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VOL. 126 | NO. 121 | Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Lori Turner

Lori Turner-Wilson

Get LinkedIn To Opportunity

Lori Turner-Wilson

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For most industries, sales is still a relationship business. It’s about who you know and how you make them feel. Social media tool, LinkedIn, has created efficiencies around both. It enables you to make a first connection with a much larger group of prospects than you normally would through traditional offline networking. Mind you, it doesn’t replace quality face-to-face interaction, but it facilitates it.

Plus, it allows you to quickly prepare for a prospect meeting, finding possible “points of connection” to leverage – common acquaintances, former employers, schools attended, organizations supported, etc.

LinkedIn is the largest online professional network with 100 million registered users and 2 million businesses represented with company pages. It’s an immense database of professionals and their resumes. Information is standardized and the search tool is robust making finding specific individuals easier than with Facebook or Twitter.

LinkedIn allows for more comprehensive member profiles than counterparts Facebook and Twitter. For those you’re connected to, you may be able to view their entire resume and everyone they’re connected to.

Whether you’re on LinkedIn and aren’t sure where to go from here or you’re just getting started, here are a few tricks of the trade.

Complete your individual profile. If it’s not 100 percent complete, be sure you’ve uploaded your photo and that three other members have recommended you. To encourage recommendations, recommend others. LinkedIn encourages them to reciprocate. Then make sure your company has its own page.

Unlike Twitter, where frequency is key, too many posts a day on LinkedIn can turn users off. Once or twice a day will do and keep those status updates business focused – lessons learned, best practices, special projects you’re working on, etc. Grow your network by joining targeted groups and inviting those members to connect, spreading your status updates to a broader group of prospects.

Drive blog traffic by answering LinkedIn questions posed by fellow members. Search for topics in the LinkedIn search window, clicking “Answers” in the drop-down box to the left. Answer questions related to your business, providing a link to your blog for additional detail.

Add a “Recommend” button to your company website where customers can recommend you without leaving your website. The recommendation populates back to your LinkedIn profile. Promote your company’s events on LinkedIn, sharing event details with your connections and inviting them to attend.

Set up your page so that your blog posts automatically display. Publish video to your page – like customer testimonials, product demos or training videos. Add a LinkedIn Share button to your company email template or blog page, encouraging others to share your content.

Purchase highly targeted advertising on LinkedIn with the ability to drill down to specific job titles, company names or LinkedIn groups.

Utilize the Insights tool to monitor traffic to your company page, including what industries, job titles and companies are visiting.

The bottom line – if you have business-to-business sales responsibilities, you simply can’t ignore the power of LinkedIn.

Lori Turner-Wilson is an award-winning columnist and managing partner of RedRover Sales & Marketing, www.redrovercompany.com. You can follow RedRover on Twitter (@redrovercompany and @loriturner) and Facebook (facebook.com/redrovercompany).

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BANKRUPTCIES 52 262 11,426