Post written by Jason Terry, Entrepreneur | Social Coach | Web Developer | Scuba Instructor | Guitar Player | Cruise Traveler | Lego Collector
We’ve been doing LinkedIn training since 2009. We’ve worked with dozens of companies and hundreds of people in the last 5 years. Here are some interesting things we have learned along the way:
There are currently 571,267 LinkedIn profiles in the Kansas City area (as of 11/13/2013)
We have around 2.5 million people in Kansas City (Census info here) so 571,267 profiles represents a significant amount of our population. There are all kinds of variables at play here, but no matter how you look at it, most working people have a LinkedIn profile. LinkedIn is no longer just a social media site, it is a core piece of the way people connect to do business, share information and find a job.
If you don’t have a strategy involving LinkedIn for your sales team, you are missing a huge opportunity to grow more quickly.
We still see sales professionals with LinkedIn profiles that have no picture and 40 connections
When I started doing LinkedIn training for sales teams a few years ago, I thought we might have about 5 years before people really started to “get it” and wouldn’t need as much training. Sadly, we have a lot of work left to do. Our experience is that most people still don’t know how to use LinkedIn effectively.
Think about that. If sales is all about who you know, and staying top of mind with the people you know, why wouldn’t you leverage a tool like LinkedIn? It solidifies the cloud of relationship you bring to the table. It shows you quickly how to turn a cold call into a warm call because your neighbor, golfing buddy or friend of your spouse is directly connected to the decision maker you need to talk to. It also allows you to do a little research before your initial conversation. All good things for your sales efforts.
It would be better for you to delete your LinkedIn profile than have a partially completed profile. A poor profile directly reflects on the impression you give your prospects. I promise you they are checking out your LinkedIn profile as part of their decision making process.
Most people don’t understand the power of LinkedIn status updates
Let’s agree that having a solid network of relationships in Kansas City would be helpful if you are doing sales for your company. But that’s only half the battle. It’s just as important to stay top of mind with those relationships so that they think of you when a need comes to their attention that you could help with. This is the definition of a referral. Our growth is 100% dependent on word of mouth referrals.
It’s a tall order to try and stay top of mind with your professional network using traditional methods. You can only go to so many coffees, lunches and networking events every week.
If you post a status update on LinkedIn, there is a reasonably good chance that some of your network will see it. With a daily posting strategy, an even greater percentage of your network will see what you are doing. What you care about. Your new employees. Your client success stories.
When was the last time you told your network about all the good things that your company is doing? It’s fairly easy to make this happen with blogging and status updates on LinkedIn.
And That Is Just A Start…
There are important things to make sure you have done on your profile. And there are so many powerful ways to use LinkedIn to grow your business. If you are embarrassed by your profile, or don’t know why you should be using LinkedIn almost daily, you need to figure it out. If you can figure it on your own, great! Google is your friend.
If you have a topic about LinkedIn that you would like us to dive into in a future blog post, please ask in the comments and we will do our best to accommodate. (And if we use your idea, we will give you credit in the post with a link to your LinkedIn profile!)
If you need help with your LinkedIn process or training, give us a call. That’s what we do.