Yesterday, I got an email from the organizers of a conference I’m speaking at, asking for a presentation on how to use LinkedIn to get more sales leads. Apparently the Snapchat and Facebook experts are growing in numbers, and LinkedIn experts are in short supply. Yet when I talk to businesses, large and small, they all want to learn more about how to use LinkedIn to expand their networks, prospect and generate more leads. Especially in the B2B space, there’s much more optimism around what LinkedIn can do for a business than what Facebook can.
LinkedIn is a growing platform. In April 2016 LinkedIn reported 433MM users world-wide, up from 347MM in Q1 of 2015. Despite being older than Facebook (LinkedIn launched in March 2003, a year before Facebook), LinkedIn remains a mystery to many. Yet those who use it for sales report, “more pipeline than we’ve ever seen before.”
So why don’t we use LinkedIn more?In April 2016 LinkedIn reported 433MM users world-wide, up from 347MM in Q1 of 2015. Click To Tweet
Well, I’ll be the first to admit that LinkedIn is one frustratingly complicated platform. First, you have to take time to build up your profile. A well thought-through profile may take hours to complete.
Then, you have to get comfortable navigating the maze of features and options. Because LinkedIn is the opposite of minimalist. Yesterday I discovered three different ways to see a group’s admins, and none of them were straight forward. And if you want to unlock the full potential of the platform you’ll have to pay. And those who are shy about investing in a Premium account may never have the chance to try out some of the advanced prospecting features, such as the ability to save searches, or narrowing down people search results by seniority.
To get sales results from LinkedIn you have to actually use the platform for more than just reading and “posting,” and the occasional profile update.
Try these 8 LinkedIn sales tricks right away!
1. Join all 100 groups
A good way to organically build relationships is through groups. Groups give you the opportunity to start conversations, answer questions to show your expertise, and post your original content (see tip on making friends with group admins, below).
So go ahead and max out on those groups.
- Use the group search feature to find groups where your buyers hang out.
- Look at your competitors’ profiles and see what groups they’re in.
- Look for groups that your clients are in and join those too.
Take full advantage of the groups features, don’t stop at just a few groups. Groups are powerful, which is why LinkedIn has created an entire app just for group networking.
2. Get on the apps
LinkedIn has a total of 10 official apps. You read that right. TEN apps. 7 of them are free to all, and 3 are Premium apps.
For sales prospecting, three apps will be the most useful to you:
- LinkedIn Pulse
- LinkedIn Groups
In March 2016 Linkedin retired the Connected app and made the network updates feature available in the main LinkedIn app.Did you know that LinkedIn has 10 official mobile apps? Learn more in this article: Click To Tweet
3. Use the LinkedIn app to connect when you don’t know the email address
When you’re trying to connect with someone on the desktop version of LinkedIn, you’ll be asked how you know the person and you may need to know their email address to complete the connection request. Not so on the app. If you pull up that person’s profile on the app you’ll get a Connect button, tap it and you’re set.
4. Introduce yourself to group moderators
Whether you just joined a group or you’ve been in one for a while, it will help to become friends with the group moderators. LinkedIn calls them “Admins.” Send them a message to introduce yourself and ask about the rules of the group. You’ll have a much easier time getting your content approved and published to the group when the moderators know and trust you. So take some time to build that relationship.
Here is how to find the admins:
Step 1: Go to the group page and click on the number below the group title
Step 2: Click on the Admins tab:
Step 3: Connect away.
You may want to reach out to the group owner, who most probably is also the founder and ask him about the group’s history. That’s a great conversation starter!
5. Stay top of mind when they change jobs
Promotions and new jobs can mean new business opportunities for you. At least once a week check to see who has a new role and use the good news as an opportunity to reconnect.
If you’re using the Linkedin app, the network updates will appear as soon as you open the app. But let’s say you want more than just the 10 app updates. Go to your desktop, click on My Network and Connections. Give it a second and a panel will open up with your network updates.
Before you just click the “Say Congrats” button check to make sure that your contact has truly gone through a job change. I recently got a notification that a contact of mine had a new role at the same company he had been at before. I looked at his profile and noticed he just added the role to his profile, although he had been in that position for almost a year.
But even in such a case, you can use it as an excuse to reach out:
“Hey Joe, Linkedin showed me this notification and it made me think of you. I’d love to catch up!” And ask for a day and time to reconnect.
6. Check who looked at your profile and send them a message
They looked at your profile for a reason. They were looking for someone or something. So reach out and find out if you can help them find that someone or something.
7. If you use Gmail in Firefox or Chrome, get Rapportive
Never miss connecting with someone you’re emailing with, ever again! Rapportive will show you the contact’s LinkedIn and Twitter profiles, as well as shared connections. It’s very easy to install as a browser add-on and then you’re good to go. With one click you can request a connection.
8. Have some fun with your Social Selling Index
Over the years, LinkedIn launched and then retired a series of tools. Here’s one that’s brand spanking new – the Social Selling Index. So new that few know what it exactly means, besides an excuse for LinkedIn to try and sell you their Sales Navigator tool.
Have you played with LinkedIn's Social Selling Index? We talk about it in this post: Click To Tweet
Who knows, maybe seeing your social selling index will motivate you to do more, or inspire you to try new things. So give it a try.
Give these LinkedIn sales tricks a try and let us know how they worked!