Business owners and their sales teams often complain about business-to-business selling: too many people are involved in the buying decision; the buying cycle stretching out longer and longer; profit margins being shaved off at the last minute. Some even blame the Internet for complicating their life.
Turn that idea upside down and start using the Internet—specifically LinkedIn—to create a powerful business tool to close more high profit sales.
LinkedIn can grow your sales, enhance your brand and increase trust in your company. I am not suggesting you dump all other social media options. I am suggesting you open your mind to the right social media, especially LinkedIn, to grow your business.
LinkedIn can engage your employees in the effort to grow your profitability. If you haven’t built a LinkedIn presence, you’re putting your company at a competitive disadvantage. It’s never too late to begin. Your company can still benefit from adopting LinkedIn.
Why LinkedIn Works in Sales
If you sell business to business, you know success depends on building trust in your company and its products. It’s a daunting task.
A typical B2B buying cycle takes almost six months. That’s a good length of time to get your message deeply planted in the minds of your target audience. In addition, the size of the group involved in the purchase decision has typically grown from four to six or more people. That means you have more people to convince. A perfect way to let your potential customers experience the real flavor of your company is to create a value-based message campaign and get all your company’s messaging beating the same drum. LinkedIn can complete that mission.
The beauty of LinkedIn is it’s available to the buyer’s team 24/7. And the “selling” is done in an honest, transparent, consistent way—not as a sales pitch. From the CEO sharing content that reflects the company vision and values and competencies, down to every line worker sharing similar content, a consistent message can be spread by all employees. As a result, buyers find valid reasons to buy, rather than reacting negatively to being sold.
By providing the right content through a vehicle like LinkedIn, you can make your case over time. Since buying cycles are long and decisions are usually made by a group of workers all with different demands, you should vary LinkedIn content to convince a variety of decision makers, each with a different motive to buy. With the right set of messages, you can craft the perfect set of reasons why your company is the right solution for each buyer in the mix.
Steps to LinkedIn Success
- Create a platform for explaining why your company exists, instead of just hyping your products. A compelling Company Page on LinkedIn does just that. The Page can provide a more personal insight than your company website usually does. When your employees at every level of your organization are on LinkedIn with a complementary personal profile, they increase the transparency and authenticity of your organization, making your company seem more human. The Company Page sets the backbone for how each employee’s profile page can follow suit.
- Make sure all your customer-facing employees have a winning profile page with a professional photo, strong “selling” headline copy that supports your brand and company mission, and an about section that convinces potential buyers this person wants to be part of the solution the company can provide.
- Create quality posts on your LinkedIn Company Page and link to content on your website so your viewers will see it and tag others, so they also share. Now your audience advocates for your company, expanding your outreach and influence.
- Use LinkedIn to recruit the right employees who will make a significant contribution. A company that has a great LinkedIn profile which is reflected across the organization will attract a higher caliber of applicants.
Add up enough of these “on brand” elements and your target customer can discover for themselves why they should be doing business with you, rather than buying a solution from your competitor.
You can limit social media to LinkedIn or replicate what you share over other channels. However, LinkedIn done right, may be the only channel you need to invest in. LinkedIn is perfect for telling success stories about how your products solved another company’s business problems. You can showcase your people. If you want to show depth up and down the ladder, have every employee create a winning, “on-brand” profile.
Try the LinkedIn methods I mention here. If you get stuck, call us. We will get you unstuck quickly.