Did you know that the speed of acquiring new clients is 57 percent faster for those who leverage social selling? As an MSP looking to fill your sales pipeline, you should be leveraging the power of social selling, but that’s only the starting point. To truly be effective, you need to know how to boost your influence where it matters most: LinkedIn.
Recently, Bob Kocis, Continuum’s Chief Revenue Officer, and I held a webinar that focused on helping MSPs develop a stronger understanding of social selling best practices and provided insight into four key functional aspects of LinkedIn that businesses can use to generate new leads and improve their sales and marketing efforts. In this post, I’ll provide a brief recap of how MSPs can adopt social selling and harness the power of LinkedIn to drive better outcomes.
The Social Selling Opportunity
“Social selling is the art of using social networks to find, connect with, understand, and nurture sales prospects. It’s the modern way to develop meaningful relationships with potential customers that keep you— and your brand—front of mind. This makes you the natural first point of contact when a prospect is ready to buy.” – Hootsuite
Social selling allows you to leverage social networks to nurture prospects and customers, helping develop meaningful relationships in an age where it’s difficult to meet face-to-face with every one of your connections. There’s a real opportunity with social selling, and a few things you should keep in mind when looking to build out your lead database.
First, decision makers use social media to gain industry insights and inform purchase decisions. You need to build a great LinkedIn profile that also includes references and relevant content. Focus on quality, not quantity.
Second, having a social presence is not enough—you need to actively engage with your prospects and mine useful data. Be a thought leader and post original content, but don’t over-engage to the point where it’s annoying or no longer relevant. Position yourself as someone who is educated on the market you’re servicing, and share content that will help your connections make good and informed decisions.
Finally, social selling helps you acquire more clients and up-sell, cross-sell and retain your existing clients. This can change the game because you can start gathering more prospects and using your LinkedIn network in a much better, broader way.
LinkedIn is the largest business-to-business (B2B) social network on the planet—it has over 546 million users. It’s a huge, vast network that provides the opportunity for you to engage with your prospects, your existing customers and your peers.
Essentially, LinkedIn is where business is getting done. According to LinkedIn, 80 percent of B2B leads are being driven through their platform—whether it’s a conversation starter, closing a sale or someone just looking for more information. So, how can you best guide these leads to your MSP business?
How to Harness the Power of LinkedIn
Optimize Your Profile
LinkedIn offers preferential treatment to those who have All-Star profiles, the highest-ranking profile status. When your profile is complete and you have all your essential information filled out, it enables you to get found easier on search, make a great impression, and you’ll be more likely to engage in a conversation. To get you up to that All-Star status, here is what you will need to focus on.
- Get A Professional Headshot – It’s worth having a nice headshot because it gives a sense of professionalism to both you and your business. And, those who have a quality headshot receive 14 times more profile views and 36 times more messages.
- Show Your Skills – There’s a specific section of LinkedIn where you can bullet out your hard and soft skills, show off your expertise, and express where you excel and where you can provide value. When filling this out, think about what your prospects value in a business partner. For example, instead of simply saying you’re a great communicator, state how you can help people align their business goals with their technology goals.
Achieve All-Star Status – To amp up your profile and achieve that All-Star status, your profile will need the following: 5+ skills, education, current position(s), industry, location, summary, and a headshot and banner image.
Before you start pushing out content or getting further involved with social selling, I’d suggest taking the time to optimize your profile first. This will help you ensure you’re making a good impression and setting yourself apart from your competitors.
If you’re ready to discover more social selling best practices, watch our on-demand webinar, Social Selling: Four Ways to Harness the Power of LinkedIn. In the full recording, you will learn how to further optimize your profile, generate new leads, fully prepare for a meeting and share content that converts.
By Courtney Swift
By Scott Wittstock