My colleague Brandon Lee has a podcast called "social your sales", he is also running a number of Linkedin lives and in this one he interviewed Dave Lewark of Xactly Corp.

In this interview, Dave says 

"a number of salespeople have reached out to me and said "I need to do this Linkedin thing and I need to do it now, can you help?""

Here at DLA Ignite we see it a lot, in fact a number of the team are running training and coaching courses for single sales people rather than teams and companies.

But let's quickly go over the basics

One of the things you have to understand is that you being told a lie.

This lie that you have to be the same as everybody else and this lie that your prospects cannot wait for you to hand over one of your brochures.  Once you get over this, you can start to think about this "LinkedIn thing".

When I first moved into sales, I asked a sales mentor what I needed to do and he said "you need to be different from everybody else".

This is true as much as it was then as it is today.

If I told you there are 8,552,825 people on Linkedin with the title of "Sales Director" you can see that these people don't understand the first principles of sales.  Be different. 

If you are one of the 8,552,825 then you are just another salesperson and guess what? Your prospects will see you as just another salesperson. 

What do you need to do to do this Linkedin thing?

1. Buyer centric profile - You need to write your Linkedin profile, not as a CV, but in a way that your buyers will be interested in.  Don't forget, we don't care about you, we care about ourselves and our business issues.

In our social selling and influence course we teach people how to create a buyer centric profile using storytelling techniques. 

2. You need a network - You need to connect with people in the accounts you want to influence.  Now, you know how much it annoys you when you get spam messages from salespeople?  This works the other way around.  If you send spam messages to prospects they won't want to connect to you.

Here is something radical, but will help you big time.

You know how in the past you made cold calls and sent emails as many as you could, you interrupted people and broadcast your messages?  Don't do it on social.

Social media is like a networking session, you have conversations.  Don't pitch.

The other radical thing is that conversations create sales.

The mistake everybody makes on social is they thing that spam = more conversations.  It does not.

Conversations create sales.  Your and your business need more conversations.

3. You need content.

I know marketing is telling you to share brochures and white papers on social, stop it.

Research shows that nobody comes to social to read a brochure anyway they can go to you website for that.

People come to social media for insight, to understand issues, to find things out and to be entertained. 

Think about it, your buyer is going to spend $100,000 they are not going to do that with a brochure that says "buy my product because we are great". It may be a surprise to your marketing team but your competition with a brochure that says "buy my product because we are great"

You need to offer insight, tell me things I don't know.

The other things about buyers is they want to get to know the sellers, so share something about yourself.  Be human.

What do you need to do to ace Linkedin? 

Stop broadcasting and start having conversations and conversations create sales.

Share your experiences, this will build trust, relationships and create more conversations and conversations create sales. 

Better still, roll this across all your sales people

Using social across all your sales team will create new business, new logos and of course more revenue / profit / EBITDA.

It will create you more business visibility.

It will also create more happiness in the business. 

So who's social selling?

In case you missed it, the Bank of America’s Merrill Lynch have banned cold calling and have moved all their people to social selling. This isn't some trendy tech company that might have decided to do this on a whim, this is a very conservative financial services company that has made a decision based on data.

But surely cold calling has a better ROI than social selling?  Not according to Merrill Lynch.

"They will also be encouraged to contact prospects over LinkedIn, which has a higher hit rate than cold calling"

The CRO (chief revenue officer), Richard Eltham of Namos Solutions, of one of clients posted a comment on LinkedIn about social selling. See here.

“Social selling is not an option now it is the way of the world and you either learn and execute it or fear getting left behind” 

Kevin Murray who is the Head of Sales at MacArtney Underwater Technology recently posted about his success with social selling here and wrote an article about the transformation that has happened in sales here.

Here at DLA Ignite we don't do "hints and tips sessions" we don't want you to waste your money. Our social selling and influence methodology will provide your sales team with the stable platform for growth. It is also the only social selling program based on 70:20:10 change management principles which gives your business the mindset change and habit change they need in this digital world. 

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