Have you neglected your LinkedIn profile? Now it’s time to update and spruce things up! With over 750 million members, LinkedIn is at the forefront of connecting B2B buyers and sellers. One of the most important sales techniques is understanding how buyers behave, making prospecting easier and more successful.
Social media as input for buying decisions
A recent social buying study show:
- 75% of B2B buyers use social media to make buying decisions.
- 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a source for making purchasing decisions.
- 76% of B2B buyers prefer to work with recommendations from their professional network.
What does the result of this study mean for you? You need to create a strong personal brand online, show you are an active participant in your industry and get the online conversation going. People buy from people they like and trust. There’s no easier way to become liked and trusted than having a mutual connection vouching for you. Plus, it will lead to more inquiries from prospects.
The goldmine called LinkedIn
So, how do you use LinkedIn as your goldmine for maximizing contact with buyers? Here are 7 tips to find the right people on LinkedIn:
- Search for companies that you would like to approach. Go to the employee sections and find the person who has the job title that you would like to connect with. Connect with product managers, purchasing managers, general managers, etc.
- Use Advanced Search to find potential buyers on LinkedIn. Remember, the more connections you have with relations of your target audience, the closer the connection will be. The same goes for groups you share in common with your targeted buyer.
- Review the connections you have in common, learn about their background, how long they’ve been at their current company, what school they went to, interests, groups, awards, etc.
- Follow the person’s profile and check on their updates, give comments or like it.
- Once you’ve had some interaction with your target, the timing is right to introduce yourself. Send a personalized connection request! Take some time to craft your message, tell the person who you are and why you want to connect with them on a professional level. Keep it casual and don’t send a sales pitch!
- Make sure when you connect with your prospects, they are impressed with your LinkedIn profile. Your profile should communicate how you could help people in the field solve their problems – not show off how great you are. How prospects feel about you matters, so do this right!
- Once connected, you will have access to the buyer’s total profile information. In most cases, being a 1st connection allows you to see what prospects are sharing or doing on LinkedIn. This provides you with insight into what’s on their mind and what they care about.
Trade Fair and Business Directories
A primary reason many people attend conferences and trade shows is to meet the right contacts and vendors. To support this need, show organizers across industries launch business matchmaking programs designed to help attendees make better connections. So, everyone is reaping the benefits. Good news! The exhibitor and visitor list are up on the events’ website 1 year before the next event starts.
Some reputable trade shows even have a networking platform for free, such as ITB Berlin virtual market for the tourism sector, or Anuga Matchmaking365 for the food and beverages industry. Make some time to check the trade shows’ website that relevant to your business sector. Have a look at the exhibitor list from last year and check if they also have a networking platform you can join.
Register yourself as a trade visitor to gain access to the list of exhibitors and trade visitors of reputable trade shows all over the world. Do your research and find contact info. It’s quite some work to browse through all the names and make a list of potential buyers, but it will definitely help you! Nevertheless, you could use your findings as a reference if it is worth joining a certain trade show.