If you remember our last blog post, we stressed the importance of creating a relationship on social media. Here, we will dive a little deeper into how to go about that. But first, why would you even want to use social media to sell your product or service?
Using social selling tools can increase your win rates and deal size by 5% and 35%, respectively. (LinkedIn)
If you’re in a B2B business, LinkedIn is the TOP social selling platform where you can build strong connections and poise yourself as an industry expert. With LinkedIn, you can get past the gatekeeper and directly reach out to and create a relationship with a decision-maker in any industry!
You can target your prospects by job title, specific skills, industry, by ZIP code and company size.
Make yourself stand out by sharing valuable content, media and expert insights that will educate and intrigue your target audience.
The majority of B2B marketers utilize LinkedIn to generate leads! 79% of B2B Marketers say LinkedIn is an effective source for generating leads.
Plus, 46% percent of social media traffic coming to B2B company sites is from LinkedIn.
Knowing how to build relationships to fill your B2B sales pipeline is so important that I’m including steps straight from the source: LinkedIn.
5 Essential Best Practices You Need to Follow when Developing Relationships on LinkedIn
“1. Tell People Why You Want to Connect:
If you want to connect with someone, make sure you answer the question; ‘what’s in it for me’?
Did you just meet them at an event? Did someone you both know recommend that you should connect with them? Get into the habit of giving everyone a reason why they should accept your connection request.
If you have never met this person before and you don’t have any common acquaintances or share a group with them, giving them a valid reason to connect becomes even more crucial.
The reason must be valid in the mind of the other person. Just because someone is an ideal prospect for you, does not count as a valid reason for why they should want to connect with you.
Keep in mind that you have a maximum of 300 characters, so your reason for connecting must be short and convincing.
2. Look for Commonalities:
It’s always easier to build a relationship with someone when you have something in common.
Fortunately, there are a number of places that you can find this information using LinkedIn and a simple Google search.
Review their profile for information such as places, companies, education, experience, or interests in common.
LinkedIn Groups are an excellent resource for this; belonging to the same group will often provide enough similar ground for people to connect.
You can also find helpful information by checking any other social media profiles the person might have.
3. Respect People’s Time:
We all value our time; your LinkedIn connections are not exempt from this. Attention spans and free-time are at an all-time low so every communication should provide value.
You’ll start to notice emails, phone calls and messages going unanswered if you are perceived as a time waster. To increase the likelihood of successfully developing relationships on LinkedIn, each interaction with a connection must be respectful and demonstrate how much you value their time.
You can do this first and foremost by exercising the discipline to wait until you have something relevant before reaching out. When you do reach out, always be brief, courteous and to the point.
4. The Power of Reciprocity:
When someone does something nice for you, there is a natural psychological urge to return the favor. This effect is known as the Law of Reciprocity and it is a powerful reason why developing meaningful relationships will pay off over time.
Using reciprocity to your advantage when developing relationships can be as simple as introducing two connections that can mutually benefit from meeting each other. This could inspire them to introduce you to one or more of their connections but even if it doesn’t, it’s important that you act without the expectation of receiving anything in return.
Sometimes that means sharing relevant and interesting content that you come across if you believe it’s perfectly catered to an individual’s interests or vocation. Whether it is an article, white paper, eBook, checklist, video or anything else, it should help solve a pain point for them or provide them with education to make an informed decision. You will want to make certain that any content you share, whether your own or someone else’s, looks professional and will leave a positive impression on your connection.
5. Take Your Offline Approach Online:
Your relationship building process on LinkedIn should mirror the relationship building strategies you use face-to-face. People often make the faulty assumption that there are different rules of engagement for online and offline relationships. This is a mistake… The process and time involved are the same for both.
Since communications shared within online platforms can come off as impersonal, this is exactly why it is so important to put in the extra time and effort into developing each relationship. You reap the most success by paying attention to the small details and taking the time to personalize and be personable with your connections.
You’re supposed to connect with them, not collect them. LinkedIn can be a GOLDMINE of opportunities, but only if you know how to mine your relationships properly.
One of the best ways you can personalize your interactions with your connections is to always address them by name, find commonality and provide them with valuable pieces of content that are relevant to their business or industry.
Make the effort to regularly incorporate each of these best practices into each relationship you start and cultivate on LinkedIn. It won’t be long before you start to grow a powerful network of relationships that can help you to be more successful.”
Not all of us have the time it takes to create relationships on LinkedIn. That’s why we came up with a ‘Done-for-You’ system that will help you connect and engage with your prospects on LinkedIn.
Want more information on how to instantly generate leads on LinkedIn? Watch the explainer video here.