A lot has been said about leveraging LinkedIn for B2B Sales but less from the perspective of wholesalers and manufacturers. This article aims to address that. If you thought that LinkedIn was only for tech companies or job hunting, think again.
LinkedIn membership totals more than 400+ million business people worldwide, and that makes it prime territory for B2B sales and promotion. The problem for a lot of LinkedIn users is they don't know how to put their memberships to any real advantage. Astute members can find ways to put LinkedIn's B2B powers into overdrive.
If you consider yourself a LinkedIn underachiever, take hope. It's actually pretty easy to pump up your LI network and cultivate fresh, new leads. Here are five top practices wholesalers and manufacturers can use to promote their B2B sales on LinkedIn:
1. Appoint an Official LI Rep for Your Company
About half of all businesses on LinkedIn are represented primarily by the owner of the company. If you do have a staff, however, it might make more sense to appoint a socially-adept employee to be your LinkedIn rep.
- Choose a team member with motive and drive who will reach out for your company and make it a mission.
- Allow your rep a fair amount of time each day to network for the team.
- Make sure every member of the team is connected to your main LinkedIn rep so that all of your associations are interconnected by extension (LinkedIn profile associations run two-people deep).
- Impress upon all employees, especially new hires, the rationale for your company's LinkedIn rep strategy, and include business colleagues in the conversation to further expand your connections.
2. Follow Prospective B2B Partners
Pick the companies on LinkedIn that you consider your most coveted B2B prospects, and select "Follow Company" to follow. When you activate the information stream about prospective businesses and their employees, you can gain a new perspective. You may also discover people you know at the company who could help you connect with other LinkedIn members.
Tip: Also follow your customers' companies, and ferret deeper to find more B2B associations.
3. Link with Lots of LinkedIn Groups
Groups of LinkedIn members with shared interests can provide some meaty B2B prospecting. Join groups not just in your own field, but related fields as well. In some cases, you can narrow down your LinkedIn associations to local chapters where business associations can take on a higher level of interaction. Open yourself to all sorts of groups and find new connections.
4. Prospect for Introductions with Advanced Searches
The advanced search function on LinkedIn lets you prospect for new associations by showing you people you know who are linked to the people you want to know. It works like this:
- From your Home page, click the hyperlink marked "Advanced."
- Put in the type of business you are prospecting or other useful keywords.
- Choose 2nd under "Relationship" to discover members who are linked to the people you want to know, and learn how they are related.
- Contact the members you are linked with and kindly request an introduction to your B2B prospect.
5. Optimize Your Reach with SlideShare
Take full advantage of SlideShare. You have the potential to reach 70 million visitors per month who are in the process of searching for information you can provide. All you need to do is make sure your content is found by optimizing title, description and tags.
6. Complete Your Profile 100%
Yes, it was only going to be five top practices to make B2B sales on LI, but here is a bonus tip. If you haven't completed your profile, that is a missed opportunity to be found by other businesses. Be sure to upload a photo, link to your website and blogs, and weave relevant keywords throughout your content to attract search activity. Also, take advantage of LinkedIn's helpful features to create a unique URL for your business and custom badges for your brand. It's the little things that count.