Up Your Digital Marketing Game With Social Selling [Expert Interview]

Hands down, LinkedIn is the most popular professional networking site in the world. I’ve been promoting the potential of LinkedIn for personal and business use for years and I’ve also written several articles about this powerful tool for Social Media Examiner. In addition to being a great professional networking channel, LinkedIn is also a great lead generation tool. One of the tools that LinkedIn offers is Sales Navigator, which is a subscription service that you can use to target the right buyers, understand key insights, and engage with personalized outreach. 

Social Media MarketingNot exactly sure what social selling is? Here goes: It’s the process of using social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to develop relationships as part of the online lead generation and sales process. Social selling works best if you’re able to take a relationship eventually offline (meet for coffee, etc.) after initiating and nurturing the relationship online first.

After attending a local networking event here in the Denver area, I met Jean-Marc Saint Laurent, founder and LinkedIn sales lead expert for Saint313 Limited. Since LinkedIn was a common interest for both of us, Jean-Marc and I hit it off and we ended up having a great conversation. He explained to me in detail how he uses Sales Navigator to help him and his clients grow their leads on LinkedIn and I was very impressed with his knowledge. We eventually ended up meeting again over coffee to continue the conversation. He showed me some of the key features and shared with me the methodology that he uses to generate leads Sales Navigator.

Social selling is not for everyone but it can be highly effective to generate more sales. It takes knowledge, time, persistence and a good process. If you’d like to learn more about how to use LinkedIn for your social selling efforts, I invite you to view the 20-minutes online session that Jean-Marc and I recorded. Jean-Marc shares a ton of valuable information:

Here are some of the key takeaways that I learned after recording the online session with Jean-Marc.

Viewing Lead Updates in One Location

One cool feature about Sales Navigator is you can see all the updates from your leads in one place. You can use a variety of filters to navigate the updates based on what you want to see. This way, you can quickly see what your leads are posting and sharing.

It’s always a good rule of thumb to be active on LinkedIn by liking, commenting and sharing things that people post. You want to be thoughtful in your approach though, and be helpful before you try to engage with someone.

Connecting to and Contacting Leads

Sales Navigator has all kinds of filters that you can use to search for leads. You can filter by different categories within profiles, roles and tenure, and company. Using these filters allows you to be really targeted in your lead nurturing. Once you find a lead, you can save that lead. This is an important feature that Sales Navigator offers because, without it, you don’t have anywhere to store a lead.

As for contacting leads, Jean-Marc recommends establishing a connection and then waiting at least a few days before contacting them. When you do reach out, Jean-Marc suggests the following three tips things in your message:

  1. Be personal. For example, comment on a post that they recently had and make a connection to it.
  2. Describe who you are. Be brief but descriptive about what it is that you do.
  3. Close with an action. For example, propose a time to meet or offer to show the person a demo of your product.

As always, you need to be thoughtful before reaching out to a lead.

Automation Tools

There are various tools available that you can use with LinkedIn. One of the automation tools that Jean-Marc recommends is Leonard for LinkedIn. This is a free tool (they also have paid plans) that you can use with Sales Navigator or LinkedIn search results to automate your messages with a personalized touch. You can also automate tasks associated with connecting, messaging and generating leads.

Make Social Selling Part of Your Social Media Marketing Strategy

Using Sales Navigator with LinkedIn is just one of the many ways you can generate leads through social selling. Every company needs to have a complete digital marketing strategy in order to reach their audience and grow their business. We offer a variety of social media marketing services as well as social media workshops here in the Denver and Boulder area and I invite you to reach out if you’d like to learn more.

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