As a small business owner there are many problems that you face on a day to day basis. But there are 5 big problems that you can fix by simply using LinkedIn effectively.
Problem 1 – Failing to Get Passed the Gatekeepers
Busy business executives (the decision makers) train their assistants, secretaries and staff to push away sales professionals and throw away marketing materials. On LinkedIn though, you don’t have to worry about the defensive linemen that’s trained to keep you away.
LinkedIn marketing lets you get directly to decision makers as more than 80% of LinkedIn’s members are considered decision makers in their company.
And, as business professionals are on LinkedIn to get business information or do business, if you give decision makers a reason to connect with you and prove your value – you can build profitable relationships that eventually lead to a sale.
Problem 2 – Failing to Get Publicity and Exposure
LinkedIn is one of the best sources to connect with and build relationships with media professionals. In fact over 92% of all journalists are members, which is more than any other social media platform. By building relationships with the media and proving your expertise on LinkedIn, you can get quoted, featured, interviewed and published. For example, my articles were recently published in a large NY legal association newspaper with more than 30,000 attorney readers because I built a relationship with the editor on LinkedIn.
Once, you generate PR, you can be promoting it to your connections as well as the members of your LinkedIn group (which you should create) and the other LinkedIn groups you belong to. This way you get more exposure for your publicity.
For example, I belong to 50 different groups. If every group has 1000 members (many of them have 10,000+ members) – then I can put my articles and press releases in front of 50,000 prospects, potential referral sources, key influencers, decision makers and media professionals.
By simply creating discussions in the different LinkedIn groups based off your articles and press releases – and then linking it to the placement, you are increasing your PR efforts’ lifetime.
Problem 3 – Failing to Stay On Top of Mind with Prospects, Referral Sources and the Media
In many cases, your timing is the key determining factor if you close a sale or not . Your prospects and clients are going to buy when they think the timing is right. If your competitors have their messages and value-added information in front of your prospects’ and clients’ faces when they are ready to buy, chances are your competitors are stealing your profits. That’s why it’s important to maintain contact and communication.
LinkedIn can help you stay on top of your prospects, referral sources and the media’s minds as you can have your own LinkedIn group. This is a perfect way to give your followers access to you and the knowledge that you can provide.
And, if you engage in conversations with your group members, provide content on a regular basis, answer your members’ questions and host monthly teleseminars for your LinkedIn connections – your prospects, clients, referral sources and the media will always come to think of you when the timing is right and when they need an expert in your industry.
Problem 4 – Encountering Price and Budget Objections During Sales Meetings and Presentations
Believe it or not – price is not the problem when you hit a road block during your sales meetings. The problem is that you have not proven your value to the prospective client. You have not given them a reason to find a way to adjust their budget and make you a priority. You have to blow your prospects away with the value you can offer and the quality of business you can deliver. And, you do this by building a relationship with your prospects which will automatically help you overcome price shock.
LinkedIn is a relationship marketing tool that can help you get prospects to the point where they are no longer worried about price – they want your products and services no matter what.
But, you have to provide value-added information inside your LinkedIn group and the other LinkedIn groups you belong to – and it has to be information that differentiates you from your competition. You can’t be offering the same information, the same solutions in the same manner that’s already out there in the web. You can’t offer regurgitated content. Otherwise you will contribute to the wall of noise many of us experience in publications, on websites, and in social media networks. And, your prospects and clients will think of you like everyone else – and they’ll start comparing prices.
Problem 5 – Not Getting Enough Targeted Leads
Many small business owners and sales professionals are using scattershot approaches to get prospects in the sales funnel. They’re trying to get anyone and everyone.
However on LinkedIn, which has more than 135 million global members, you have access to key decision makers in every niche. You can research individuals, companies, positions and a variety of other keywords to reach the type of connection that you want. Plus, you are able to join and participate in discussions within the groups that your targeted audiences are in. This way you can focus your time, energy and money on the best prospects for your solutions.
Now, do you see the power of LinkedIn marketing?
LinkedIn should be your publicity and lead generation, prospect and client relationship management and client retention tool that will keep your small business growing.