Connect: Secret LinkedIn Playbook

Gain a larger customer base by using LinkedIn and webinars.

Can you no longer live without social media networks such as Facebook? If so, you’ll be happy to learn how being a social media king or queen can amp up your company’s growth. If not, you probably just didn’t jump on the bandwagon and thus, aren’t really in the know. Well, no worries because we will guide you through the process of both creating and nurturing connections with LinkedIn, which is a social network created specifically for professionals. Don’t worry, posting photos of every meal won’t be needed to gain attention on this platform.

As soon as are in the mainstream of networking, you can take another internet opportunity to your advantage. Webinars, internet-based seminars done live, can immensely increase your company’s success. You can reach out to thousands of people all around the globe without too much preparation and with just one webinar. Showcase your expertise right from the comfort of your own bedroom.

Cold callers are unfamiliar and annoying, which is why we don’t buy from them

Can you recall the last time a person had tried selling you either a vacuum cleaner or a holiday via telephone? Did you end up pulling out your credit card? Nine times out of ten, most likely not. Despite this, cold calling is still a very common sales method. Let’s look into why you decided not to purchase that vacuum cleaner.

Based on evolutionary psychology, we don’t trust strangers because our instinct tells us not to. Behavioral scientist Dr. Samuel Bowles noticed, while studying tribal warfare, that people cooperated more with those from their own tribe rather than strangers.

The cold caller is obviously a stranger to you and therefore by instinct, you have your guard up. Although they’ll be showering the vacuum with great reviews, you most likely won’t trust them because we are more drawn to things that are more familiar. The more friendly something or someone seems, the more likely we are going to view them as appealing and trustworthy. In other words, this is called priming.

This method can also be applied to visuals and phrases. If, for example, you see a phrase a couple of times, you are probably going to begin to believe it. That’s why advertisements tend to be a better method than cold calling. Watching a commercial for a vacuum cleaner several time would most likely be a more effective way to make the product seem more appealing to you.

Cold calling is not only not effective, but it could even potentially push away potential customers. You might be wondering, why? Well, because it’s irritating! This method is based on interruption marketing. This strategy tries distracting you from what you are doing in order to try to bring your attention to the item instead. Google ads, billboards, Facebook posts and TV commercials do exactly that. It’s similar to someone just walking behind you with a megaphone shouting the item’s slogan every couple of minutes. You’d most likely really hate that, just as you would cold calling.

Suppose you are a salesperson who understands that cold calling is not the way to go. Then how do you approach your customer? It’s quite simple actually. Just try to make them feel as if you are a part of their tribe. Keep reading to learn how.

LinkedIn helps you connect with other professionals for maximum success

Bob Sanders is one of the author’s clients and today, is a very experienced individual in the construction industry. He now wants to create his own construction business and really wants to gain the attention of potential customers. How can he make the connections that are necessary?

One method is with the help of LinkedIn, which is the professional alternative to Facebook. LinkedIn is basically a necessity in today’s business world. With over 400,000 users, this platform has approximately 40 percent of users that are checking the site regularly.

Returning back to Bob, he made a profile page that shows his resume, skills, interests and network. He also made a page for his construction consultancy to let users know what it does and so that he can share product information. If he ever needs to hire a new employee, he can just post a vacancy on that page. Hiring from within LinkedIn is becoming more and more common since it’s good for finding specific employees. Additionally, those trying to find work use it to look up prospective employers.

It is crucial to be seen on LinkedIn, but it’s real importance is a B2B (business-to-business) marketing instrument. This platform lets you regularly connect with the right, potential clients in order to make them your customer in the future.

One great way that you can connect is by using LinkedIn groups. There are over two million various groups that are created around similar interests like “Behavioral Economics” or by location such as “Berlin Start-ups”. You can become a part of no more than 50 groups, but within them you can share information, start discussions or contribute to conversations that have already been started. When you are active in those groups, thousands of users will see it. For example, Bob follows a few groups that focus on housing and construction in Indianapolis.

A few measures help to ensure that the right people join your LinkedIn group

Suppose you’ve created your profile, made a few connections with several group members and are now a part of a few groups as well. What is your next step? Make your own group! Bob, for example, made the group “Construction in Indianapolis”.

However, what is a group without any participants? Well, you’ll need to choose a few people. There is no need to send an open invitation to everyone. Only do so to those how are pertinent to your company. When selecting potential members for your group, analyze which ones are the most relevant to your company based on their size, location and industry. For instance, Bob selected housing and construction in Indianapolis and small to medium-sized businesses.

The next thing that you need to do is figure out which people you want to aim at. You can figure that out by making a list of the positions of your current customers including titles such as “building planner” or “property manager”. You can easily find people by job title on LinkedIn and then later you can narrow your search.

For instance, if you look up “property manager” and get 355,642 results from the entire world, narrow down your search by indicating a specific location like Indianapolis in Bob’s case. That would make your results more relevant.

Make sure that when you are communicating with others, refer to them by the right name and if in context, compliment them with, for example, their new job. Afterward, you can continue the conversation with something that they would find interesting such bringing their attention to a news article.

If you connect in this manner, you’ll raise your standing amongst the competition in your prospect’s eyes.

To do LinkedIn right, make your group large, exclusive and filled with good content

Have you ever attempted to advertise either yourself or your company by writing a book or speaking at a conference? These methods may work for some people, but they do often take a lot of time and money. However, fortunately, you can make progress by taking advantage of your LinkedIn group.

With the help of your LinkedIn group, you can place yourself ahead of the competition, but how exactly do you do it? Well, first of all, make sure your group is exclusive. Since you are the owner, you can choose who can be invited in. Make sure that you pay more attention to the key decision-makers and C level managers, also known as CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, etc. To make sure that those who are invited are seen as equals, be sure to list the C-level members of your business as group founders by their name and position.

When you send out invitations, try to send a few thousand. Begin with the prospects that you are already connected with due to your messaging campaign. On top of that, invite members from groups related to yours and take advantage of your homepage or various social media platforms other than LinkedIn to increase the number of members even more.

Your next step should be to think about your content. It is important to look for and share content that is relevant in order to be respected as a leader in the future. However, what is the right content for you and where do you find it? Just keep an eye out for anything that is relevant to your prospect’s company such as industry trends and statistics, government regulations and news about the industry.

It’s not as difficult as you may think, though. There is no need to search the deepest and darkest corners of the internet. Just find the websites that are the most relevant to your industry and then enlist the assistance of a feed aggregator like Feedly.com. A feed aggregator is a service that takes all of the important news from the websites that you have chosen.

As soon as the people that are relevant to your business are paying attention to you, you’re on the right track, but now you want to make your connections your clients so keep reading to find out how.

Webinars can further boost your business connections if they’re relevant to your prospects

Have you ever taken part in a webinar? If not, you may be wondering what a webinar even is. Well, it’s a very important tool.

First of all, webinars are live seminars, lectures or tutorials that are hosted on the web. When you take part in a webinar, usually a speaker will talk you through several PowerPoint slides that you will see on your screen. Since they incorporate online scalability and public speaking, they are very impactful business development instruments. Additionally, you don’t have to take into consideration the locations of speakers and attendees. In Bob’s instance, he can talk to potential customers in either Ohio or Chicago while he’s at home in Indianapolis.

If you have a good public speech, you will improve your credibility and increase how well-known your company is.

During your webinar, make sure you share content and information that is useful to your target audience. As the saying goes, knowledge is power so by offering new information through your webinar will strengthen your leader position. The difference between a webinar and the typical group content is that when you are finishing up your webinar, you usually try to incorporate a little product pitch or company presentation.

Keep in mind that your webinar should benefit your prospects’ time. They don’t want to waste their time on useless information, so if they do end up taking some time out of their day make it worth both your and their time. That means that you need to share important content so be sure to do your research about what your audience cares about. If they are bored during it, that could annoy them and make them want to end all communications with you.

Don’t forget to showcase what you do by incorporating prosperous case studies and examples from your company.

Some small measures ensure that prospects attend your webinar

The worst thing that can happen when you host a party is no one showing up. That is no different for webinars. Supposed you’ve rehearsed many times and your presentation completely memorized, but only five end up joining the webinar, your intern being one of them. There are a few steps that you can take to try to ensure something like that doesn’t dampen your day and instead make sure that it is very successful.

First of all, select a good date and time. Tuesday through Thursdays are the days were people can attend webinars most often, but analyze your audience because each one differs. For those in the United States, the best time is around 10 to 11 am Pacific time since people from all four time zones can take part in it.

To capture the attention of more, include titles that are catchy to make others want to go on your page. Make the title engaging by showing how useful that webinar could be to them like, “How to generate 235 leads in seven minutes a day using LinkedIn”.

The next thing you should do is invest a bit of time and effort into your landing page since that’s where people go to when they click on the advert in your LinkedIn group so that they can get more information about the registration. You can use LeadPages for this. It is a software that helps people make effective landing pages. Make several versions to decide which one is more effective.

Lastly, promote yourself. That can also be done with the help of LinkedIn. By this point, you have some prospective LinkedIn contacts that you can promote your webinar to. You will get the best response by sending personalized invitations. In the group, make an announcement to reach out to everyone by using an informal tone, the same one you’d use when talking to a friend about something that they might find interesting.

As your webinar comes to a close, reap the benefits

Now, you may still be wondering, after putting in all that effort into the webinar, whether it will actually garner you more sales. That all depends on the way you end your webinar.

If you end your stock webinar with a slide that has your contact information and a little bit of wording such as “I’d be happy to arrange a complimentary consultation”, it is concise and clear but you’re in the passive position of waiting on them to contact your first which may most likely be never anyways.

To make sure that your webinar is profitable and you’ll have conversations afterward, get active and make phone calls asking for feedback. At the beginning, ask them for their feedback but then ask them questions such as “Have you been able to integrate some of the concepts discussed at the webinar?” Their answers will help you smoothly transition into a sales conversation.

The best way to make your webinar attendees into future business prospects is by personalizing the way they are willing to make a deal with you. In order to do this, you need to initially figure out their level of approachability.

Your hot prospects are at the first level. Those are the ones who are very interested in getting in touch with you. They are the first people you should aim at since they are already hooked. Additionally, just as you’d think, they are fairly easy to make your actual customer.

The second level houses your warm prospects, which are those that are mildly interested. The third are those who aren’t necessarily potential buyers today, but could be in the future. These two levels would be better to get to via email, with for instance, a summary of the webinar, since they didn’t show enough interest for you to contact them directly over the phone.

There’s a recipe for a good sales call

So, you had a good webinar or your LinkedIn campaign was a success and you now have quite a few good new contacts. That’s awesome, but how do you close some deals and start making money?

The answer?

You need to make some really good phone calls.

Regardless of the sales call, it is very important to take your time and make some kind of connection with the person that you are calling.

Don’t forget that people prefer to buy from their own tribe instead of from strangers! Therefore, everything will go better if they trust you and you seem more familiar to them.

To cultivate this kind of familiarity, make sure that you begin the conversation with a bit of small talk prior to talking about your item or service. Use easy ice-breakers like “Mike, help me, what part of the country are you in?” That will make all the difference.

One typical and crucial phone call that you can make is a networking call. Suppose you are talking to the prospect that currently doesn’t want to purchase anything from you. They only want to learn about you and your business.

Begin by asking them about their item or business. Include some small talk to find some similarities like connections that you have in common. You should talk to them for about 10 minutes, with the prospect doing most of the talking while you just ask questions. While they are talking, take into account of what their company needs, where their problems lie. Ask questions that give you the most answers. However, don’t make it seem like they are being grilled!

After talking for a bit and you have found some similarities, say things such as, “Mike, I was not sure where this call would go but after what you’ve mentioned in this conversation, I got the feeling that you might be interested in what my company does since we’ve helped similar companies like yours solve issues like X. Would you like to hear more about it?”

Final Summary

LinkedIn is a very effective tool for linking business professionals all around the globe. If you know who you need to contact, how you should do so and incorporate the power of webinars, use your LinkedIn connections to increase sales leads and close deals with the customers that you are aiming at.

Practical Advice:

Prepare audiences for your webinar.

When you hold your next webinar, try to create a bit of rapport with the people that will be in attendance. Try by sending them a nice email, a free item or better yet, try to have a little conversation with them. By doing these simple things, the invitees will deem you more familiar and trustworthy and therefore they will likely be more interested in attending your webinar.

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