LinkedIn has really come alive for sales, marketing and business development these last few years.
In my own business we provide strategy, consultancy and training for businesses with ambitious growth plans and LinkedIn is dominating our conversations with clients.
Why? Because it works.
There are some that tell me “it’s never worked for us” but on closer inspection of their practice, I can see why they have arrived at that thought.
So I have put down a few thoughts on why LinkedIn might not work for you…
Your profile sucks
If you are looking to win business, people don’t care about what letters go after your name, they don’t care about your degree or schooling.
People who visit your profile want to know if you seem like a decent human being, do you seem credible and relatable.
An incomplete profile; no profile header, just a job title in your headline and no company page doesn’t inspire confidence.
The big one which is a no-no… Never use your company logo as a profile picture. A phone pic of yourself will do, you don’t need a photoshoot. Again, no profile picture doesn’t inspire trust.
Your not a human being!
One of the big issues I have with our digital age is that social media has allowed us to forget our humanity at times.
You see this all the time people being rude and trolling people over a difference of opinions. Of course this also means we can express ourselves more freely but shouldn’t be at the expense of becoming assholes.
How does this play out on LinkedIn? We think hard sell is acceptable, we think sending war and peace INmails work, we think rapport doesn’t matter.
People buy from people… even on LinkedIn. Sales is like dating. Sure if you hunt you can get a one night stand but long term relationships take time.
The bigger the sale value the more rapport you need to build.
Please… if you connect with someone don’t try and close them before they even remember your name.
You think it is NOT Facebook
I get so annoyed at these comments. LinkedIn is a professional social network.
If people want to post different content than what you think is right… get over yourself!
If I were to post cat videos everyday, and you don’t like it, you can remove the connection or block me. Complaining on someone’s comments only tells your own network you are a bit of an ass. If someone wants to be a funny guy all the time… let them, they serve a purpose cheering up people in dead end jobs who are avoiding doing any work by pretending to prospect on LinkedIn.
Harking back to the point before… I have never been in a business meeting where there has never been humour, funny stories or idle chit chat. It’s part of the process.
LinkedIn is no different. Humans find things interesting whether it is work related or not. That doesn’t mean abandon professionalism, however it is sensible to keep some humanity.
I use the term, which is great for all aspects of life… informal but never familiar.
We forget this space is professional people not robots. So we do need a bit of a laugh, we do need inspiration and we do need insight and knowledge.
It is a balance.
If you are sharing knowledge and insight… great but if you don’t show your humanity and relatability you may lose out to someone less experienced than you because the customer was more at ease with them.
I have seen a cat video on LinkedIn attract CEO’s of FTSE250 companies and great insight pieces packed with knowledge get seen by no one. You need to balance.
You are creating doubt in your buyers.
For the most part we are good at smelling a rat. Sometimes though our instincts can’t put it to words. You see this on Facebook a lot “No 1….”. Please only put claims you know are true.
I’ve said it before, certain claims can only be made if you can evidence them. “Expert thought leaders” and the like are usually titles said about you, not what you call yourself.
Look at the 30-day money back guarantee. These are dished out frequently by so-called gurus on their products, why? To tip people over into a sale who has doubts.
A fundamental of any marketing and sales process you have to build trust. Trust is not given by statements it is given through interaction, experience and evidence.
You can’t say anything to show your expert status, you have to show it.
You shouldn’t claim things without having obvious ways to back it up. Testimonials and recommendations back up expertise but you need a ton of them to evidence you as an expert.
You’re fishing in a crap pond
Most people have 400-1000 connections most of them being former colleagues and clients, so your network comprises of people that probably know you quite well.
LinkedIn has rules…. don’t connect with people you don’t know but also sells packages, like sales navigator, to help you find people you don’t know who might be ideal customers.
So do you connect with people you don’t know and risk LinkedIn jail or stay with your small network?
It’s both. Get to know people on LinkedIn who you don’t already know and get people to notice (and know) you… then connect.
Of course if you go nuts you may get jailed by LinkedIn which you do not want. LinkedIn jail is a lonely place.
Finally….. you’re not consistent.
The salesman who prospects once a month gets fired. If you want to do business daily… prospect daily. It’s the same offline as online.
Prospecting can take many forms. Not just a sales pitch. Most people have connections who are people you may vaguely know, with LinkedIn you should be turning your connections into contacts and clients.
If you want to play at it, don’t be consistent. If you want it to pay, have a plan.
There are proven ways to make LinkedIn work for business development. If you’d like to know more why not book onto one of our courses.