How to leverage Senior Executives for Social Selling on LinkedIn.

networking introductionOne of the fastest ways to get up to speed on LinkedIn and Social Selling is by connecting with your fellow employees and especially your senior management teams.

It’s simple, free, and the results can be truly amazing!

As a seller, when you use LinkedIn for prospecting, the search results are going to show profile snippets based on your connections.

When you find a decision maker, or possible member of the buying team, one of the first steps is to connect with them, or contact them directly, or to start building a relationship.

One of the most effective ways of selling is through referrals or introductions.
This is where your fellow employees and senior management come in.

As a LinkedIn user, you probably have hundreds of closer connections on LinkedIn, including many from previous companies, college, etc.

Most of us don’t know the names of the companies where our extended network of friends work. Heck, we probably don’t even know their job titles. Your senior executives and fellow employees are just the same. Additionally, they don’t know who you are prospecting, either.

But as a seller, what if you could tap into the professional connections, or “golden rolodex” of your senior management, and vast networks of your fellow employees.

With LinkedIn, you can.

If you were connected you might find connections like this:
The Director of Marketing at your prospect company, is connected to your VP of Sales, and went to business school together.
Is there a good chance they know each other well enough?
Now the Director of Marketing might not be the Decision Maker, but they might know the Decision Maker, and they might even be a part of the buying team.

Will knowing this change your sales approach?
Will it help you sell?
Will it shorten your sales cycle?

Yes!!! … it’s just one of the tactics of Social Selling with LinkedIn.

1. Create a customized email, telling your fellow employees why you are requesting a connection with them.

Some employees won’t want to connect, and that’s fine.
That’s why I think it’s better to say something along the lines of “I’m tasked with building our companies professional network on LinkedIn”.

2. Connect as far up the company you can. All the way to the CEO and other executives, if possible.

The executive and senior management, and owners, have the connections. They built them over time. They went to business school, the senior executives have 20+ years of connections. Their friends are working at companies all around the world. They’ve probably worked at lots of different companies, themselves.

Will your senior management or other employees help you connect, or refer you?
I hope so, you’re both on the same team.
Their paychecks come from your ability to connect and sell.
They might have some reservations, and that’s OK, because this is a brand new way of selling.

If you want support from your sales managers and executive management, send them a link to this blog post.

When scaled up across a large company, it’s amazing what connections can be found.

Shannan Kato is a great example, “50% of my revenue last year came from introductions, with a majority of those being introductions from fellow co-workers and Management.” Shannon works for LinkedIn and sells LinkedIn Sales Solutions.

Additionally, if you’re a sales manager, or executive, there’s an even easier way to leverage your employees and their LinkedIn connections… it’s called LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and an add-on product called “Team Link”.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can leverage LinkedIn as a seller, or across your sales team, contact me.

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