Everyone is jumping on the LinkedIn bandwagon these days because they think it's easy to sell to your LinkedIn connections.
I speak at events and teach LinkedIn to thousands of business professionals every year and LinkedIn is still a mystery to most people.
Most still think it's an online resume site.
Others see LinkedIn as a sales tool.
They think connecting with strangers and sending them a few messages with some “useful” articles will generate sales.
Sorry to burst your bubble but it takes more sending a few messages and articles to someone who just met you to consistently close deals on LinkedIn.
People are so focused on closing a deal, they don't take time to build relationships and earn trust.
Selling takes time. There may be many decision makers involved. There may be budget constraints (don't they always tell us that?) Your competitors will do their best to beat you to the punch.
Why do people choose one vendor over another?
It comes down to trust. Who do you feel is going to provide the best product and service? Why do you trust one vendor over another?
Here's an offline example of how to build trust
Recently I enquired about getting solar installed at my home.
One vendor, Vendor A, called me to discuss my needs and looked at my house on Google Earth. He emailed me a quote based on my needs and followed up with a phone call.
The second vendor, Vendor B, called me to discuss my needs and came to my home to meet with me in person. He had photos from Google Earth too but we wanted to see the property so he could create the best solution for my needs.
After viewing the roof and neighboring trees that could impact performance, we sat down with his laptop so he could explain my options. Which solar panels are best for my needs? How many panels do I need? Where should we place the panels on the roof for optimal performance? Would adding a battery be a wise investment for me?
He also took the time to explain how solar works and how I can earn credits with PG&E when I'm overproducing so I can use those credits in the evening when I'm not generating power.
He took an hour in person to get to know me, understand my needs and design the best solution. He earned my trust.
Vendor A was focused on cranking out proposals and didn't take time to earn my trust.
One quote was for $16,500 and the other quote was for $12,000.
We chose the $16,500 deal fromVendor B because we felt confident the equipment was better and the service would be exceptional because he took time to earn our trust.
By the way, one vendor has hundreds of 5 star reviews on Google and Yelp. The other vendor runs endless television commercials and has mostly negative reviews. Can you guess which company that was?
Earning Trust on LinkedIn
According to studies conducted by Amy Cudder, social psychologist and professor at Harvard Business School, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Cuddy#Research, people will trust you if they sense you are:
Vendor B was confident his solar equipment is the highest quality and his company provides excellent customer service. He was enthusiastic and passionate about the solutions he provides.
Vendor A was somewhat confident but not enthusiastic or passionate about his solar solution or customer support. I got the feeling his focused on making his monthly sales quota not providing an outstanding experience.
You need to be confident the solution you are selling is the very best it can be. When you are confident in your solution, your communication with people on LinkedIn will exude confidence, enthusiasm and passion. People will feel your excitement in your LinkedIn connection invitations and follow up messages.
Let people know how excited and confident you are about your solution in the About section of your LinkedIn profile. Tell them why you believe your solution is the best and how your customer service will be there if there are any issues.
For more LinkedIn and social selling tips, visit my website at www.tedprodromou.com