Getting on First with Buyers

In the iconic movie classic, Field of Dreams, Ray Kinsella hears a voice that insists that “If you build it, he will come.” Acting on instinct, Ray builds a baseball field in his backyard Iowa cornfield. As we find out much later in the movie, the calling Ray felt had bigger implications than just the appearance of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and the 1919 Chicago White Sox  who show up to play ball on Ray’s baseball field.

Experience tells me that if you are like so many business owners I know, you love helping people become better, achieve more, and you love what you do. What you really don’t like doing is the “selling” of your products and services.

Unlike Ray Kinsella though, you cannot rely solely on a “build it and they will come” strategy to gain more visibility with potential clients.

Which leads me to my inbound sales tips for you today.

LinkedIn is a gold mine of opportunity, yet as a member since 2004, I am still surprised at how many people do not realize how to strategically use LinkedIn to build their business. Today there are over 575+ million users, with more than 260 million monthly active users. Of those LinkedIn users who are engaging with the platform monthly, 40% access it on a daily basis.

Here are 3 ways you can leverage your LinkedIn profile to increase visibility for your products and services:

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  1. Smartly use keywords. Buyers search for the products and services they believe will solve business challenges that they face. But they rarely search for job titles. Instead, they search for keywords related to their challenges.  As an example, I use keywords like sales, prospecting, listening, cognitive diversity, B2B and coaching in the headline area underneath my name. These same keywords can be woven into your LinkedIn summary, into your list of specialties and into the experience sections of your profile. I am constantly monitoring and tracking my results to better understand what keywords work better than others. For example, a simple change in keywords meant that 150 NEW people were exposed to my profile in one week. When people find you, your chances of being able to engage with them increases!
  2. Visual sells. Think of your LinkedIn profile as a mini-website that you want to make visually appealing and engaging.
    • Add a headline graphic to the top of your profile. Usually a logo is best because it reinforces your company brand. Look at my profile to see what I mean.  Or, check out my colleague Samantha McKenna, Head of Sales NYC at LinkedIn and see what she uses as her LinkedIn profile headline graphic.
    • Include a professional profile picture and keep it current. I update mine every 2 years. For those of you who don’t include a picture at all, remember that people connect  to people not a blank gray box staring back at them. LinkedIn also isn’t Facebook, so your profile picture should be a professional headshot not a picture of your kids or your last vacation. You are representing yourself as a professional and first impressions do matter!
    • Add media. This can be an e-book, business case study, a video, link to a recent webinar you delivered or a PowerPoint presentation. When people land on your profile give them a reason to stay and learn more. In the About section aka your summary, click on the “pencil icon” to the right and in that section you can add media either by adding a link or uploading a document. Be sure to customize the summary of the content you are sharing, so people know why they should pay attention.
  3.  Add your accomplishments and certifications – in the Licenses and Certifications section add logos or information about any certifications you have earned. Do the same thing by adding any key accomplishments you’ve earned in the Accomplishments section. Recognized as a leader in your field or your book made a best seller list? Add that to your profile. In the world of social, it is all about “social proof”. The more credibility that you can demonstrate, the more potential clients will want to talk to you.

Today’s buyers search out solutions to their business challenges in multiple ways. That means you cannot simply build it and have buyers magically show up on your doorstep. Your client attraction strategy has to consider multiple channels and approaches – inbound and outbound – because in the end, no one shows up by accident to buy whatever it is that you sell!

Looking for more ideas to engage with buyers? You might like a recent webinar I delivered during BrightTalk’s recent Sales Summit. Topic: You Can’t Win If You Can’t Connect: Sales Strategies to Engage Modern B2B Buyers. Watch it on demand:

Note: this article originally appeared epublished with permission of author.

Barbara Giamanco
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