Imagine a website that defined your prospect’s roles and responsibilities so you could align your product’s value proposition. A free online database that listed the people you have in common with your prospect to use as an icebreaker, to gain instant credibility. A place where you can find your prospect’s contact information and could avoid the gatekeeper.
When used properly, LinkedIn is a portal into the lives and career of our buyers and should be the first place we go before every meeting or call.
In Sales 101, we’re taught to look for artifacts in the client’s office to use as a conversation starter.
Checking your buyer’s social media channels is like getting a private tour of their home, looking through their desk drawers, and talking with their previous colleagues.
This is the final post in a 4 part series on the characteristics of the Ideal Healthcare Sales Candidate. To recap, here are the traits and links to each post if you missed them:
A few years ago, I created a mobile app that allowed patients to access and share medical records.
I was seeking funding and was growing desperate for channel partners – an EMR vendor that would bundle my app with their patient portal.
For months I targeted the major EMR companies, emailing the Business Development leads, calling every published company phone line, stalking executives at trade shows.
Crickets. I couldn’t pay someone to call me back.
In a last-ditch effort, I reached out to the CEO of a top 5 EMR company via LinkedIn mail. Within 5 minutes, he responded, we schedule a webinar and I had a signed Letter of Intent 30 days later.
Without LinkedIn, I would have lacked the partner that validated the legitimacy of my app. I never would have secured funding. From that point forward, LinkedIn has been as essential tool in my tool belt.
In a recent study, Regalix Research confirmed the reason I believe so strongly in the power of LinkedIn. In the results, LinkedIn was identified as the best social media channel for B2B customer engagement during the pre and post-sale stages of the buying process.
Why is LinkedIn the social network of choice for B2B transactions? Because it is a trusted community of professionals who are on the platform to conduct business – not share funny videos or pictures of their kids. Your LinkedIn credibility and visibility increases with the useful content you create and curate for your connections.
LinkedIn just created a new measurement called your Social Selling Index. This gauge illustrates your social selling efforts and even shows you how to improve your score. My favorite part is the comparison to the people in your industry and in your network.
Here are my Social Selling Index results – check out how lousy Sales Professionals in the Healthcare industry rate (bottom left)!
If your competition rates an 18/100 and LinkedIn is the #1 tool for B2B sales, a small improvement in your score will yield drastic results to your sales. Here are some stats on why you want to leverage LinkedIn to improve your brand and social selling prowess:
- Social selling leaders create 45% more opportunities than peers with lower Social Selling Index.
- Social selling leaders are 51% more likely to reach quota.
- 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.
- Sales reps who viewed the profiles of at least 10 people at each of their accounts were 69% more likely to exceed quota.
- You are 70% more likely to get an appointment or an unexpected sale if you are a member of in LinkedIn Groups.
- 92% of B2B buyers engage with sales professionals if they are known industry thought leaders.
- 87% of B2B buys said they would have a favorable impression of a salesperson who was introduced to them through someone in their professional network.
Now that we’ve established the importance of LinkedIn, below are 8 Must Dos for your LinkedIn profile:
- Use a Professional Photo: You can increase your LinkedIn views by 11 times by including a photo. A professional photo is the first step towards humanizing yourself – be more than just an online resume.
- Write to Your Customers: Do your customers care that you’re a “Quota Crusher” or “Expert Negotiator” or President Club Winner”? NO! They want to know what value you bring to them before they even start the buying journey. Create your profile with your customer’s needs and wants in mind.
- Write a Compelling and Searchable Headline: The headline on your profile will default to your current job title – change it! Next to your name, the headline is the most searchable field on LinkedIn. Use this space to define your personal value proposition – describe the ‘what’ you bring clients. Utilize key words that a customer who’s looking for a person in your position would enter into the search field.
- Be Genuine in Your Summary: The summary section is the perfect place to let your guard down and talk about what motivates and inspires you. The best summaries include a personal mission statement or core set of beliefs.
- Add Your Contact Info: People can only see your contact information when they have connected with you – you won’t get spammed. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect live with a potential customer because you didn’t input your real phone number and email.
- Add Media Rich Content (visume, audio file, video, or presentations): The most effective way to inspire a sale is by showing how your product works – don’t tell. . Add media to your profile that demonstrates the ease or utility of your product. If you sell a service, upload a video of you pitching the product. Media adds dimensions to your personality and product that can’t come across in print.
- Get Recommendations: Ask customers, employers, colleagues, coaches – anyone who can attest to your character in at work or in your the community to write a LinkedIn recommendation.
- Join and Engage in Groups: This is the fastest way to gain exposure and recognition on LinkedIn. A quick search of “Healthcare / Medical Sales” will pull up several different groups you should join. By participating in the conversation, you build credibility as a thought leader in your space.
If you’re interested in elevating your LinkedIn profile, listen to Mark William’s LinkedInformed podcast. Since I’ve begun following Mark’s insights, my average LinkedIn profile views have increased 5X!
Having an incomplete LinkedIn profile signals customers and employers that you are irrelevant – you’re a ghost. If you don’t buy into the social selling model, at least create a complete profile so you don’t look incompetent.
Question: How do you use LinkedIn in your job? What was the biggest win you’ve had because of LinkedIn? You can leave a comment by clicking here.