Today LinkedIn went down for many of it’s European users – including the UK – although it appears to be working normally in the United States.
A company spokesman said; “We are aware that some members have difficulties accessing our site. We are working hard to resolve this issue as quickly as possible.”
Now – many people depend on the information that they have stored on LinkedIn – or contact details and data that they search for on LinkedIn (especially those who have upgraded to services such as Sales Navigator) – to do their job and grow their business.
But I couldn’t help thinking of some advice I got a couple of years ago with regards to using social media sites for business.
I was just launching my first book and all the articles I’d written to promote this were on LinkedIn, all my contacts were sharing the updates and tweet quotes on LinkedIn – and every single piece if internet activity was pointing to a single platform – LinkedIn.
You see, I’m a big fan (ignoring some of the changes after the recent buyout) of LinkedIn, I think it’s an amazing resource for salespeople.
But one wise old sage reminded me of a little piece of incredibly important advice – if you don’t own it, you can’t guarantee to keep it.
Businesses come and go – shops open and close – in the commercial world, things just aren’t meant to last forever.
With so much of my marketing and sales strategy invested in the platform, what was I going to do tomorrow if LinkedIn crashed?
So, if your job in any way involves growing your business or finding new opportunities – here’s a quick list of tips and strategies that will keep you ahead of the game, while your competition are sitting with their heads on their hands wondering what to do next.
Create Your Own Sales Swiss Army Knife
You should try to make sure that – when it comes to your sales approach – you have a number of different options for every situation.
Currently unknown by the prospect? Send a polite email with a link to case studies.
Can’t get through on the telephone? Have an introductory letter ready to send by mail.
Have a large account to engage? Sponsor an update on LinkedIn and make the target company specific.
There are hundreds of different opportunities to spread the message – and these days you can do so with laser like precision with social media, articles on trade sites and blogs, telesales drives and automated email services.
A marketing director at Mercedes Benz once stated that if the first time you see a Mercedes advert is precisely when you’re looking to buy your next car, then they’ve probably failed.
Equally, if the first time a prospect hears your name is when you’re asking to be put through, then there’s a fair chance you’ll be told they’re busy. Take a look at this list – and have a think which one you could use to get your message through (with an appreciative nod to marketing guru Perry Marshall);
- Invite them to join your LinkedIn Network
- Create a LinkedIn Group and invite them to join
- Introductory letter
- Twitter (when you follow their account your avatar and summary is emailed to them – which only works if it’s professional enough)
- FEDEX envelopes to highly-targeted prospects
- Trade Shows ( Invite them to meet you at the show)
- Promotional Flyers
- Do a custom webinar or teleseminar
- Invite them to hear you speak at a seminar
- Send a link to your magazine articles and e-zine articles
- “Lumpy Mail” – sending people interesting objects, like one guy who mailed out a six foot canoe paddle
Download, Backup and Save All Your Articles, Data and Contacts
If you keep it all in one place and that place disappears, then so does all your work. While writing The Extremely Successful Salesman’s Club my house was burgled. They took my computer, my laptop – and they took 18 month’s worth of work.
Keep everything safe – in more than one place if possible – because sometimes you come home and it’s just not there anymore – and you have to start all over again.
Get a Good Grounding in How to Prospect Effectively
I’ve just finished putting together a series of 12 articles regarding Sales Prospecting that includes, amongst other things;
- What it takes to build a steady sales pipeline
- Working out how many suspect and prospect leads you’ll need to hit your target
- An explanation of Trigger Events – what they are and why they’re useful
- Building a targeted prospect list
- The truth about 21st Century sales prospecting
Of course I’ll be posting them all eventually on LinkedIn and my own Blog, but if you’d like them delivered free of charge on a weekly basis, straight in to your email inbox – then just follow this link and they’ll be sent automagically to the email address of your choosing over the course of the next 12 weeks.
Feel free to share this first article so that your connections can follow the series too.
I’ve also just put the finishing touches to an intensive Half-Day Effective Prospecting Skills Workshop – the first one will be taking place in the UK in a few weeks – if you’d like to register an interest in attending please click on this link and take a look at the content.
My new book – Selling with EASE: The Four Step Sales Cycle Found in Every Successful Business Transaction is now available from Kindle and as a Paperback. If you’d like a preview, you can download the first 30 pages as a PDF document – completely free – by clicking right here
Chris Murray is founder and Managing Director of Varda Kreuz Training, a company created to deliver sales, management and customer service training that really works – not in theory and not just sometimes – training that really works.
If you would like to discuss how we can help to develop your team, email us now on firstname.lastname@example.org, give us a call on 0844 293 9777 – or follow this link to find out a little more about our courses and workshops.
If you were looking to book a training workshop for an individual rather than an in-house training course for an entire team you’ll find everything you need over at our Open Workshops Page by following this link.