12 ways to find sales from the LinkedIn “iceberg”
Many only start to look when the “little black book” of people they know is emptied, run out and a client free zone and then they think it’s time for LinkedIn.
One of the starting points when I talk to sales leaders in a business is what do we do on LinkedIn to get more clients.
When you explore this more the reality is that they have maximised the potential (they think) of all of their existing “list”, (which often translates as current and past clients), and are now looking for the next one. They have often tried connecting to clients to tell them about themselves, messaging clients directly with InMail, promoting (spamming) into groups about them and how fabulous they are and yet it hasn’t worked (shocker eh?).
The reality is that they have all they need to get the next client, the client for tomorrow, the next month and the next year already there in front of them, or in reality below them they just didn’t realise.
LinkedIn is just like an iceberg and often you don’t realise you’re only stood on the tip! You have only scratched the surface. Some years ago LinkedIn did some research to discover that most only used around 5% of the functionality, but I reckon it has got better, maybe 10% now.
It’s the 90% below the water which helps you to make millions in new sales using LinkedIn but don’t just take my word for it, look at the recommendations we have from clients.
As an indication of some of the places you can find clients:-
- Your own network – Yes that’s right, all the people you know (you wouldn’t connect to people you don’t know would you?). You haven’t become wallpaper on LinkedIn? All those people that you know, like and trust and they in turn know, like and trust you. That goodwill that people have for you as someone that they know, perhaps reminding them of you, your proposition, it’s value to them (not you!) and how you help will unlock your next sale. I know how old fashioned – talking to people.
- Referrals – LinkedIn is a huge referral engine if you use it properly. Delivering millions of referrals to people each year. The best introduction in the world is a client to a person they know, your next potential client. All your connections know nice people, perhaps you can get introduced? Just talk to your network, get LinkedIn to send you referral lists and make the platform work for you.
- Connection requests – You know all those people that send you invites, most of which you don’t know, well you could always try talking to them, I know how quaint and old fashioned. You would be amazed what opportunities unfold when you actually talk to some, revolutionary isn’t it? Just talk to them.
- Company followers – You know all those hundreds or thousands of people that follow your organisation on LinkedIn – ever wondered why they might do that? Ever thought about talking to them? Getting introduced via your network, leveraging an InMail message or reaching out through a group? You know talk to people, find out why, what tempted them to do it, any questions they had and more. All those people virtually “stood” there watching the company and you do …. Nothing with them (just talk to them!)
- People that interact with you on LinkedIn – all those people that comment, like or share your content are helping you on LinkedIn, have you ever thought to say thank you or talk to them too? Who knows what you might discover.
- Groups – Groups can be a lot of noise, a lot of time and often they lack real discussions as people shout a lot, LinkedIn is not social media you know? If you can find a group with real discussions (as opposed to read my blog about me, my proposition or how fabulous I am), one where people share insight, half a story about how to progress and then you can start to engage and interact with the people in the group, to raise your profile as “someone that knows”, an expert or a go to guy / girl. You can then talk to people privately within the group and start having 121 interactions and really talk to people – I know that talking thing again.
- Status messages – I bet if I was to meet you out at a networking event or mixer and asked you what you were up to you would quickly say I’m working with this industry or delivering this outcome, but on LinkedIn most suddenly turn mute, silent, no communication, no shared value and hence no enquiries. Talk to people, share a little positivity and good news like you would in a room of people, not shout buy my stuff as that equals a guaranteed fail.
- Company status messages – Company profiles are fabulous, one of my very favourite bits of functionality. I could rave about these for ages but let’s just say if you want to message all the people in a certain demographic be it industry, location, level, role, function or whatever you can as long as there are over 100 of them. Imagine being able to present a company profile in a local language only, wherever they looked from. Image a version that looked like it only addressed that demographic. You can do that on LinkedIn! Not sure how just message me.
- Content marketing – It’s the current “big thing”, but the reality is (drum roll please) it is just … talking to people. Share a little of your insight and expertise, share some content in the form of words, pictures, YouTube (it plays inside LinkedIn you know?), presentations, PDFs …. In fact over 50 types of media. Imagine the engagement, the conversation you might start, the virality of people sharing, commenting, liking your “stuff” and then the conversations that follow and the orders you might get when … you talk to people.
- People that look at you – There is a whole blog about this last week which you can find here . If someone has looked at you try engaging with them via your own network, using an InMail message if you have a premium account or getting in touch via a group and talk to them. Say thanks for looking and more.
- New roles – LinkedIn will happily tell you about every connection that at level one (those that you have invited or accepted invites from) that gets a new role. Imagine that real time news! You know when you meet people face to face (often weeks or months later) and they tell you they have a new role and you say well done, well why not do it the same day on LinkedIn. Imagine the value they put in your relationship and timeliness? Now imagine that you fix a reminder in LinkedIn’s CRM (did you know LinkedIn has a light CRM? to call them in a few weeks and ask how the new role is going and would a catch up call or coffee be helpful? Imagine how nice a catch up with them would be now reality has bitten. They already know you and your value!
- Endorsements, birthdays, awards, photographs and more – All those interactions on LinkedIn give you the perfect excuse to talk to people you might have not spoken to in a while. Use it as an excuse to say thanks, hi, how you doing and more. You know … talk to people.
As you might have spotted there’s some common themes here – talking to people, imagining you are there with them – and that’s without talking about profiles (want to check what yours is like?) or social proof .
By being you (like you would be face to face) and making LinkedIn work you will never need to worry about the next client, the next introduction or the next sale. They are all there, just below your feet, under the surface of LinkedIn and to get there you don’t need oxygen or a premium upgrade you just need to take a step to learn how.
If you don’t know how then perhaps we should talk? You know that quaint old fashioned communication that we used to do a lot of!