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Is Your Sales Team Using the Right “Bait” and “Sonar” to Find Customers?

July 15, 2016

 

With the advent of the Internet, the market place has become challenging for suppliers. Buyer research indicates that customers are using the internet to self-assess their needs, conduct their own research and make decisions before they communicate with your company.

 

According to SiriusDecisions (a global B2B research and advisory company), 67% of the buyer’s identification of potential suppliers is now done digitally. When business was simpler, your customers had fewer resources from which to make a decision.  These days, they are going to digital fishing holes (LinkedIn, blogs, online publications and groups, various social media channels, etc.) to find out about your company. Is your sales organization fishing where the fish are, or are they still using the same techniques to find your customers as they always have? To assist you in reaching those potential clients who are using these new online resources to gather information on companies, here are some ready-made success tips to improve your online presence in LinkedIn.

 

Before we review these tips, another troubling statistic (SiriusDecisions) reports that 49% (yes, nearly half) of the current LinkedIn profiles are incomplete. Wow! Given that nearly 70% of buyers use the Internet to determine whether they even reach out to a company, an incomplete personal and company profile may the weakest link and spoil a great marketing opportunity for you and your company!

Besides working on building up profile content, here are 10 very easy ways to enhance your LinkedIn profile:

  1. Publications: If you have never written a blog or a “white paper”, draft one and upload it to your profile. Generally, blogs should be limited to 1,000-1,500 words. Recent evidence is that blogs or updates of this length have a greater chance of being read than those with far fewer and greater words. Be crisp, succinct and to the point.  A blog should not be a marketing tool, but instead should contain content that is useful and valuable to the reader.   Be sure to add a note that asks the reader to like the blog if he or she found the blog worthy of their time.  Authoring blogs is the easiest way to establish your credibility and to build an audience of potential customers.

  2. Event participation: When at a business conference, presentation, or trade show, be sure that pictures are taken of you and other participants. If possible, try to have the picture taken in front of the signs or banners used for the event. When you are back at the office, post these pictures with an update to show others where you were and how the event was a positive experience. 

  3. Following: You are known by the company that you keep. So, follow industry influencers and people who are key opinion leaders and trend setters on LinkedIn and other places as appropriate. You can generally find the “follow” link around the article or update that person has published.

  4. Create a custom URL: Many of you might not be aware that each LinkedIn profile has a contact URL that provides you with a link to your profile.  However, this URL contains LinkedIn-assigned numbers that make it appear lengthy and awkward.  An example is https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-doe-a8ba3510. However, you can easily edit this URL and simplify it so that it appears neater and simpler on your profile, your business cards, your company letterhead, etc.  To modify your profile URL, edit your profile and click the gear icon next to the URL under your picture.

  5. Contact Information: Buried in your “Edit Contact Info” section of your profile is space for your e-mail address, telephone numbers and company or personal website URL’s. By default, this information is not made visible on your profile unless you choose to make it visible by adding the information.  Be sure to make this information visible so that all viewers, including those not in your connection list, can contact you by email and phone, and can view your website.   

  6. Media: Be sure to add any company videos, infographics, or presentations to your Summary and Job Experience sections. Pictures help to tell the story!

  7. Honors and Awards: Be sure to detail (without bragging) any of your businesses accomplishments, certificates and awards you have earned. 

  8. Recommendations and Endorsements: Ask your colleagues and peers to share their positive interactions with you.  Recommendations and endorsements demonstrate that you are a capable and add value to a working relationship.  Recommendations and endorsements can be re-ordered if needed.  This is especially helpful if your job or career has changed.

  9. Groups: You can join up to 200 groups in LinkedIn.  Doing so will enable other group members to reach you directly via e-mail.  Pick 5 groups to follow closely and participate with value added (versus trying to sell something) conversation. Try to be an expert in at least one of these groups. Participate in groups where the fish (prospective customers) are, and NOT where your peers are hanging out!

  10. Volunteer Experience and Social Causes: NO matter what level you are at in a charitable group or organization devoted to a social cause, be sure to note your participation and membership in these organizations. It could prove to be a great conversation starter with your readers who are also members or with readers who share those interests.

SourceOne Innovations, Inc. is a business development and executive coaching firm. We proudly work with small and diverse (Veteran-minority-LGBT-and women owned businesses) to increase sales, productivity, teamwork and leadership. After having spent over 40 years in Procurement (largely pharmaceutical and biotech) and living the selling/buying relationship, I have developed a keen sense for what it takes to get a “yes!” from the decision makers.  This insiders experience and current
learning's have been packaged into a scalable 90- minute program titled “An Insider’s Tips for Getting a “yes!” from the Decision Makers”. Each attendee will learn the ingredients for success, many of which can be employed the day after the program.

 

Please visit our website at www.Bill-Hooker.com  to learn more about SourceOne, and register for a complimentary coaching session with a certified ICF Executive Coach.

 

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