Last week I had the pleasure to spend my time with Larry Levine and Darrell Amy in Phoenix, Arizona and San Francisco, California at the LinkedIn Office Tech Sales Roadshow. They have taken a bunch of sales reps, sales managers, VP’s and owners of copier dealerships through a course on getting the most out of LinkedIn. More specifically, how to use it to prospect and convert those connections into relationships that can eventually turn into sales.
It is a pretty full day of instruction but Larry keeps on track very nicely and interweaves relevant stories and examples. The main points of instruction focus upon:
- Developing your own personal brand.
- Making your LinkedIn profile one that can sell for you.
- Mining your connections for introductions to the prospects that you want.
- Understanding the value of creating and/or curating content that will help enhance your worth as a trusted source of expertise in your chosen field.
It truly is a discipline, but one I now believe needs to be learned and practiced. Everyone in sales experiences the frustration of being in voicemail prison, or continually feeling like you are sending beautifully crafted emails into a vacuum. The strategies taught in this course are both full of common sense, and backed up by the “eat your own dogfood” approach that Larry and Darrell take. They practice what they preach.
Along with most people, whenever I attend these types of training sessions I am looking to pull one or two things out that I can incorporate into my everyday business. However, although I will never be as devout as Larry (honest to god, he’s a machine) I came out of this with a number of things that I want to incorporate with my team at Print Audit. I didn’t appreciate how powerful a tool LinkedIn is, even in its free version.
I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t used LinkedIn to its full potential as a sales tool. From here on, the days of simply sending out as many connection requests as possible using the default “I’d like to add you to my connections” note are gone. I will now connect to people with a purpose and personality, and show them I am truly interested in them and their company. What’s more, I will provide value through the production of relevant content. Once I’ve done that, I fully anticipate being in a position to both get business from them, and mine their connections for introductions into other companies that I want to do business with.
It’s important to note that getting the most from LinkedIn is not a replacement for any of your other day to day sales activities, but it is most certainly a dramatically under utilized resource for all sales professionals.
This isn’t to say that I agreed with all that Larry says. For example, he believes that in order for a person to ‘own’ their profile, they need to write it themselves. I’d agree if that person were a good writer, but for a lot of people writing simply does not come naturally. I’m always in favor of playing to strengths, so if you suck at writing, have someone do it for you…so as long as the content comes from you. However, this is minor nitpicking.
In my opinion, this course ranks a 4 out of 5 and I encourage you to look into having a conversation with Larry or Darrell about educating your team. You can learn more about their social selling courses at www.socialsalesacademy.net.
Now it’s your turn. How have you been using LinkedIn in your selling process? Are there any valuable “aha” moments that you would like to share? Do you think LinkedIn is a fad or the new way to build business relationships? Leave your comments or feel free to reach out to us at www.printaudit.co