We are all at different stages of our personal and professional digital transformation. This same transformation has affected our business results as well.
That makes it a critical necessity to adopt social sales.
We’re living in a world now, where LinkedIn will tell you 70% of a buyer’s decision is made before a person reaches out to a company or salesperson. That’s a dramatic transformation that leaves one major conclusion:
The buy now holds the power in a sales relationship.
So it’s up to you to reach out to the right person at the right time with the right message to engage them. Part of that strategy can be the LinkedIn contact request.
Considering LinkedIn now boasts 780 million users well recognized as being from the business community, LinkedIn is a good place to start your social selling process. But be strategic – don’t be a random user. You won’t get the benefit and you’ll leave the platform. You’ll also be leaving behind a tremendous tool for social selling and potential client connection.
Here are some things to remember when you reach out to potential client contacts on LinkedIn.
Consider thee statistics from the LinkedIn report How to Capitalize on the Social Selling Trend:
Here are strategies that make buyers more likely to engage with a salesperson – and the percentage of those who agree with the statement:
81% – Your company has a strong professional brand
A professional brand breeds trust. It says the company pays attention to details. It suggests when they have built a strong track record to get to this level of professionalism, and they will take care of the customer. Picture a service company using a lead photo on the website or LinkedIn, featuring their neatly dressed staff, standing in front of meticulously clean vehicles. How does this compare to a photo with sloppily dressed staff people looking round, guarded by old dirty vehicles. Both photos leave an impression. Be professional.
71% – Mentions specific information relevant to their job
If you are sending friend requests randomly you are proving your lack of focus or guaranteeing a lack of positive response. You are setting yourself up for campaign failure. Two critical aspects of sending LinkedIn requests 1) send requests specifically to members of the channel you want to reach 2) Write a comment and make very specific references to the affinities you share with the potential contact.
59% – mentions a common colleague
Never underestimate the power of your network. And don’t be afraid to utilize your friendships or your professional relationships to find out information about another company or to look for an introduction to a potential connection. We trust reviews when we buy online. We trust the opinion and the recommendations of people in our network.
Here are top reasons potential contacts won’t connect:
89% – The product is not relevant to their company
If you spam requests with no relevant information for your target contact, it can actually work against you. First, you’ll get a reputation as simply looking for a sale instead of meeting a specific need of a potential contact. And second, if you rack up too many contact requests that are ignored, LinkedIn will not allow you to send as many requests. They will diffuse your spamming attempt.
71% – It’s not the right time to consider the product
This is all about the potential customer’s mindset. In any messaging, it’s not about the product you want to sell – it’s about the problem you solve for the potential client. So as best you can, you want to catch a new client in their sales or business lifecycle. Do they currently have the budget to consider a product? When do they prepare their budgets for the next cycle. Did they just buy technology from another company? Are you selling a product they probably won’t need for another five years? You don’t always have these answers, but it does affect their interest in connecting.
50% They aren’t the right person to connect with
This is an interesting question. Do you automatically reach out to the CEO of a prospect company? Is he the person who looks at your product or does he or she simply look at the recommendations of an operations or sales manager? And how do managers make a recommendation to buy a product. Do they have someone else who does the online research for them? The closer you are to the people directly involved in the purchasing research and recommendation, the better chance they’ll connect.
Your time is valuable. Your adoption of social selling is essential. If you take the right approach from the beginning, you’ll get better results faster and take a leap well ahead of many of your competitors.