Part 3: Proposals Before Nuptials

We all know the sequence: Dating, proposing, wedding. The process of selling is not terribly different…with the likely exception of the new business deal fine print not reading: Till death do us part.

Use LinkedIn for ongoing touch points to ENGAGE your prospective clients while you are working towards closing the deal and beyond.

The selling process has many stages of interaction. From initial conversations, scoping out the work, signing the contract, to delivery of services, there are a myriad of ways we communicate throughout the process: phone, email, in-person meetings, webcast, and LinkedIn.

We are on to “PART 3: Engage with LinkedIn Insights,” of my four-part series on using LinkedIn’s Social Selling Index score to benchmark your progress on LinkedIn and improve your engagement to yield more conversations for your business.

In case you missed them or need to reference back:

·      PART 1: It’s More Than You Think (includes a “10-Day Profile Facelift")

·      PART 2: The Perks of Stalking (includes sophisticated Boolean searching tips)

Before reading further, it is time to re-calculate your SSI score. Remember LinkedIn is updating this weekly.

STOP. CLICK HERE. CALCULATE YOUR NEW SSI SCORE (and all four quadrants).

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Engage with insights: 25 points

·      Shares, likes, comments, and re-shares

·      Messages sent and response rate

·      Groups joined and engagement within Groups

I. Are you providing value to your network?

Part of the data that LinkedIn pulls for your “Engage with insights” SSI quadrant relates to the content you are sharing and your activity around your network’s content (i.e. likes, comments, and re-sharing).

While the majority of my published articles are on the topic of LinkedIn, I am cognizant not to only post content about LinkedIn. Why? Because not everyone in my network cares about LinkedIn as much as I care about it. And that’s okay! The professionals in my network are business owners, salespeople, recruiters, and top executives who manage teams. I focus on finding content that would be of interest to them: leadership, management, sourcing talent, prospecting, process improvement, brand awareness, etc.

Strengthen your connections by sharing relevant articles with them that show you are vested in their success. You will become a trusted source and advisor to them when you take this intentional approach.

Remember that an important aspect to this is engaging with your network’s activity too. Did you read a great article? Share it with your entire network. Like it. Comment on it and ask a question, or thank the author for an insightful post.

All of these, seemingly small, touches can have great impact. Your name and face will pop up on your network’s home page newsfeed when you take these actions; this keeps you top of mind.

BONUS: Not sure how active you are on LinkedIn? Check your recent activity by following these simple steps below:

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II. Are you privately reaching out to people on LinkedIn?

Frustrations: Do your sent emails get lost in the digital black hole of someone’s inbox? Do you have unlimited access to someone’s voicemail?

Potential Solution: Is your prospect on LinkedIn? Are you connected with him/her? Do you have a great article you want to send, but fear it will get lost in their email inbox? Try a different avenue: Send the article via a private LinkedIn direct message.

Sent LinkedIn messages and recipients responding to you are another data point taken into consideration on your 25 points of Engage with Insights.

Here is more food for thought, according to LinkedIn:

·      64% of B2B buyers report they appreciate hearing from a salesperson who provides knowledge or insight about their business.

·      LinkedIn messages have an 85% open rate of basic email. Why? They stand out in your recipient’s email inbox and they live in two inboxes: email and LinkedIn.

 

III. Are you joining and participating in Groups?

LinkedIn revamped their Groups last year. Here 9 Updates on LinkedIn Groups and you can now be a member of up to 100 Groups.

Here are four buckets to focus on when considering Groups to join:

·      Prospects & clients… Be visible

·      Industry… Learn from your peers

·      Alumni… Instantly something in common

·      Local… Network with your professional neighbors

Being a member of Groups is only part of this equation. Be an active participant in your Groups by sharing educational and insightful articles, like and comment on other member’s discussions, and even direct message other Group members. According to LinkedIn:

"You are 70% more likely to get an appointment or an unexpected sale if you are a member in LinkedIn Groups.”

Next Steps & Accountability

Engaging with insights on LinkedIn, as it relates to your Social Selling Index score, will be impacted by your interaction with content and activity via (1) shares, likes, comments and re-shares, the (2) direct messages you send to people along with response rate, and finally (3) the number of Groups you join and your engagement within those Groups.

Don't go dark once you have on-boarded your new clients. Stay in front of them online and here is why:

*Image ref: "Rethink the B2B Buyer's Journey" by LinkedIn

*Image ref: "Rethink the B2B Buyer's Journey" by LinkedIn

Be visible. Be active. The small touches add up and they help keep you top-of-mind with the people who matter to you the most.

What is your next step? Capture your overall SSI score and four quadrant scores!

Need accountability? Comment below with your SSI score and let’s track it as you make progress.