Why You Need To Use LinkedIn

Sales Pro Source
February 8, 2013 — 1,177 views  
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Social networking sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Pinterest provide sales professionals with a ready access point of contact. While most of Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest are used for casual social interaction, LinkedIn is used most by the more serious business professionals. However, sales professionals must not discount the power of both types of social media.

LinkedIn is like an online rolodex that lets you use the contacts of those in your rolodex. The access to the network that your contacts have is the real blessing of LinkedIn. There was a time when salespersons had to rely heavily on their phonebook to gain new leads. LinkedIn has eased this strenuous process of “working the phone”. If used judiciously, LinkedIn can expand your client-base exponentially. The process is neither complicated nor strenuous; following a few simple rules can help you make the most of this remarkable tool.

Using LinkedIn Effectively

1. Stay current: The golden rule of social networking is to always remain updated. The internet works in real time, instantaneous messaging and feedback means that you cannot stay stagnant or you run the risk of being overlooked. Always update your LinkedIn profile.

2. Expand your network: Once you have established a primary circle of contacts, you must begin exploring potential relationships beyond your immediate circles. For instance, the client of a car salesperson may have friends with similar needs and interest in buying a car, so a sales representative can take advantage of this. Hence, interact with your clients through LinkedIn and see if you can find similar new clients from their network.

3: Join Groups: Find the right groups and join them. People with a similar need tend to interact in groups. If you are a real estate agent, find a group of people who want to buy property. You many find may new clients within this group. Some people may even refer you to their friends.

4: Discuss and interact: Contribute to discussions within groups. Also, offer advice in your area of expertise. This help you gain trust among the members, make them recognize you as a valuable contact and reach out to you when they need help. This is also a great way to increase your credibility or brand image.

5.  Find useful resources: LinkedIn will not just help you find clients; you can find great vendors as well. They will help you build or enhance your business. Remember that good business-to-business relations are important for salespersons as well.

6. Retain existing clients: You can use LinkedIn to maintain cordial relationships with existing clients. Staying in contact increases your chances of getting repeat business or even repeat referrals from the same client. Remember, a contact once made must never be wasted.

LinkedIn is a great tool to gain new clients and retain existing ones. You can also stay updated on the status of your competition as well. Many salespersons and businesses have an online presence in LinkedIn; this will help them keep track of the latest industry developments, know what strategies others are employing, and find out how to stay ahead of the competition. As mentioned, know that, if you are not trying to make an impact, someone else is already making an effort to do so.

Sales Pro Source