The #1 way for individual sales people to be found by prospects is to have a targeted LinkedIn Profile.
If you are selling in the business to business (B2B) environment and want to be able to maximize your chances of being found by buyers of your products/services, there is no better way to stand out from the competition than by maximizing the content of your LinkedIn Profile. Your company hopefully has many other platforms that are generating leads for the sales team. This post is to help you generate leads that come directly to you.
In a recent study of over 5,000 businesses, HubSpot found that traffic from LinkedIn generated the highest visitor-to-lead conversion rate. Here are the results from their survey in graphic form:
Attendees at presentations and webinars have been sharing frustration with the lack of leads and opportunities that are generated by the marketing efforts of their company. Visibility into the number of leads and their quality is next to nothing for most sales people. Lead generation is being driven from the top down and you can only hope that some of those generated will be directed your way. Are you happy with leads you are receiving from your company?
Buyers of your products/services are clearly demonstrating their preference for “self-service”, at least in the early to mid-stage of the sales process. They are doing their own research online and when they are ready for contact, they will initiate it. The most effective way for you as an individual sales person to get on the radar for your prospects is via your LinkedIn Profile. It is a rare sales person who has the time and training to be writing a blog, maintain meaningful activity on social platforms or even to write their own newsletter. Just not enough time in the day. The most effective use of your time and effort is on your LinkedIn Profile.
Google and the other search engines love LinkedIn. For many professionals the only information about them that will show up in a search is via LinkedIn. Google yourself. Google some of your colleagues. Google some of your competitors and you will find that most if the time it will be something from LinkedIn.
If you take the time to build out your LinkedIn Profile with a specific focus on being found by buyers that want/need to buy what you are selling, you will achieve the results you are expecting. The key advantage of spending your limited time on building out your LinkedIn Profile is that it can all be specifically focused on you. By leveraging the multitude of tools ideally suited for this within LinkedIn, you are able to direct the responses, the interaction and the relationships directly to you. The result is that those with an interest in buying your products/services will be directed to you, not a remote email address or call center.
I know that this will not set well with some centralized marketing folks. I know they want everything coming to a central place to measure, nurture and distribute as they see fit. But in the field, sales reps are starving for the opportunity to serve those that have an interest.
Here are 5 key areas to get started with on your LinkedIn Profile:
- Headline: appears right under your name and is called HEADLINE, not Title. Use key words to describe who you are and what you offer. Having “Sales Executive” will not place you at the top of anyone’s search.
- Summary: tell your prospects why you are so valuable to them in paragraph form. Be succinct, and focus on why a prospective customer will be happy that they have found you.
- Specialties: provide key words and phrases that you know your prospects are using when looking for answers. Use a format of word, word, phrase, word, which the search engines and LinkedIn itself will eat up.
- Websites: you are given three slots here so use all three. Never use the pre-populated choices like “Company Website”, etc. but rather select “Other” and label the location with something meaningful to your prospect.
- Slideshare: Activate this plugin from the “More” menu option and then use it to embed your most effective, current slide presentation. It should have no more than eight to ten slides and remember to add a final slide that displays a call to action and how to contact you directly. Include name, phone number, email address, and any other ways that prospects can follow-up with you if interested.
These are only the first steps, but these alone will go along way to help you generate your own leads on a regular basis. You can generate your own leads and still support the efforts of your marketing team and their efforts. You need to be visible to your prospects. Invest some time to learn how to generate your own leads and you will be rewarded with sales opportunities that you could have not anticipated.
If you haven’t already, visit my LinkedIn Profile and see how I am using these tools and techniques to gain new customers every week.
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