A Question…An Answer…Knowledge Shared

Since I just wrote a post about LinkedIn Answers, I thought I would post part of a blog post I found for two reasons:

1.  It shows how someone used a LinkedIn question to gain valuable information;
2.  The answers is pretty relevant to finding relevance in connecting on LinkedIn.

The question was asked by Jill Konrath
Question: As a seller, how do you use LinkedIn to increase your sales?

Explanation: I’m writing an article for my Selling to Big Companies newsletter on this topic. I’d like to include specific examples to help my readers learn how they can leverage this tool. Since I’m a bit of a technophobe, my experience with Linked In is rather limited. If you can tell me how you’ve used LinkedIn to open doors, create opportunities and grow your business, I’d really appreciate it.

Social media guru Scott Allen, coauthor of The Virtual Handshake and managing director at Link to Your World, was the first to respond. Here are his invaluable suggestions:

LinkedIn can be used to support the entire sales lifecycle: lead generation, sales acceleration and solution delivery. Let’s look at each of these pieces:

Lead Generation
Find and be found. Search by title and industry for the ideal contacts at your ideal customers. Search by title and company name for specific target customers. Be sure your profile is complete and contains the appropriate keywords for your business so that people looking for your solution will find you. Endorsements/recommendations count for a lot – get them from people who have actually been your clients if at all possible.

Sales Acceleration
Search for people in your prospect’s company who are not closely involved in your deal – preferably 2nd degree contacts, not 3rd degree. Ask for an informational interview. This is where strong, trusted relationships count for a lot – “light linking” breaks down here.

Ask your interview subject about the priorities that are going on at the company — what are the high-level factors that might be influencing the buying process. Be completely open/transparent. If you have a good solution and a really good referral to a true “friend of a friend”, you will very likely find an internal champion in that person. This is the #1 technique that LinkedIn supports better than any other tool.

Solution Delivery
Quite often, especially for small businesses, you can’t do it all yourself. LinkedIn is invaluable for finding partners with particular skill sets who can help you deliver the total solution. In addition to searching, you can post questions asking about the solution area you need expertise in and use that as a way to attract potential partners.

Read the complete post

77 connections in a week!

It is said that the average person knows about 250 people.  Do you have 250 connections?

 I don’t and not everyone I know is on LinkedIn, but I’m preaching to them.  Bill King probably knows a lot more than 250 people.  Bill’s the kind of guy “you” want to know.  He’s got a great sense of humor, always offers spot on advice, and you just enjoy talking to him.

Bill finally drank the Kool-aid and dove into establishing connections on LinkedIn.  I may be off by a couple of days but in the last week he’s added 77 connections.  I would be willing to bet that he knows each of these connections.

 What’s his big secret to ading so many people.  He simply took the time to see who he knew and invited them to connect.  I would imagine he put a couple of hours into this, but look at the results.

LinkedIn has a great tool that will go through Outlook and see who you have sent an email to that is on LinkedIn.  Then you simply send them an invitation.

 My recomendation is that you type up a short invitation request that you can personalize for each person with a simple tweak or two.  If you just select the people and send them out at the same time LinkedIn will send the canned invitation which you do not want.

 Anyway, congrats go out to Bill.  For the record Bill is a franchise consultant so if you or anyone you know is curious about franchising he’s the best place to start.

 Sean Nelson