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Get Your Foot in the Door & Keep It Open – 12 Tips for Turning Prospects into New Clients

 

You might have “your close” down pat, but unless you know “how to open” you’ll never get a chance to use it.

Chris Hamilton of salestipaday.com is a best-selling author with over 25 years of sales and marketing experience. He’s helped numerous Fortune 500s and startups achieve success through his processes.

Chris shared some of his sales and marketing secrets with us here. Read on:

The #1 challenge is to bring in more qualified sales leads. Sales and marketing vehicles and methods are changing just as quickly as technology is. We must keep up with all the new vehicles and learn how to best use them to reach prospects and turn them into leads. The one vehicle Chris likes best is LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is Chris’ #1 Source for Sales Opportunities.

99.9% of salespeople don’t know how to use LinkedIn. Chris has generated millions of dollars of business by relying on it every day.

He says that creating relationships on LinkedIn is an art. You must think in terms of developing long-term relationships and nurture them just like you would any friendship that’s important to you.

But, before you “shove your foot in the door”, ask yourself these important questions:

  1. What are your goals?
  2. Are they realistic?
  3. How are you going to get there? (Here’s where Chris can help.)

Once you have the answers to these questions, it’s time to set up your tasks. Chris suggests that you break these down into monthly, weekly and daily tasks.

The key is to continually prospect. Put time in your schedule to reach out to people.

12 Tips for Using LinkedIn

  1. You must first decide what prospects you want to go after.
  2. If you’re looking for local businesses or those in a specific vertical, search for them on LinkedIn.
  3. You can also go on Indeed to see what companies are looking for in terms of talent. If it matches what you do and meets your location criteria, contact them.
  4. Once you find them, reach out to get connected on LinkedIn. (But don’t sell, it’s all about connecting and building a trusting relationship first.)
  5. Spend 5 to 10 minutes a day prospecting (a minimum of 3 contacts at a time).
  6. Once you connect, go back and thank them for connecting. Ask if there’s anything you can do to help them. (It’s about them, not you.)
  7. LinkedIn relationships must be “nurtured.” People like personal touches. Don’t be “salesy” in your approach or language. Be helpful.
  8. Download your LinkedIn contacts into a database you can work with. For information on how to do this go the Chris’ website com. Sign up for his Sales Tip a Day if you do nothing else.
  9. Here’s a great site to help you organize your lists of prospects that will remind you to contact them and when.
  10. Deploy a Drip Campaign and send messages to your prospects every 90 days.
  11. The odds are that only 3% of the people will need your services. And, if they don’t need your services now, they may later. So, you must keep reaching out to them.
  12. According to Chris, this process is 66 times more effective than cold calling, and you should be able to close 1/4 of the time.

Chris’ final piece of advice? Never stop learning. Here’s his suggested reading list for you.

Stuart Crawford from Ulistic has some additional advice when it comes to using LinkedIn. He gets questions from his clients all the time. You should find this helpful as well:

How can we use LinkedIn to help our brand?

The question should be, how can we not use LinkedIn to help our brand? Like most of the social platforms out there, LinkedIn has become a very popular channel for brands to effectively spread their message – either via paid advertising or through organic reach.

How can I maximize my reach?

LinkedIn offers brands the perfect platform to do what they do best – talk about themselves! LinkedIn users often visit simply to absorb information: what colleagues have made job changes lately, are various companies hiring, what is the latest technology employed by Fortune 500 companies that users need to keep their skills updated, or just to find the hiring manager for a position for which a user is applying.

This unique position translates into an audience that is actively seeking news from a brand. How can you use this to your advantage? Simple: post content.

Content is King.

Regular content posts make a brand appear active and engaged and improve top-of-mind recall for their audience. The primary factor in considering a LinkedIn content post is the perceived value to the LinkedIn reader. Readers want content that will inform, educate, and offer support.

Use Tailored Messages, Not Templates.

Don’t generalize LinkedIn as a numbers game – use each content post as an opportunity to show interest in aiding your readers, creating the opportunity for readers to want more from your brand. Careful crafting takes time. In this case, time is money – and you’re trying to find the most cost-effective way to deliver a message to the widest audience possible but in the most efficient manner. Personalizing content creates an engaged connection between your brand and your reader. Don’t waste your reader’s time and they’ll feel valued, generating a connection – and, more importantly, a brand follower.

Be Mindful of Networking No-Nos.

  • Duplicating social status updates

While you can certainly use programs like Hootsuite to organize your social content, don’t fall into the trap of oversimplifying and avoid the habit of duplicating content using a “copy-and-paste” process; heed the advice above regarding carefully catering a post message to your audience within a channel.

  • Polished, not puny

Comedy has a place – in a nightclub, on a stage, and delivered via microphone. LinkedIn content should be polished above all else, given the professional audience. Cleverly delivered content that reaches your audience can invoke wit – and even the occasional joke or pun – so long as you reinforce the position above, to inform, educate, and offer support for your readers.

  • Connection abuse

The greatest of all sins on LinkedIn is the abuse of connections. Building relationships and nurturing connections on LinkedIn is the basic goal of the social medium. Is there value in an individual having 500+ connections? Yes, and it’s this same value that leads brands to want a larger follower base. There are individuals and brands that will try to expand their connection base to include their mother’s brother’s colleague’s sister’s best friend’s supervisor. Clearly, this connection isn’t a meaningful one – and LinkedIn knows this. Did you know that if too many attempted connections click “I do not know this person,” LinkedIn will restrict your account? Value is lost, credibility is damaged, and relationships are forever severed by careless actions like this.

Also, another no-no is collecting email addresses from your connection list to use in any way. Deliver content that informs, educates, and offers support to readers in content posts, and cultivate these connections organically to achieve your goals, and you’ll build a better brand reputation.

What does all this mean for my brand?

This is a great question! The good news is, there is no single answer for giving you and your brand seemingly endless options to use LinkedIn as a viable social medium. Here are tips to help your brand find its footing on LinkedIn, build solid connections, and engage with your audience.

  • Publish Content

You already know that publishing content on LinkedIn to be shared in the content feed is an amazing resource – but did you know that this tool was once only available to a pool of “super influencers”? Organizations like Microsoft led this groundbreaking feature, and now brands have the opportunity to post content – positioned to inform, educate, and offer support – that reinforces engagement, as well as a brand’s value proposition.

  • Don’t stop at JUST content!

People love to be heard! Engaging with your audience doesn’t end at achieving a like, a share, or a follow. When readers leave comments, respond! Did you know that when a LinkedIn user comments on a content post, that content is then visible to their entire 1st network? Imagine the power of your response when your brand is seen giving readers the respect of a direct response.

  • Don’t stop at JUST content and comments!

Including rich content in your delivery increases the value of the user experience. Offering a 2-minute (or less) video delivering content instead of paragraphs of text offers much more than just information. Video offers far more flexibility as a marketing tool, and its versatility is limitless. Video is humanizing and is capable of conveying emotion and nuance in ways text literally cannot.

You must absolutely represent your business on social media but take great care when doing so. LinkedIn users surpassed the 500 million-mark in 2017. Thus, mistakes on LinkedIn can be costly. But if you follow LinkedIn’s protocol for use and guidelines, and the advice above, the potential for your brand’s growth is immeasurable.

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