How to Level Up Your Social Selling Game on LinkedInOct 11, 2022
You want to be the best salesperson you can be, and I want to help you. After all, what are you doing if you’re not striving to improve? While there are all sorts of ways to revamp your sales technique, honing your social selling game is one of my top recommendations to create and improve traction. Even if you don’t consider yourself a salesperson, these social selling techniques can also help you re-energize your recruiting efforts, spread awareness, or ignite engagement around an important company initiative.
What Is Social Selling?
Before we level up, let’s level-set. What is social selling anyway? Also known as digital selling, social selling activates social media channels to create and build strong relationships with prospects. Instead of buying lead lists and cold-calling, today’s sales teams are connecting and conversing with possible buyers on social media.
The advantages of social selling over traditional sales tactics are obvious. Social selling allows you to have more relevant and timely conversations with prospects at a higher volume due to the reach you can achieve compared to traditional sales techniques. (Think: one phone call to one person versus one message to thousands of people). Social selling also allows you to build rapport more quickly by connecting with a prospect who already trusts you and wants to hear from you will revolutionize your success.
Already using social selling? Maybe it’s time to get real about how you’re doing. Enter the Social Selling Index (SSI).
Your Social Selling Index
Social selling skills can be difficult to quantify, so LinkedIn created a proprietary Social Selling Index (SSI). The SSI generates a personalized score from 0 to 100 that provides a measuring stick for your social selling success. The score is the sum of four separate sub-scores in each of the following categories: 1) Establish your professional brand, 2) Find the right people, 3) Engage with insights, and 4) Build relationships.
To see your score, login to your LinkedIn account and follow this link. The visual dashboard will provide insights on how you stack up to your peers in your network and in your industry. Plus, it will show you a breakdown of your score by each element of social selling. (It’s natural to be stronger in one area of social selling than another!)
While LinkedIn’s SSI is just a guideline, it does provide a helpful starting point to improve your mastery of social selling. My recommendation is to start by focusing on addressing the lowest area of your SSI. If you need to hone your professional brand, check out this article from the LinkedInsider archives to get started. Or, if you could use a little help finding the right people, check out this article I wrote on the perks of “stalking." If you need a boost engaging with LinkedIn insights, start here. Finally, if your weakest SSI segment is building relationships, get the scoop on intentional connections in this LinkedInsider article.
Social Selling + Sales Navigator
If you’re already happy with your SSI score but want to see even better sales results OR if you want to supercharge your improvement, it’s time to turn your attention to Sales Navigator. Social selling and LinkedIn’s paid Sales Navigator subscription go hand-in-hand. Sales Navigator allows you to do several things that are essential to social selling, including:
- Being relevant,
- Bringing value,
- Staying top-of-mind, and
- Gleaning real-time insights.
Sales Navigator is a tremendously powerful tool in that it alerts you of changes and updates to your prospects’ world that can fuel your social selling efforts. Lead Alerts, Account Alerts, and Spotlights all clue you in to important events in your prospects’ worlds, such as job changes, company updates, news events, and LinkedIn activity.
Of course, the alerts Sales Navigator provides are only as good as what you do with them. So, next time you see an alert that a lead is starting a new position, don’t just observe the update; take action! Use that information to propel the sales cycle or strengthen the business relationship. While you’re at it, focus not just on the person making a sales decision, but also on the people influencing a sales decision. Data from a recent Gartner report suggests that as many as six to 10 people are involved in a B2B buying decision. Sales Navigator can help you nurture them all.
When you embrace social selling and commit to doing it well, you can shorten your sales cycle by connecting with all the people involved in making a decision (rather than just one) and improve the chance of hearing a “yes,” because you’ve already established a sense of trust.
Remember, even though LinkedIn and Sales Navigator are critical to a well-rounded social selling approach, they’re not the only way. If your prospects aren’t on LinkedIn, don’t let that stop you from finding them and building a connection via Instagram, Tik Tok, Facebook, or some other platform. LinkedIn should enhance, rather than encompass, your social selling approach.
If you found these social selling tips to be helpful, there’s more where that came from! My efficient 20-minute training, Key Pillars to Using LinkedIn the Right Way, packs in tons of actionable tips to improve your ROI on LinkedIn. When you sign up, you’ll walk away with a clear understanding of what it takes to access your target market on LinkedIn and receive on-demand access to the training, so you can reference it again any time you need a refresher.