You may expect the Sales Recruiters at CreativeSourcing to write an article about using LinkedIn for your job search, but that’s just a small part of the power of LinkedIn. Since its inception, LinkedIn has grown in popularity and the undeniable wealth of connections has become a tool that sales professionals and organization leaders use to grow their business.
Our Sales Recruiters have spent hours perusing the profiles of LinkedIn connections and have observed several strategies that successful sales people utilize.
Have your profile filled out completely. You’ve heard this many times before, but it really does set you apart.
As a Sales Professional, you are one of thousands that offer similar services. How do you stand out from the competition?
- College activities – school newspaper, Greek societies, career clubs, volunteer activities, alumni association – people seek to do business with those they like and trust and finding commonalities in college experiences is one way to stand out.
- Interests – photography, dog training, travel, skiing, golf and more are interests that show a human side to your personality.
- Volunteer Causes and Organizations – Habitat for Humanity, Toastmasters, Sales and Marketing Executives (SMEI), Boy/Girl Scouts of America, Local Chamber and Rotary Clubs – showing participation and leadership roles in regional, national and international organizations is another way that people look to find connections when seeking people to do business with.
- Images, Video and PDFs – LinkedIn allows you to create a rich profile by adding links to web pages, files, video, slide presentations and images that demonstrate your strengths and experience – a great way to set yourself apart from the competition.
- Key words – in your headline, summary, job experience and more, incorporate the key word phrases that people will use to search for you. If they don’t know your name but want to connect with someone in your industry; make sure you are their number one search result by using those key phrases throughout your profile.
Consistently sharing information of value. Those that have been successful with LinkedIn have demonstrated their knowledge by sharing articles, offering advice, adding comments to other status updates and generally being involved in ongoing discussions.
By sharing status updates, starting/participating in Group Discussions and adding your voice to other’s comments is a great way to keep your name in front of prospects and also to demonstrate your expertise and point of view.
Strategically growing your network. There’s a strategy to growing your LinkedIn network. Sales professionals use it to connect and stay in touch with those that might be able to help grow their business. Center of influence, those that connect with the same people you are interested in meeting, are a great resource for growing your network. Successful sale people understand the importance of taking the time to personalize their connection requests and then following up to start a discussion.
Simple emails like “tell me about your business” or “who is your ideal client” or “what is your unique value proposition” are great ways to show you are interested in building a business relationship and desire the necessary information to appropriately refer them to prospects.
Using the Search capabilities of LinkedIn. Even with a free LinkedIn account you can successful search for specific people, titles, industries, businesses within a certain mile radius and more using the “advanced” search functions of LinkedIn. If your key prospect is a facilities manager, human resource director, operations vice president or any other specific title, the advanced search functions of LinkedIn allow you to search for people within your network (and your extended network) that fill that role.
Searching for information on LinkedIn is a great way to learn about people before your initial meeting, to find the name of the person you want to talk with or to research a specific company you are interested in work with.
Searching for “in transition” or “open to new opportunities” is also a great way to find people looking for work or seeking a new professional career.
Starting a Group. Groups are a great way to interact with prospects, peers and also community leaders. If you don’t find a group that speaks to your unique area of expertise, LinkedIn allows you the opportunity to start a group. You get to define the scope of the group, who you want as group members and then actively market the group to your community. Starting a group is a great way to create a name for yourself, demonstrate leadership and provide a platform to sharer your knowledge.
There are many other ways successful sales people use LinkedIn. For example, the new feature of creating blog articles for those LinkedIn views as “influencers” is a unique way of publishing original content which also reinforces your expertise.
Of course as Sales Recruiting specialists we also recommend using LinkedIn as a way to find candidates, learn more about prospects and market your company. Bottom line, if you aren’t finding the value with LinkedIn, perhaps you just need a little training on the “how’s” of using LinkedIn to grow your business.
Now, if you’re looking to grow your business buy adding to your Sales Staff, give the Sales Recruiters at CreativeSourcing a call. We can help.  296-0167.