Why: 78% of social sellers outsell peers that don’t use social media.[i] Whether you are a LinkedIn Newbie or Pro, you always need to start and continually revisit the basics and your baseline.
How: Let’s start by going directly to the source—LinkedIn—to determine what they consider the four pillars of social selling:
- Establish Your Professional Brand: Complete your LinkedIn profile with the customer in mind. Become a thought leader by sharing or publishing meaningful content with your connections and prospects.
- Find: Research and find potential connections, prospects and customers.
- Engage: Identify and share information with your connections that shows you care about and are invested in their success.
- Build Relationships: Take the time to network before you need the network.
The 30 Power Tips in this book address these four items and beyond.
If you were going to start a new diet, you’d want to know your starting weight. You’d like to track how many pounds you have lost. We should do the same thing here. Also, I know some of you salespeople out there—you can’t sleep at night if you don’t have a goal. Let’s follow the well-known mantra—if you don’t set goals, you will hit them every time. Without goals, it’s difficult to achieve our desired outcomes.
LinkedIn helps provide a social selling index (SSI) for free. The SSI is a score of 0-100, ranking your current social selling skill/presence. This takes 60 seconds to complete, so put this book down and do the following action item:
Now that you have your score, here’s a caveat: it’s a good measure to look at, but it’s not the only thing; it’s simply one measure to help track your progress. If you have a score of 99 and haven’t sold a darn thing through efforts on LinkedIn, then you aren’t succeeding. Conversely, if you are crushing your quota with our LinkedIn power tips, then a low social selling index score of 19 doesn’t mean so much, now does it?
Similar to the diet analogy, if you lost several pounds but it was 100% muscle weight versus fat, the scale might be telling you “hoorah!” you lost weight, but your mirror might be saying “humph” since a cubic inch of muscle weighs more than a cubic inch of fat. Ok, enough science for now—simply put, your social selling index number is just one measure of your success.
One of the world’s top LinkedIn experts, Viveka von Rosen, suggests at this point making note of these numbers as well:
- I currently have ________ connections. (https://www.linkedin.com/people/connections)
- I currently get an average of ________ views per day/week/month. (https://www.linkedin.com/wvmx/profile)
- I currently rank _______ in my connections. (https://www.linkedin.com/wvmx/profile/rankings)
If you want to learn more, check out How to Sell on LinkedIn.
[i] LinkedIn. “LinkedIn Social Selling Index.” Social Selling Index. 2016. Accessed June 29, 2016. https://business.linkedin.com/sales-solutions/the-social-selling-index