers. No one knows better than the customer the benefits of what you have to offer. Consequently, ask previous clients to write a recommendation that highlights the benefits and values gained from your services.

4. Stay One-Step Ahead of your Competition:
Being aware of your competition\'s marketing is key to a successful business. If your competitor\'s are using LinkedIn to connect with your existing or prospective clients than it is imperative that you know about it. LinkedIn is not only about networking with new and existing clients, but also monitoring existing relationships. If you notice a competitor is networking with a potential client find a reason to connect with them too. Once connected, stay on top of the relationship by providing them with relevant information before someone else does. Furthermore, prospecting for new clients is easy on LinkedIn by using the Advanced Search feature. Advanced Search allows salespeople to search for new clients in a specific geographic location, industry and more.

5. Share Valuable Content with Connections:
In today\'s competitive sales world simply having a LinkedIn account is not enough to generate new business. Instead, the best salespeople utilize LinkedIn to provide valuable information to their network and clients. Once great way to share information is by linking to a personal or company blog. Additionally, share news articles that relate to topics of interest to you and explain their relevancy to your network. The more you do to separate yourself from the competition the more likely you are to be successful in using LinkedIn to generate new clients and businesses.

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