The Golden Rule of Successful Social Selling
For nearly a decade, I have been teaching social selling. Sales and marketing techniques on LinkedIn is my specialty. In my ten years of experience, quite a lot has changed. I have witnessed the growth of the social media platform. I have seen the evolution of LinkedIn and the inclusion of exciting new features.
Quite recently, I received an email from one of my students. In the email, she posed a few vital questions that may also be relevant to you.
Below are the questions that she asked:
Is there a way to protect my LinkedIn prospects from poaching by direct competitors?
If not (see question 1), are there any ways to protect my contacts from theft.
What measures can I take to prevent the scenarios above?
Going through the questions, I can relate and understand the reason for concern by my student. But then I realized, the LinkedIn users employing these strategies are missing out on the primary purpose of the platform.
LinkedIn is a social media site for professionals. LinkedIn exists to facilitate relationship building and networking between professionals. Whether you are in it to "Poach" for clients or seeking to protect your prospects, LinkedIn exists for relationship building.
Relationship building is crucial to social selling.
Not to be critical of my students, but we all sign up for LinkedIn to build professional relationships.
I had to respond to these questions. I had to give my student a solution to her queries. I typed my response on my laptop. Was it blunt? Was it too direct? I don't know. One thing was sure, and my answer had to be sincere.
Here's my response:
"Tricky question(s), I will be direct. Yes, there is something you can do to protect your prospects. That thing is to build a stronger relationship with your potential clients. Anyone can access any information on LinkedIn. The information includes the user's name, title, email address, etc. In the professional world, relationships are the only thing. Build strong relationships."
Invest in the relationships that you build online. Get to know your contacts and nurture the bonds. A healthy relationship is the only protection you can have on LinkedIn.
We are living in a world of technology and information overload. You have to assume that your competition has unlimited access to your prospects. How can you protect yourself from falling victim to poaching?
Top Three Ways to Create Stronger Relationships with Your Prospects
1. Treat Them Right
In general, customers who have their issues resolved swiftly are more likely to recommend you. This concept applies to social selling. Pay close attention to your LinkedIn prospects. Give them no reason to listen to the opposition.
2. Build Trust
Transparency can help you build a relationship of trust with your prospective clients. Try to be honest about what you offer. Explain to them the benefits that they might enjoy when dealing with you.
3. Follow up on Your Promises
Follow up with your potential clients. Make sure they get what you promised. Check on them to see if they enjoy your products or services.
As I mentioned in the response, the protection you need is in the kind of relationship that you build with your clients. Taking the time to learn more about your client could be the advantage that will keep you ahead of the competition. When you serve your prospective customers thoughtfully and actively, you are investing in a strong bond. Provide your client with helpful insights, great ideas, useful resources, and some laughs. Your efforts will pay off.
4. Be Sure to Protect Your Contacts
Prospecting is no easy task. You spend a lot of resources and time to identify viable clients. It would be a shame to lose these clients to the competition. On the LinkedIn platform, the competition has access to your prospect's contact information.
Client poaching is not something that you can avoid, but it is a risk that you can reduce. Protection is in the relationship that you build with your potential clients. You must invest in stronger bonds.
Next time you send an InMail on LinkedIn, make sure that your message is not cold. When you submit a connection request, keep in mind that the recipient is a living human being. The feelings that you induce in your prospect matter.
What is the golden rule of successful social selling? Invest in stronger bonds and create lasting relationships.
Written By Tony Zayas
Chief Link Officer @ Link4Leads
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