How To Improve Your Success With LinkedIn – Part 1

We run very successful LinkedIn workshops for salespeople at all levels, and for businesses who want their prospecting to be more productive than it is currently.

Remember…your LinkedIn profile is your own personal business website, and prospects can find out a great deal about you, so make sure you follow these guidelines to keep yourself at the top of the rankings.

Here are my top tips on how to make LinkedIn work successfully for you:

1) Make sure you invest time to do it right. Many salespeople will have a profile, set it up and then leave it. Just like a website that has references to old events, or brochures from three years ago, people will not look at your unused site with any degree of relish.

2) The Google search engines love LinkedIn. In fact, if you type your name and company into Google, you most often find your LinkedIn profile comes up first. Try it. Type your name and company into the search engine, and see if your LinkedIn account comes up top of the list. If it does, this will be the first port of call for your prospects who are searching out information about you. This means you have to make sure it’s up-to-date and showing you off in the best light.

3) Make sure you use the key words that people will be using to search for you. Just as you would with your company website, you should think through which keywords prospects will be using when they make a search for your type of services. Put these keywords in your Professional Headline, Summary and Experience. That way, the “relevancy” search engines will drive people to your site.

4) When people ask to connect with you, and you decide to accept, always thank them for doing so, and send them something of value immediately. If it’s a potential prospect that you’ve just connected up with, make sure they see the value you can offer straight away. Send a link to a whitepaper you have written, or a part fo your company website where they can download valuable free information. Make it worthwhile to connect up with you.

5) Get a professional-looking picture. LinkedIn’s recent changes have accentuated the need to have a really good quality picture of yourself. Something that is better on Facebook, or, worse, no picture at all, will create the wrong image of you and make the prospect look but not be impressed. Some people have commented that the picture makes the biggest impression, so make sure you get one that shows you off in the right light.

In part two, we’ll look at how you can use LinkedIn to get referrals and improve your business opportunities.

Happy Selling!

Sean McPheat

Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

www.mtdsalestraining.com

(Image by Coletivo Mambembe)

 

How To Use Company Buzz To Prospect And Network On LinkedIn

As always, my focus in these Techy Tuesday blogs is to keep you update to date with the latest and greatest ways you can use social media and other internet based resources to prospect, network and engage with key decision makers online – and this week is no different!

This week I have been doing some research into a new LinkedIn application called Company Buzz, to find out if the hype around the new feature is valid and how you can really use it as a legitimate business tool.

As a sales professional or business owner it’s so important to keep on top of your company’s reputation and be aware of any influential changes and developments in your industry, and this is exactly what the Company Buzz application does for your business.

This application is a great tool which combines both your LinkedIn and Twitter accounts to display real-time tweets and LinkedIn updates relating to your company and any other specific search terms you request on your LinkedIn profile.

You can search on any word relating to you, your company, your products and services or your industry and see all of the recent tweets and LinkedIn updates related to that term.

You can then narrow down your search results by loads of different categories, including location, company, degree of connection, industry, time frame, update type and job title. You can then save these results and even share them to your profile. Company Buzz also shows you what words and links are currently trending around your chosen search term, and gives you a historical overview of the buzz surrounding your search terms over time.

So now that you know what the Company Buzz application is all about, how can you use it to your advantage?

Well, as with many of the great features LinkedIn has to offer, you can use Company Buzz to prospect, listen in for leads and engage with key decision makers online.

As the application allows you to be so specific with your search results, you can create a search on yourself, your company, or the title of your latest blog post, and then narrow it down to just your first degree connections, in your chosen industry, in a specific location. You can even select just the CEOs or Managers from this selection, and only view the updates which have happen in the last couple of hours…so you are literally getting the most specific and up-to-date view of all those who are talking about you and your company on LinkedIn.

Now that you can see who has been tweeting about you, commenting about your company in the groups, and sharing your latest blog posts on their profile you can go in and engage with these connections directly – using the same techniques as you would implement when engaging with key decision makers through your LinkedIn Groups.

Taking this slightly further, you can choose to view only your second or third degree connections in this same way, and you can then build up a picture of which prospects are already on LinkedIn talking about you and your company, so that you can make an offer to connect with them and engage further with them .

Not only does the Company Buzz allow you keep on top of your company reputation and stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your industry, but when used in the right way it can also provide you with a great way to prospect and engage with key decision makers on LinkedIn.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

It Takes Only An Hour A Week To Produce Leads Through LinkedIn

I must have said it time and time again, but when it comes to modern day selling, sales professionals and business owners alike can find real value in the LinkedIn platform as a sales tool, as there is so much potential for you to prospect for and engage with new leads and current clients online.

I have frequently written about the different ways you can use LinkedIn to network with c-suite decision makers and build your internet footprint, but in today’s post I thought I would take you back to basics and show you how you should be maintaining your LinkedIn presence on a weekly basis.

You see, in order to get the best out of the platform you need to contribute frequently on LinkedIn, to ensure that you are always at the forefront of your prospects’ minds whenever they access the site.

Keeping up-to-date with your LinkedIn connections – as with any social media site – requires a certain level of dedication, but there are a few simple tasks you can pursue on a weekly basis to ensure that you maintain your presence on LinkedIn. After all, you have worked hard to build up your LinkedIn activity and you shouldn’t let this fall by the wayside simply due to time constraints, so here are 4 quick tips to help you manage your LinkedIn account on a weekly basis:

1.       Keep Your Content Fresh

Generating new content consistently is a vital aspect of building your personal brand and positioning yourself as an industry expert in your field, ensuring that you are the go-to-guy when your prospects and searching for the products and services you provide online.

But more importantly than just generating new thought leadership content, is making sure that you distribute this in spaces where your prospects will find it. LinkedIn is a great platform for sharing your content and there are so many applications you can use to do this, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t have your most recent blog post on your profile, your latest business read on your Amazon Reading List and an up-to-date presentation on your Slideshare app.

The more content you distribute the more you will build your presence on the platform, and taking 5 minutes out of your week to ensure it is all up-to-date is definitely worth your while.

2.       R&R – Recommend and Be Recommended

A recent survey by Nielsen found that 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, so the fact that the LinkedIn platform gives you the opportunity to request and display your recommendations is a real bonus for any sales professional – so make the most of it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations via LinkedIn, and ensure that you follow up with this on a regular basis, as the more glowing recommendations you have for your work, the more trustworthy and reliable you will appeal to any prospects that land on your LinkedIn profile.

It’s also important that you are seen to recommend your LinkedIn connections whenever they ask, as few people will want to recommend you if you are selfish about returning the favour. Take half an hour at least once a month to request new recommendations from your satisfied clients, and return the favour for any connections who have requested one from you. After all, we all need a bit of R&R every now and again!

3.       Take 10 To Make A Contribution

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again: Your LinkedIn Groups are a hotbed of potential contacts, and contributing regularly to key discussions happening in these groups will help you to network and engage with more and more connections – as well as helping to build your profile as an industry expert.

Taking 10 minutes out of your day to contribute to 2 or 3 discussions via your LinkedIn groups or on the LinkedIn Answers platform will help to keep you at the forefront of relevant discussions surrounding your business.

4.       Turn Your Business Cards Into LinkedIn Connections

As a sales professional or business owner, you’re likely to collect a tidy little pile of business cards from your meetings with your clients over the month, so don’t let these vital contacts go to waste. Instead, find a bit of time in your week to search for these contacts on LinkedIn and invite them to connect with you.

If you find that some are not currently on the platform then you can also use their information to invite them to join you as a LinkedIn member, which will give you an opportunity to engage with them further following on from your meeting.

An Hour A Week Is All It Takes

Prospecting, networking and engaging with key decision makers via LinkedIn doesn’t have to be taxing, and taking as little as an hour out of your week to keep yourself up-to-date on the platform will really help you get the most out of your activity on the site. By maintaining your presence on LinkedIn you are maintaining that all important contact with prospects and clients alike – and this is a hugely important factor in selling the modern way.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager

(Image by Coletivo Mambembe)

Come On In, The Water’s Lovely! LinkedIn Is Not Just For Businesses It’s For Sales Professionals Too!

Today’s buyers are a lot more sales savvy; they conduct research online about your products and services, your company and your competitors all with a few clicks of a mouse. The internet and social media in particular are now your buyers’ best friends, as it puts them in control of the modern day sales process, so what are you doing to redress this balance of power?

Here are some scary facts and figures for you:

  • 90% of buying decisions are based on internet research – Gartner research
  • 2 out of 3 decision makers place more trust in their own research than in sales people – Market Transformations
  • 80% of sales are lost because the salesperson failed to establish an element of trust and credibility with the buyer – The Marketing Edge

The way your buyers make their purchasing decisions has changed, but are you changing the way that you sell? Social media can be a powerful sales tool when you know how to get the best from it, especially when it comes to using LinkedIn.

You’ve definitely heard of LinkedIn, you might even have a LinkedIn account and you’ve heard of the benefits and the power that LinkedIn can provide you in terms of prospecting and selling….but your LinkedIn account is just sitting there gathering dust simply because you don’t know what to do with it!

Or is it because you have yet to be convinced of the real value of the site? Well, he’s a few LinkedIn stats for you to digest:

  • 1 new member joins LinkedIn every second – LinkedIn Press Centre
  • Over 40% of LinkedIn’s users work in companies with more than 10,000 employees – LinkedIn Ads
  • Nearly 50% of the LinkedIn members are in a decision maker role (such as Manager, Director, Owner, Chief Officer or Vice President) – LinkedIn Ads

Considering this information, it’s unsurprising to find out that in a recent survey conducted by advertising agency OgilvyOne found that 93% of UK sales professionals have received no training in using social media, and 53% of these want help with learning to use social media platforms as a business tool.

As a modern day sales professional it is so important to understand how to harness the power of LinkedIn for your business, and MTD Sales Training are here to help.

We have created a complimentary report for you which will help you to understand how to get the most out of LinkedIn as a business tool.

“Ultimate LinkedIn Essentials For Sales Professionals” is free to download and will show you how to tap into the potential goldmine of prospecting resources and additional sales opportunities that LinkedIn has to offer. With a killer profile and the right approach to hunt out, prospect and engage with your target market, you will maximise your prospecting time and generate qualified leads.

Simply click the link below to download your copy:

http://www.mtdsalestraining.com/lireport.htm

If you still need convincing of the power of LinkedIn or if there’s anything you would like to ask me then leave me a comment below and I will get back to you.

Happy Selling!

Sean

Sean McPheat
MTD Sales Training

How Effective Is Your LinkedIn Teaser?

Your LinkedIn “teaser” is the short header section which appears at the top of your profile on the site, and includes your picture, name, profession, location, industry and most recent status update.

It’s known as the “teaser” because it’s the only section of your LinkedIn profile which shows up when you appear in the platform’s search results and when you contribute to a discussion in one of your LinkedIn groups. This is the equivalent of your first impression on the site, and it is so important to optimise this part of your profile to the fullest to encourage people to click through to your full profile and find out more about you.

The basic rules of optimising your “teaser” for best results include using a professional image of yourself (no holiday snaps please!) and making sure the name you use is the one that you are referred to as within your professional environment – so no nicknames or abbreviations.

It’s also important to include the most relevant industry and the local area of your company within your teaser so that people can who are searching for the products and services you provide in your local area can find you easily when they are searching online. But the really important factor lies within your professional headline.

Your professional headline should be a one line power house of a bio, which explains in good detail but in few words exactly what your company does, your role within the company and most importantly what you and your company can do for your prospects.

You need to choose the keywords that will trigger a response when a prospect is searching for somebody in your area of expertise and make sure you clearly explain to them how what you do will benefit them.

For example, my headline on LinkedIn could simply read “Marketing Manager at MTD Training”, but although it does explain my role within my company, it doesn’t explain what my company does or sell me as a professional within my industry.

So, I have optimised my LinkedIn headline to read “Marketing Manager at MTD – We Help Businesses To Improve Their Sales People, Their Managers & HR Capability” – as this clearly names my company, describes my role and explains what myself and my company can do for potential clients. Bingo!

Your “teaser” – and most importantly your headline – is critical because this is the first thing people will see when you show up in their search results or respond to their post in a group, so you need to fully optimise your teaser and polish up its appeal.  Not only will this help you make the right first impression but it will also encourage new connections to read your full profile and potentially choose to connect with you.

That’s all for now folks, see you again soon for another Techy Tuesday.

Regards,

Louise

Louise Denny

Marketing Manager