My Love Affair With LinkedIn

10 09 2010

I am always astounded when people tell me that they do not “need” LinkedIn.  That’s crap.  Unless you live under a bridge and plan to keep it that way, everybody (especially sales people!) can benefit from using LinkedIn.  This is going to be just a brief overview – LinkedIn 101 if you will.  If you aren’t yet sure about the whole “social networking thing” here are a some key ways you can build your business using LinkedIn.  If this doesn’t convince you, maybe you do belong under a bridge. 

  • Instant Credibility

Imagine being able to present a brag book of your accomplishments and accolades to your prospect along with every single proposal.  Imagine having an interactive resume to send along to a job interview.  Now realize that you already have that ability by simply utilizing the tools on LinkedIn.  Your LinkedIn profile is a snapshot of your career.  Between the recommendations that you (should) have, the professional picture that you (should) have, and the job history that you (should) have listed – you have the opportunity to demonstrate your unshakable credibility based on past performance. 

  • Network Expansion

Like the picture above, LinkedIn allows you to view your professional network, and even goes further to allow you access to your network’s professional network.   Want to meet someone but don’t have a direct connection?  Request an introduction from your common connection!  It doesn’t get any simpler than this.

  • Jobs Jobs Jobs!

If you are in the job market, don’t waste your time on Monster.com, CareerBuilder.com or any of those other waste-of-time “job” sites.  Get the job you want by using the “Jobs” section of LinkedIn.  Fortune 500 companies list executive level jobs on LikedIn.  The application process is streamlined – simply write a cover letter and send your profile along.  Recruiters love to be able to see what your comprehensive profile and I can tell you from personal experience – if done correctly you will get an interview every single time.

  • Prospecting

Ever want to find the name of the decision maker of a new account?  It can be very expensive or nearly impossible.  With LinkedIn you simply do a combination search of the company and the job title to get to the profile of your target.  Learn about their job history, school, and other pertinent information that will help you build rapport.  Furthermore, you can look to see how your network connects with their network and even orchestrate an introduction. 

  • Groups

I know I already mentioned Network Expansion above… but it gets even better.  LinkedIn has forums for people to connect called “Groups.”  You can connect based on your Alma Mater, Greek Affiliation, Industry, Hobbies… the list goes on.  Once in a Group, you can view the profiles of everyone else in the Group whether they are a direct connection in your network or not.  Again, sales people take note!  This is a wonderful tool for you to get in front of the right people at big organizations.  They may not take a call from Joe Salesrep, but they will read a message from fellow Group Member Joe Participates-a-Lot. 

 

So what are you waiting for?  Get going!  Follow the simple instructions at  www.linkedin.com and start to get all the benefits of this great online community.    Oh, and be sure to add me:  

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6 responses

10 09 2010
Joe Participates-a-Lot

I hope no decision makers read this or they will start pulling thier info down in droves. Don’t give away all of our secrets in the sales world! It is our covertness that enables us to be effective. And for the record, I just joined Linkedin to meet chics but I appreciate being named in the post.

Joe

10 09 2010
Tara Wagner

Joe,

Great to hear from you on here! And I am highly confident that decision makers aren’t spending too much time trolling sales blogs looking for tips on how to protect their identities. However, I could be wrong.

-Tara

11 09 2010
Marcus Sheridan, The Sales Lion

I needed this Tara. Although I’m heavily into Web 2.0 and blogging, I just haven’t gotten on the LinkedIn train like I need to….yet….But it has been something that’s been bugging me, so thanks for the little kick in the back-side 😉

21 09 2010
tim smith

Tara, Excellent recap of linked in. Assuming ok with you I plan to share this link with others to explain “WHY” linked in.
Thank you

Tim, aka Grand Poobah of Smiles

22 09 2010
Tara Wagner

Hi Tim aka GPS,

Please feel free to share anything that I post online, that’s a great compliment! Thank you. On another note, Recently I had a customer tell me that he felt more confident having me as his rep because of my presence on LinkedIn – talk about a compliment!

Have a great day!

-Tara Wagner

19 10 2010
Tom M.

Tara,

You are wise beyond your years. You’ve nailed several key nuances that few appreciate after 20 years of selling in the technology space. Throwing out acronyms and babbling about Service Level Agreements (SLAs) doesn’t cut it. It makes the IT salesperson seem like a used-car salesman. Keep up the good work, and the clever insight, and you will be a sure fire hit with any tech-based company.

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