Hard data on the benefits of social media as a sales tool has been hard to come by – until now.
Jim Keenan, author of the new book The Rise of Social Salespeople reports that salespeople who use social media outsell their peers by 78%.
Read the full article over at Forbes.com – Salespeople Using Social Media Outsell
So what’s an easy way to bulk up your LinkedIn connections?
When a new contract comes in for ads, sponsorships, whatever — I immediately send the new customer a LinkedIn connection request.
Here’s the text I use:
Hi Carl –
Thank you for placing your ads with us! I like to thank my new advertisers via LinkedIn. So, to that end, would you add me to your professional network on LinkedIn?
I have a 100% success rate. Every person I’ve sent this request to has responded with a connection.
Why does it work? People like to be thanked. That’s pretty obvious. But people are also more likely to do something if you give them a reason WHY you want them to do it.
In a study conducted by college professors who study such things, one group of people asked if they could cut in line for the copy machine. No reason given. A second group also asked to cut in line. But they gave a reason – “I need to make copies.”
The second group had a lot more success and by a wide margin. The reason itself didn’t matter at all. Of course you need to make copies. Why else would you be in line? But having a reason, any reason, was enough.
And why does this matter? Building up your LinkedIn connections is an excellent investment of your time. Not only can you track a prospect when they move to another company, you can see their peers – who are also likely customers.
Best of all: When you thank your new customer on LinkedIn, all their peers see it. If one of my peers is buying something, then I think that maybe I should check it out too.
Build up your prospect list and give your new customer an extra bit of appreciation, and it all costs you nothing. That’s a win in my book. Give it a try.
Guest blogger: Christopher Ware, Vice President of Business Development, NAIOP and a frequent speaker for Niche Media HQ. Chris is an experienced association executive with expertise in generating non-dues revenue, including: corporate sponsorships, print advertising, online advertising, exhibit space and customized sponsorship plans.
Niche Media has created super niched-out events specifically for magazine publishers for over 12 years. We’ve helped pave the way for the era of boutique events that connect specific audiences and provide great educational, friendly and super-fun environments!
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2 Thoughts to “Social Media Selling Works! Start by Building Up Your LinkedIn Connections”
Good advice, Christopher – I was also pleasantly surprised at how new users of our sales software accepted my LinkedIn requests when I simply thanked them and offered help in the personalized message. Would recommend this strategy to any salesperson online.
Our CEO just wrote a blog post on how to share useful, effective articles on LinkedIn if you’re interested – http://buff.ly/1mqeiqy
Thanks so much for this, Chris. Great ideas!
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