LinkedIn will tell you that “with just one search you will easily find the key decision makers and influencers necessary to successfully close a deal”. Can that really be true?
Well, in my opinion, no it can’t. LinkedIn may be a huge directory, and you can probably find almost anyone you want to talk to on there, but it is limited in terms of the insight it delivers about companies and contacts – the real information you need in order to find the right people. Without the right insight it can be like looking for Wally in a sea of red and white jumpers. So what is the information you need to find decision makers on LinkedIn?
You want to know:
• Who makes decisions – decisions are rarely made by just one or two people at the top of a business, there will be many influencers involved. You’re looking for the agenda of each individual involved, what stage they are at in the buying cycle, how much influence each individual has, how they are communicating with each other or how to piece the puzzle together.
• The decision makers and influencers outside of LinkedIn – believe it or not, there are still a lot of buyers, decision-makers and influencers out there that are not actively engaged on LinkedIn. What alternative ways can you connect with them?
• Which conversations you need to have – Being a great social seller is about more than simply finding the right people. It is about knowing what conversations you need to have with which people, and pinpointing exactly the moment when that conversation will be of most value, just one search is not going to give you this information.
• External forces – As well as decision makers and influencers within a business you need to also look at the influence held by customers, supply chain partners, competitors and the influencing forces at pay in the wider market, just one search is not going to give you all of this
True social sellers rely on a lot more than rudimentary research to find the right people and close a deal.
How can you identify the decision makers?
• Know your buyers – by taking the time to build a bigger picture about each individual decision-maker, the company that employs them, the people they work and the issues that they are facing, from all the resources available to you.
• Know your market – by tuning into market leaders, analysts, commentators, customers, suppliers and competitors to grow their understanding of the events and people that are influencing buying decisions.
• Know when you are needed – by constantly monitoring news sources, blogs and social media platforms together to discover buying signals that indicate when a customer or prospect needs your help
There is a big difference between finding people, and finding the right people at the right time. “Just one simple search” on LinkedIn is simply not enough!
Want to learn more about LinkedIn for social selling and how you can boost the effectiveness of this popular tool? Then click below to download our new ebook ‘Social Selling: More than just LinkedIn’.