I recently read a great book called
The Power of a Link
by David Gowel. I wanted to share some key points with you today on how you can use LinkedIn to generate leads for Credit Card Processing.
1. Create your own LinkedIn profile Make sure you have a good picture on your profile. Take some time to think about your summary and how to position your previous work experience. An investment of several hours will create a great LinkedIn profile that will act as your online resume for potential clients.
2. Use your LinkedIn profile to mirror your real life network. The goal is not to connect with a bunch of people like it is on Twitter, Facebook or YouTube. Rather, the goal is to map and utilize your real life relationships and connections. The reason you need to keep your connection list clean becomes clear in the next section.
3. Use the advanced people search to find first and second degree connections that would be prospects for your business. A second degree connection means that this person is a friend of someone you are connected to on LinkedIn. For my search I looked for people with the title of Owner, President, or CEO within 25 miles of my location who are either a first or second degree connection. If you have only connected with people who you actually know well, that means you are one phone call away from a warm introduction to each of these people. You know who to call.
4. Invite every business owner that you sell to join LinkedIn. Even if they only add three or four connections, getting them to start using LinkedIn will give you access to their connections. This is the fastest, most efficient way to get references and referrals. You don’t even have to ask for them. Just send an email invite to each business owner you service and sell him or her on the power of LinkedIn. Once the owner joins, you will be able to see all first degree connections.
5. Go make some sales! There are two ways you can use LinkedIn to make sales.
First, you can make a list of all the second degree connections from your clients and go visit them. With this strategy you simply walk in and say, “Hi, my name is ______. I am connected with Bob at XYZ Company on LinkedIn because I do his credit card processing. I noticed you are also connected with Bob. How do you know each other” From this conversation you haven’t said that Bob recommended you. However, you did imply that he is happy with your service since he did connect with you on LinkedIn. This is a great way to start a conversation which will lead to a sale. (Obviously, only mention connections who are happy with your service.)
The second way to use your LinkedIn profile to generate sales is on larger accounts. Let’s say you walk into a business, and an employee will not let you speak to the business owner. However, you get the owner’s name. Go to the people search and see if that person is on LinkedIn. If so, is this owner connected to one of your connections? If this is the case, call up that connection or stop by and say, “Hey Sue, I was trying to get a meeting with Bill over at XYZ Company, and I saw that you two are connected on LinkedIn. I was just curious how well you know Bill and if you thought our service might be a good fit for him?
In closing, I wanted to share some of my own results. I recruit agents and sell larger businesses in my local market. A few weeks ago I had 370 connections on LinkedIn, but many of them didn’t really know me at all. And I didn’t know them well enough to call and ask for an introduction. I reduced my connections down to 128 who I knew pretty well or planned on getting to know shortly. I also improved my profile and started including my LinkedIn public profile URL at the bottom of each email under my name. Since then (in the last two weeks) I already have one sale, eight prospects, and have recruited three new agents just from my own network! Also, the number of people viewing my profile went from one per day to fourteen per day. Get the book I mentioned above; read it; and apply it to your profile. It is well worth the investment! Don’t let pride drive your use of LinkedIn. If you only know twenty people well who are on LinkedIn, just connect with those twenty. Try to grow those relationships outside of LinkedIn. Every time you meet someone who is impressed with you, ask to connect with him or her on LinkedIn and watch your network grow!
Have a great day!