Blog

by Bob Woods
on May 19, 2016

Randomness is OUT: Be Active in Your Social Selling

In Social Selling, having a strong LinkedIn Profile is pretty much de rigueur. I’ve written about it several times, and probably the two best articles on the important topic are here and here.

What I’m seeing out of some social sellers, though, is either a partial or total halt in activity after the profile is updated and up to snuff. Such inaction is like pouring a great foundation for a house, but once the concrete has dried either only putting up a wall or two, or even stopping activity all together.

Just like sales in general, Social Selling requires activity. Taking decisive action in Social Selling will translate into solid sales numbers, which benefits both you and your company.

With that in mind, here are 9 activities that will change your Social Selling activities from passive to active:

  1. Who’s Viewed My Profile. Check the people who have viewed your profile every day. Determine both with whom you want to connect with (new people), and with whom you want to re-engage (1st-degree connections), and then reach out appropriately.
  2. Re-engage with Your Network. Even if they’re not looking you up, you can still reach out and build relationships with those within your network. Here’s an article of mine from last year that tells you why you should reconnect, and how to do it.
  3. Outstanding Invitations to Connect. Examine those people who are looking to connect with you and make a decision on how to engage—and if you want to engage you can:
    • Accept the invitation and send a message asking for a phone call;
    • Reply to the message (without accepting the invite), asking how they found you and why they think you would benefit one another’s network; or
    • Decline.
  4. Engage with Saved Searches. You can create and save searches of your targeted buyers and influencers who are 2nd-degree connections. Every week, you can check this list for new opportunities, ask for introductions from your shared connections, or connect directly if there are no shared connections to leverage.
  5. Use Company Search. You can choose a number of new companies a week to add to your prospecting list (I suggest five), and look up their company pages. Also, remember to identify any 1st- and 2nd-degree connections you may have to people within those companies and reach out appropriately.
  6. Obtain Client Referrals. Choose one past or current client every single week, look through their connections, and ask for warm introductions. There is nothing more powerful than an introduction from a happy client. But waiting for the referrals is painful, so proactively ask for them!
  7. Set Networking Meetings. Networking is the cornerstone of most business-development professionals, and at its core, LinkedIn is online networking. Whether you attend formal networking events, you network inside of a prospect or client company, and/or use LinkedIn, networking is a skill that should be constantly honed. Personally, I am most effective in networking with 1-to-1 meetings. In this case, I offer my networking partner to go through my connections and choose a few people that they would like to meet. I do the same, and then we review the list when we are in our 1-to-1 and make introductions for one another. These meetings can be done over the phone, if necessary.
  8. Post Updates. Keeping relevant content in front of your network is a powerful way to stay top of mind. I share blogs, articles and graphics that are a combination of my own content and other people’s, as many as seven times a day. I do use a few tools to help me manage and track the engagement including but not limited to the PeopleLinx dashboard and the Buffer post scheduling and tracking platform. Be sure to share on Twitter as well as LinkedIn.
  9. Actively Engage. This step harkens back to a popular post I published a couple of months back. Whether I am reaching out to people who have “liked”, commented or shared my own content, or content that I have shared or have engaged on, I make sure I comment, connect, and thank people every single day. The conversation is key. Make sure you engage with others on Twitter as well as LinkedIn.

Don’t Get Discouraged

After reading this list you’re probably thinking, “I barely have enough time in my day to do what I need to do, Bob. How do you expect me to fit all of this in?” Just keep in mind that age-old phrase:

How do you eat an elephant?
One bite at a time.

I wouldn’t expect anyone to rush in and implement all of these in one fell swoop. Instead, take them one or maybe two at a time. With most of these, you can get away with doing them just once a week. As you begin, you’ll start to feel comfortable with them. I’d suggest adding more only when you’re successful well with what you’re already doing.

I’d also suggest creating a checklist of what activities you plan to do, whether it’s weekly or even daily. Accountability is the key here. When you consistently work the program, you’ll begin to see some outstanding successes with leveraging Social Selling—and by extension, LinkedIn.

Take action and schedule a free, quick demo to find out what next steps to take in order to drive sales in your organization. 

A version of this article originally appeared on LinkedIn.