This past March LinkedIn.com boasted it had more than 100 million users worldwide where 21.4 million unique monthly visitors come from the USA. The company launched an IPO in May where the value of the stock doubled from $45 to $90 per share. The company’s stock trades under ticker symbol LNKD.
So, what has that meant for you? Have you gotten any business that can be traced to LinkedIn? It’s 2011, and many people are saying that the way we sell today has changed forever. Selling today is different. Are you taking full advantage of this new selling tool? Do you know how to take advantage of this potential new business generator? The time has come to ask “How much business can I gain from LinkedIn?”
Like everything in life you get out of something what you put into it. Like selling anywhere else, selling on LinkedIn requires time, dedication and a strategy. The misconception many people have towards LinkedIn is that you put up a profile and the sales will come rolling in, or that it is just a site for people looking for a job. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. To generate business on LinkedIn you have to have a complete and active profile.
We have developed our strategy for selling on LinkedIn into an acronym as follows: FLOES. (pronounced FLOWS) as in sales flowing in. It stands for the following:
The first step is to determine with whom you wish to connect. Customers both current and past are a great place to start. The more connections you have the easier it is for potential clients to find you. However be careful here because people will come to judge you by the types of connections you have. Your goal should be to be viewed as an expert in your industry, a “go-to” resource. Listen first. Just as you would at a business function, you don’t just walk up to a group of people engaged in a conversation and interrupt with a comment entirely irrelevant. Listen first become part of the current conversation. Then contribute as your experience tells you.
Once you become engaged on LinkedIn it can become very addictive. Protect your time by setting appointments with yourself to work on your LinkedIn activities and monitor the results. Are you getting value for your time? Remember to be patient. You can’t plant a tree on Monday and expect to have shade by Friday. Use this tool effectively to sell your expertise and capabilities as a solution provider. Brand yourself as an expert in your industry. Building business on LinkedIn requires patience and persistence. Take advantage of LinkedIn and other tools available to increase sales opportunities. If you would like to learn how to develop your personal sales strategy and “brand” consider attending our Selling in the Digital Age course. Oh, and by the way, if you would like to follow Sales Concepts on LinkedIn you may do it here: Sales Concepts on LinkedIn