How To Make Your LinkedIn Profile More Persuasive.

Having a great LinkedIn profile is critical if you’re going to use LinkedIn to support your business objectives in even the smallest of ways.

For the sake of this article, I’ll assume you’re already convinced of the need to have a great profile and jump straight into the “how to” component.

Let us first get some clarity on the key tools in play here Persuasion/ Influence/ Ethical Persuasion. These have been used by marketers for years, used correctly they’re a great tool to get people to be more compliant OR simply increase the chances people will move to a favourable decision. I don’t consider the use of these strategies, in the way I have shown here, to be manipulative, underhanded or unethical. This is why I often call these strategies “ethical persuasion”.

Using a PERSUASION strategy in your LinkedIn profile is a great play to help increase the ease at which you can connect with, start conversations and build a professional brand with. Let’s look at the 6 Principles and some profile examples.

Authority:

One of the most common play’s on LinkedIn is the authority play. Founder/ Author/ Speaker/ CEO are all using authority as a key part of their LinkedIn experience. It’s hard to beat if you can back it up with substance. (Sometimes that’s a very big IF).

Who other than Mr LinkedIn – Tony J Hughes as a great example. Certainly nails the authority play in spades. 260,000 followers, Author, # 1 Blogger, # 1 Influencer.

Social Proof:

Another popular play. The way I like to describe this from a marketing perspective is with McDonalds’ “Billions Served” slogan. The assumption is, if it’s good enough for a billion people, it’s good enough for you too. Don’t miss out. Another way to explain it is as professional FOMO.

A really nice example is my friend, Andrew Ronald from BSM. His business moves LOTS of freight 10,000 shipping containers every week in fact. This is a great play because if your business moves freight internationally then Andrew could probably help you with a few nuggets of information on logistics. Equally important, is that his profile is compelling to (only attracts) people who move international freight, it’s self-selecting, no useless connections = strong network. #winner

Scarcity:

We see this used less than most of the others. VIP/ Exclusive are some obvious terms used. The theory is the harder ‘it’ is to get, the more we want ‘it’. One of my pet hates is the word “Elite”. Unless you’re Tiger Woods or Roger Federer I’d give this a miss.

I’ve used Chris “The Mohawk CEO” Reed as an example, he has a very busy LinkedIn profile. He proudly promotes his “only CEO with a Mohawk” I love the angle and branding play (Chris is a genius at this BTW). It’s hard to not acknowledge the massive Social Proof play here with his 500 recommendations.

Proximity:

An underused strategy in my opinion. If you supply goods or services to a specific location, use this as a qualifier and as a disqualifier. The theory is if we are physically close we are more likely to find agreement or be agreeable. The good news about Social is that proximity is easy to highlight on social. “Hey, we are connected to 56 mutual connections, we might as well be connected anyway, let’s connect”. On the profile front, here is a good example of proximity, (profile needs some work), no one does it better than real estate agents and here Tom is having a crack at two ‘proximities” – Love it.

Reciprocity:

The act of giving with the expectation of receiving something in return. I love the example of waiters giving us mints or chocolates (or limoncello) when they present us with the bill. Scientific research is clear that we leave a bigger tip when we get a penny’s worth of mints for free. It doesn’t make sense, yet it works, every time. The question is, what do you have to give, that has a high perceived value, yet costs you very little?

A great example is Australia’s Mr Reciprocity himself, Dean Mannix’s profile. Download my Free ebook here. Perfectly played.

Liking:

Liking is where things like compliments, referral and groups (similarities) live. Easy to incorporate in your reach outs a little harder to use in your profile. Here’s where I think Liking comes into play in your profile development. Groups. If you’re in a couple (or even more) of the same groups as your perfect prospect then the similarities of interests, personality, professional interest and style is implied. The trick is highlighting this to your prospects and customers to bring you ‘closer’.

Ok, there are some examples for you to ponder, but why do they work? See a full explanation here. In short, they work because our brains follow tried and tested decision-making pathways. Pathways which have proven to be successful and free of risk previously. When presented with a similar decision-making situation we tend to choose the path we know is the safest. A business referral is a very good example, the trust (lack of risk) is transferred from one person to another through the mutual association. The process in your mind is X says Y is a good person to deal with, I know/ trust X, therefore Y is also trustworthy/ worth knowing. Simple?

As always a big thanks to Dr Robert Cialdini for making these strategies so easy to understand and digest (referencing the good Dr is actually an authority play BTW). As well as Dean Mannix for helping me to implement.

What persuasion strategy are you using?

If you find an excellent example of a profile leveraging any of these 6 principles, please let me know and I’ll update this blog as I go.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 Ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

The 7 Deadly Sins Of Social Selling

Social selling in 2018 seems like it’s about as popular as the grim reaper was in the 1980’s. Remember that bowling alley advert?

There is no doubt ‘Social’ done poorly sucks big time, and let’s be clear, most do it wrong. Typically this happens if you don’t have a clear strategy, plan and a system which works.

I’m a card-carrying Social Selling devotee and proudly so. Done correctly, with discipline and, yes, supported by other prospecting methods, my pipeline is full, to the point of being able to choose whom I wish to work with. Luck or systems and processes?

How can I make it easier for YOU to NOT SUCK at social?

Start by avoiding these 7 Deadly Social Selling Sins at all costs.

SIN # 1

A profile which provides no valid reason to connect.

Your first impressions today are more likely to be online than face-to-face. With 75% of B2B buyers (IDC research 2014) researching their seller online as part of their decision-making process. First impressions are electronic. If you STILL suck online, why?

SIN # 2.

Connecting with everyone.(Or no-one)

Connecting with everyone WILL ruin your LinkedIn experience. It’s actually a worse situation to be in than having very few connections. Even the guy who started LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, agrees. I see many people connecting with others when it makes no logical sense to connect. You simply can’t be all things to everyone. Having 10,000 connections or more tells me you simply don’t understand how this Social selling thing works. #Cull Baby, Cull. Do you think Ol’ Dick Branson is going to ‘get back to you’ if you send him an inmail? – No chance.

SIN # 3

Not sending a personalised connection request.

You want me to accept a connection request? Why? It’s just not that hard.

And you’re certainly not going to stand out with a stock-standard request. And you need to stand out. What is it you really want? Do you want a conversation or just another connection? I don’t want another connection, in fact, most people don’t. However, I’m delighted to have another conversation. I’m clear on what I really want. Are you?

Sin # 4

DON’T PITCH ME. (Your reachout strategy sucks)

It is a sin to not have a clear, outlined, rehearsed, repeatable strategy, which is proven to drastically increase your chances of being connected or starting a genuine conversation on LinkedIn. With over 60 years of scientific research on persuasion (influence) available for you to use, what strategies are you using to INCREASE your chances of turning a good connection into a sales conversation?

Sin # 5

Not being Disciplined or Consistant.

Just because you post a bunch of stuff on Tuesday night, doesn’t mean your prospects and clients are on LinkedIn then too. You need to manage your feed, know your target markets’ read times and schedule your content accordingly. It’s not a 15min a week game. Toughen up, Princess!

Sin # 6

Connecting and ????

Most people spend more time connecting with NEW people (see SIN #’s 2 & 3) than actually trying to communicate with their existing, valuable connections. How can you leverage your existing network best?

SIN # 7

Counting Views, Likes and Comments.

This is the C-grade game on social. The A-grade players are measuring how many people respond, and how much real INTEREST you can drive from your activity (yeah, real sales LEADS, from social, scary I know). Don’t get INTERACTION and INTEREST confused. Interaction is the ‘fools gold’ of social.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 Ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

Featured post

SPAM by any other name is still SPAM. Marketing fails of 2017 & (I suspect) 2018

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Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

There is a common email/ LinkedIn strategy going around which is harming hundreds of business as they fall into the trap to using lazy outreach strategies, applying a SHOTGUN type of approach in a poor attempt to win more business. In reality, all they are achieving is losing LOTS of customers – FAST.

As the year wound down I was surprised by how many EDMs (Electronic Direct Mail) I was receiving from people/ businesses I had not done any business with. I’m sure you were the same.

Those businesses were Real Estate agents from the Eastern Sydney suburbs, Marketing companies, Pet food businesses just to name a few, there were more. As I always do, the very first time I see an EDM which I have not signed up for I unsubscribe. In nearly every instance the perps (perpetrators) used Mail-chimp as their email management device (I mean mismanagement device).

You see, when you unsubscribe from a mail-chimp EDM it tells you, in the top left corner of the browser, what the name of the list was called by those who created it. And, it was nearly always <First name> ‘Bob’s LinkedIn list’. What I have now deduced was that some 1st connections of mine had downloaded their entire connections worth of emails, mine included, and then sent out a SPAM email to every one of their connections.

Downloading all your connections email addresses is something very easy to do (Here’s how). But why would you then ruin your network and your personal brand by spamming everyone? For example, I don’t live in the east of Sydney so why should I care if the local Double Bay real estate agent wished me a Merry Christmas and was closed from the 25th of Dec to the 8th of Jan? – quite predictably, I don’t. Most importantly that particular business owner could’ve made an educated guess that I didn’t care, yet they still sent me that message, along with the other 2,200 of their 1st connections. I’m genuinely perplexed why anyone would think this is a good marketing strategy in 2017/ 2018.

Importantly, this is NOT illegal to do IF (and it’s a big IF) the email address is publicly available (from your LinkedIn profile) and that it is reasonable to assume that the goods or services being SPAMMED your way, is relevant to your line of work. (So, Mr Real Estate agent in Double Bay, Mr Pet Store and Mr Marketing, how do you draw a parallel between me being a sales improvement coach/ trainer and property in East Sydney?/ Pet Food/ Marketing tools)? – It’s a pretty thin line you’re walking. This is a Facebook B2C being poorly applied on LinkedIn.

Earlier this year I asked my connection base if this was OK to do (strip email addresses and send EDMs) I gained over 45,000 views, nearly a hundred comments including some great interaction from the AMA (Australian Marketing Association). See a screenshot before it went super crazy below.

In short, my belief and what my network is telling me is that this strategy is ACTIVELY turning potential customers away. It’s a Business DECREASE Strategy.

What should/ could they do instead.

1 – Start a conversation when you initially connect with someone, this is the most effective and efficient time to start a conversation. Use tags (Hashtags) or other identifiers to organise your prospects into small groups.

Not everyone will respond and that’s OK, but it’s 100% more authentic and 100% more effective than SPAMMING people, many who are not in your target audience. The biggest mistake sellers make is trying to sell things to people who don’t want or can’t buy your products or services. This is a great example of that here on social/ #LinkedIn

2 – Build your network carefully (You now know why I rarely accept Real Estate Connections). Have a quick look at the flavour of their posts and see if that’s the sort of thing you’d like in your feed every day. If not, it’s OK to decline. (ignore). If you mess up your network, you mess up your feed. Mess up your feed and it’s hard to find and create the nuggets of conversations with real prospects you need to make LinkedIn work for you. You’ll then give up and become a social selling naysayer.

If you’d like to get off the SPAM roundabout and on to the credible out-reach bandwagon. Check out our courses to help you do that here. www.salesleader.online/courses

It’s not as hard as you think and does bring great results. One of our recent students had a shotgun strategy and was sending LinkedIn messages to his 10,000 strong (weak) network monthly without any cut through. By using a more targeted reach out strategy we were able to drive meetings and phone calls from his LinkedIn activity. It’s not hard, you just need to know how to do it and then execute.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 Ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales growth, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

This article was originally posted on Mark’s LinkedIn

 

How to personalise connection requests directly from your phone. 3 steps to follow.

As we know, best practise is to include a personalised note when sending a connection request on LinkedIn. It positions you more credibly with the receiver, can highlight why you should connect and supports that your request it’s not a piece of spam.

One of the most popular LinkedIn information requests I get is “How do I customise connection requests from my mobile phone”?

 

If you’re like me, you often spend all day using ‘just your phone’ as your primary communication device. When I’m out and about meeting people, I like to connect with them straight away, so how do you do that in a professional manner, when you only have your phone handy?

Well, wonder no more.

1 –  You open the person’s LinkedIn profile on your phone via the LinkedIn app, next to the search window are 3 small dots.

2 – This opens up a menu of five options, one of which is ‘personalise invite’.

3 – Then, just as you would with any other connection request, simply type in the reason for your connection. I’d suggest leveraging a Dr Cialdini’s Ethical Persuasion strategies (details here) as a potential reason to connect, to drastically increase your chance of a quality connection.

NB: If I meet you for the first time in a business environment, I’m pretty comfortable simply standing next to you and sending each other a non-edited connection request in the same manner as if we were swapping business cards. Assuming that we are going to accept each other’s connection immediately.

If you’d like more high-quality tips and tricks on how to be a guru on LinkedIn please reach out for a chat.

 

This article was originally published on LinkedIn’s pulse.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales training, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

Are you losing deals first thing Monday morning?

In our recent research paper by SalesITV’s John Dougan,  “Bet Your Sales Meeting is failing” on sales meeting effectiveness, we uncovered a bunch of alarming detail, including;

25% of surveyed Sales Managers believe their Sales Meetings have NO impact on either SALES RESULTS or CUSTOMER CONVERSATIONS.

We now know they do have an impact, but not in the way they think.

One of the terrible things about running poorly executed sales meetings is that we don’t fully consider the knock-on-effect they have on our customers.

If we’re running sales meetings that lack value, direction and inspiration for our team, we can be sure that this is reflected in the meetings they’re running with their prospects and customers.

If our sales meetings aren’t helping our team to have better conversations with our potential customers, we are actually reducing the likelihood of our sellers being the winning vendor. Isn’t a sales meeting supposed to HELP salespeople win deals, not kill deals first thing Monday morning?

How about this; If our customers were invited inside our sales meetings would they be disappointed in the quality of the conversation or would they be pleased to be the focus?

Our sales meetings should be where we set the standard for how customer meetings should be run – punctual, prepared and purposeful.

Use this time to get your team focused, empower them with skills and keep motivation running high so they’re raring to go when we wrap up the meeting. If we promote this standard each week, we will find that it cascades through their daily activity, including meetings with customers.

What should we do?

  •  Role-model the type of behaviour that we would like to see in customer meetings in our sales meetings. (Lead by example).
  • Share best practice within the selling team. Who is having great conversations and how?
  • Focus on sharpening skills, beliefs and behaviours in our meetings.

Here’s to losing fewer deals first thing Monday.

As well as being a sales execution coach and trainer to Australia’s corporate sector. Mark is the #1 ranked Linkedin Social Seller in Australia. Contact Mark via Inmail message or mark@salesitv.com for a discussion around sales training, coaching, social media, golf, cycling, AFL and sales effectiveness. 

Twitter: Mark McInnes @mamcinnes

How to get meetings using LinkedIn (in just 5mins or less).

Would you like  8 – 10 New Business conversations every week?

Without doing any hard prospecting activity? Here’s how.

Watch this 5min video for a full explanation on HOW TO do that.

 

Why I think this strategy works.

1 – You choose who you’d like an introduction to. Most people simply ask ‘who can you refer me to’? The person you ask, whilst meaning well, tries to think of someone SAFE to refer you to. Or someone they think you’d like to talk to.

By bringing a list of 5 or 6 names of people you’d like to chat to, you’re much likely to get high-quality business introductions from it.

 

2 – All you need is the OK to call, or Inmail, or email the person using the reference name as a door opener. (Gary, I was having coffee this afternoon with Sam Smith and he suggested I give you a call. Do you have a moment?) – that’s all you need permission to do.

If you ask them to tie you together when they get back to the office, they run a very high chance of either forgetting or just doing a terrible job. This introduction is much more important to you than it is to them. Don’t leave it for them to do it – take control of the situation yourself. Make it easy for them to give you those warm introductions.

 

Some of the best strategies are actually the simplest.

Do yourself a favour and give this a try for every meeting you have planned for a week and see if you don’t generate more sales meetings and sales conversations as a result.

If you’d like more details on how I help businesses to drive real sales results by using how to strategies, just like this one. Please zoom across to my contact page or shoot me a direct email via mark@salesitv.com

 

 

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