It is interesting to note how many sales people don’t’ get it…the power of leveraging your raving fans to people who could be a prospect for your services.
Since this professional networking service excelled past the 100-million-user mark in March, it has proved to be the predominant positioning tool for easier referrals and to get more business.
So why is it that many entrepreneurs don’t understand the power of this online business to business platform? Too often, consulting clients tell me that they think of LinkedIn as simply a “yellow pages” rather than the power house it really is!
What you may not know is that this potent service has taken the power of “implied endorsement” to a new level. When used correctly this platform can help us connect to new prospects and influencers for mutual benefit.
Researchers asked approximately 500 LinkedIn users that very question and came up with a variety of answers and observations. Here are some of the facts you might find very helpful:
- Most users underestimate how often their profile is viewed by prospective clients or customers BEFORE they make a connection.
- There is a huge boost in your own credibility when you get real written endorsements from other LinkedIn members with whom you have done business with previously. Anyone looking for a service provider in your industry is more likely to be impressed and confident to contact you and ultimately hire you for services based on those recommendations. Make it a regular goal to GIVE endorsements to credible contacts in your database and to ASK for endorsements from key influencers. The power of their endorsement will get you more connections and ultimately can get you hired for your services.
- LinkedIn is an excellent method to stay in touch with the individuals, or companies that are in your network. The platform provides a simple and powerful way to easily connect with companies you have done business with in the past or a prospective client you have not connection. Even a simple “it’s been awhile – great to see you on LinkedIn” message can be the spark to exchange business.
- Many users fail to update their profile with new and relevant content on a regular basis to create a position of becoming a resource. This can be done by linking to blog posts or video blogs (vlogs) that get posted on their LinkedIn profile. When done with regularity, posting short, relevant, value added information works to position you as the “celebrity authority” resource in your particular industry or expertise
- The biggest oversight for many users is their lack of participation in several of LinkedIn’s engagement options: Participation in discussions, providing appropriate commentary to other posts, initiating or responding to various polls, and more provide a higher visibility and thus positioning. By doing so, an individual begins to benefit to and for others of common interest and is a strategy to help you become a valued resource.
- LinkedIn is a terrific research tool, yet many members post their profiles and forget about it. By doing some due diligence when you are prospecting for an industry and company, or seeking a referral, or looking for a possible strategic alliance. Anyone that invests the time and energy can be better prepared when they are looking to make a connection with prospects, customers, past clients and prospective clients.
- Be careful who you “hook up” with. Just because you get an invitation, doesn’t mean you should just connect. Newbies tend to just “link up” with anyone, which can be a costly mistake! Your database is your currency, and your goal is to leverage your database with a contact that can mutually support your business services through their connections. Sometimes the contact is looking to get into your database knowing your SOI is a rich resource to help them sell something other than their primary services. Perhaps their second job is selling MLM products, which may not serve you, but serve them very well! To avoid leveraging your contacts to just anyone, do some checking. Even if you don’t know them, begin by checking out who they are first, then to whom they are “connected” to. This will provide relevance to who they are. Then check out who has been viewing their profiles, and check their personal website if it is available. This will help you best determine if they are a “fit” for your business connection objectives.