As a salesperson, you know that LinkedIn is an important tool to master. The platform is great for connecting and building relationships, finding new leads, and even keeping up with industry trends.
Sales has evolved from handing out business cards, walking door to door, to instantly connecting with individuals across hundreds of miles to deliver value.
LinkedIn is every salesperson’s best friend, and the more you can learn about it, the better.
Why LinkedIn Is Essential for Salespeople
LinkedIn shouldn’t be viewed as a casual means to socialize with your peers. There are some serious benefits to maximizing your use on the platform.
With over 600 million users, there’s far more potential in making connections on this site than people realize, especially for B2B companies. B2B marketers credit LinkedIn for 62 percent of their lead generation.
Out of those leads, 40 million of them are in decision-making positions.
The platform’s usefulness continues on beyond just reach too.
Build an Audience for Your Content.
Publishing on LinkedIn is a guaranteed way to get your content views up, especially if you're just starting your blog. You have a starter audience built into your professional network.
LinkedIn's algorithm works to push your content in front of the right audiences. On top of that, users can follow you as a "Publisher" and keep track of your posting, even if they're not a part of your network.
Keep Up With What Your Target Audience Is Looking For.
LinkedIn, like most other social media platforms, allows you to monitor activity in your network. You can see who changed jobs, who's connected to who, or professional accomplishments. You can also watch what content people are consuming.
This is a great advantage when you're developing your content marketing strategies and defining objectives for your business. You'll have a front row seat to everything that your network finds credible and share-worthy.
Stay Top of Mind In Your Network.
On the flip side, your network will also be able to keep tabs on you too. They can see what's happening with you and keep your business at top of mind by monitoring your updates and media shares.
How Salespeople Should Be Active on LinkedIn
There are best practices to everything, especially in business. With the rapid increase in social media use, certain user rules have been established respective to each platform.
One of the key rules is to stay active. Here are a few ways to keep yourself engaged on LinkedIn.
Present Yourself As a Resource.
When making connections and building network relationships, it's important that you advertise yourself as a valuable addition to their network.
Instead of depending on LinkedIn's default message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,” think of something that makes you seem more like a resource.
Draft a customized message where you offer your expertise, provide a free demo, or invite them to a marketing event.
Join the Same Groups as Your Prospects.
LinkedIn groups are an excellent way to get in touch with prospects outside of your network before having to send out a cold email.
You'll be able to tap into niche circles that are interested in topics and services you provide. You can access these groups by going to user profiles and looking at whichever groups they have publicly joined.
Use LinkedIn to Stay On Top of Trends.
Make sure that you're following thought leaders and industry influencers that you can learn from. It's always a good idea to be constantly seeking knowledge and updating your sales tactics.
If you see a space where you can provide expertise and value, fill it with your own content. This is a great way to establish credibility.
Post Content Regularly.
If you're blogging and have a campaign in place already, why not amplify your results by posting on LinkedIn too? Consistency is key, especially if you're working to establish yourself as an expert in your market.
Building an audience requires you to post frequently with quality as a priority. Some of the best ways to supplement your content is by attaching PDFs and documents to your posts.
Types of Documents and PDFs You Should Be Sending
There’s a lot of sales collateral that salespeople can use at different stages of the sales cycle.
Depending on your relationship with the other user and the context of your conversation, there are different types of documents that you can forward to back the value of your messaging.
Corporate brochures are a great way to put your benefits front and center. In B2B industries, they're the perfect way for prospects to verify your functionality and value.
They're also an excellent way to highlight new offers and discounts. If a prospect isn't subscribed to your email list or hasn't been to your website yet, a brochure is a great first introduction to your company.
The diversity that comes with case studies makes them valuable at every stage of the sales cycle. You can forward reports on every aspect of your business, showing real data supporting your company's effectiveness.
Flyers and product catalogs are valuable to prospects who are evaluating your business in reference to their needs.
Of course, you could always just share pricing information and product descriptions in the body of your message, but it's always nice to have a nicely designed visual to observe. Product collateral makes for a better user experience.
You can forward everything from tip sheets to ebooks to those in your network in an effort to provide greater value to them. These are great additions in conversations where solutions to pain points are being discussed.
Prospects will appreciate being offered reference material where they can read up on different subjects on their own without being told or "lectured."
How to Share Documents and PDFs via LinkedIn
Sharing collateral on LinkedIn is actually extremely easy, giving even more reason to practicing the habit.
We’ll go over how to do so on LinkedIn posts and InMail messages.
1. Start a Post.
On your LinkedIn dashboard, you should see a button like this:
Click it to open a post window. At the bottom, you'll find this "add document" button. Click it.
2. Choose a File.
Choose a document or PDF file to upload to the post or select one from your cloud via Dropbox.
3. Title Your Post.
You'll get a preview of the document or PDF and a prompt asking you to name the file.
4. Add a Description.
This is the body of your messaging. You can "@" mention someone or leave it public for everyone to see. Make sure that it's warm and conversational. You can also include relevant hashtags.
5. Click "Post."
There you have it! Your post and attached file are now live.
1. Open a Message Draft.
Open the compose window in your messages and select the recipient.
2. Click the "Attach" button.
Choose a document or PDF file to upload to the message.
3. Write the Body of the Message.
Be friendly and forthright in your message. Remember, you're trying to build and nurture relationships.
4. Click "Send."
It's on its way!
Are You Making the Most of LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is a great way for salespeople to stay ahead of the game. Keeping a finger on the pulse of your market and staying in touch with your prospects and customers is critical to your business success.
Sharing documents and PDFs has a huge impact on your sales cycle. So where better to leverage them than on a platform dedicated to your growth?