Social Selling

LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index (SSI) is an algorithm which helps us understand how well we are performing on the platform when it comes to social selling. You can find out yours here

It measures four key areas shown below:

1). Your personal brand
2). Your  ability to find the right people
3). Your engagement with insights
4). Your relationship building skills

If you’re looking to improve this score then here are a few tips you should find useful.

 

1). Personal Brand – Think of this as what people say about you when you’re not in the room. It could also be what they think when they come across you online. It’s all about perception of your online presence. You’re looking to do the basics well: ensure you have a good photo, a good summary (not just your CV), all your pertinent information should be filled in etc. Then, if you want to up a gear, you’ll want to create your profile in the mind of the customer. How do you add value, how can you help other people. Try to mind-shift from focusing on yourself. Now you’re ready to share regular updates. When you find articles, videos or any other content that your audience will find valuable, share it. Do this within the short form update section that is on the homepage when you log in. If you can, create and share thought leadership pieces through the long-form (articles) and rich media areas.

Why this is important: You’ll get more views = more opportunities. Buyers are more likely to trust you. Buyers are more likely to make contact and engage with a professional profile, especially in B2B markets.

 

2). Finding the right people – What better way to find useful prospects & strategic partners than this powerful tool. A database of business people just sitting there ready for you to tap into. By logging in regularly and keeping an eye on what your current customers are up to you might spot opportunities to sell services or products. Sometimes its enough to send a simple note to ask how business is and show you’re thinking of them. If your contacts move from one business to another you’ll be notified if you’re connected – another great opportunity for you to say hi and open conversations about working together in their new role. If you work with large organisations, understanding all the ‘actors’ in the buyer matrix is so important. You can build a picture of the business you’re targeting very quickly. Use the search tool to find decision makers and take time to read their profiles to understand if there is any commonality you share. Level up with Sales Navigator which will take your prospecting up a notch, allowing you to save leads, watch your prospects more closely and develop relationships with them over time. Use the groups to find people with similar interests or perhaps focus on groups where your clients hang out. Leverage warm introductions by working out; who you know, who knows someone you want to know. Get into a routine of asking for introductions, whats the worst that can happen? They say no. Word of warning, be careful not to come across too salesy. No one likes that cold message trying to sell them something the minute they click connect. Be useful, be engaging and aim to help others before asking for something.

Why this is important: If you’re in sales you simply have to bring in business. You’re more than likely to be driven by targets. This enourmous online database allows you to engage and spot opportunities with your current clients as well as seeking out new prospects to engage with and start filling your pipeline.

 

3). Engagement with Insights – To really win on LinkedIn you need to share and comment on other peoples updates. Its not all about you remember. Doing this will highlight your profile to other people, as well as making the person you’ve taken the time to comment on/share/like, feel special. Share relevant and regular content which your audience will value. Position yourself as a thought leader (expert) in your industry. Learn from other peoples content, take time to read articles that others have taken the time to create and post themselves. If you can add something useful, do so. All this helps build your profile as someone who turns up, who takes part and who has insights worth listening to.

Why this is important: People who share and engage more are trusted more. If you don’t take the time to do this people will tend to think of you as only interested in yourself. More trust = more opportunity.

 

4). Building Relationships – How big is your network? 100 connections? 500 connections? Thousands? Clearly its important to have relevant connections but do you have a system you use for developing and building these on a regular basis or is it more of a ‘when you remember’ situation? Having a larger network gives you more potential to find prospects who are linked to people you know. Get into a routine when you receive a business card of finding them on LinkedIn and sending a personalised note saying how nice it was to meet them. Doing this allows the conversation to carry on from the event you’ve met them at. Have a strategy to add new connections regularly. Look through the ‘people you might know’ section regularly and consider doing a bulk upload of contacts from your email address book. When you’ve built your connections, nurture the relationships by reaching our regularly and engaging with them. All this helps position you as someone valuable and keeps your products or services front of mind.

Why this is important: Being referred by someone else is the best way to get business. By being active and developing your network, you open yourself up to the likelihood of this happening far more often.

I hope you’ve found this useful. This year I launched a course on how to use LinkedIn effectively and it covers all the above and much more. If you’re interested in upping your game in this area there is a link to that course below.

 

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For Corporate Sales Teams

If you have a sales team you feel could do with a boost when it comes to social selling then I’ve developed an offering just for you. Combining my online course (with a significant corporate discount) with a face to face session where we debrief the material, talk through real life examples and discuss strategy as a group, is a great way to engage teams and get them really using this powerful network to drive your sales.

For corporate rates please contact me on alastair@optixsolutions.co.uk

 

For Individuals

If you’re looking to improve your own skills, develop your personal brand and increase your SSI then look no further than this online course. Use the following link for more information on whats covered and a 20% discount: Udemy LinkedIn course