It’s a trap! Okay, so it is possible that your sales team can find the next big “trophy fish” by liking, commenting and posting on LinkedIn. But, if you fish, you know that you are more likely to find success in the places you’ve caught before, than you are to cast out into unknown waters.
What’s your favorite fishing hole? What lures have been successful? Want to know mine? NOT A CHANCE. No fisherman with good sense will tell you that. They are just as likely to send you off to a place they are curious about and have you spend the time prospecting.
So it is with LinkedIn. If you are on LinkedIn, you can find a lot of experts telling you why it's the place to be. Heck, it works for me, but here’s the thing: you and I are not after the same thing. I want to communicate with technology resellers’ owners and decision makers. You want to sell products and services to local businesses. Are they on LinkedIn?
Your posts can tell you all kinds of things.
- Who liked it?
- Who commented?
- How many views? Which companies? What are their job titles?
These analytics are wonderful. Do you use them?
Are YOUR buyers on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is dominated by sales and marketing folks. Technology buyers? Not so much. Don’t believe me? Look at your posts. Who is engaging? Are they full of likes from your own employees, the marketing company that tells you to post (or helps you post)? Other industry pundits and people that may also wish to sell something to you? As I said, LinkedIn works for me because my customers are there, but it would be very different if I were trying to sell to local businesses.
I also think companies do a bad job of measuring activity on LinkedIn. Are you okay with a sales rep spending 3 hours a day on LinkedIn when you ask them what they did today? Or would you rather something more concrete like:
- # of calls, emails, quotes
- # of appointments
So, where should you find new sales opportunities?
Your customer base. Since starting MPSToolbox and building websites for resellers, I’ve been vocal about the opportunity within your current customer base to sell more products. Over the past three months, I decided to launch a new service where resellers let my employees call into their customer base and introduce the new e-commerce website and functionality. The results have been incredible. Here are some anecdotes:
- One customer immediately sold an additional A3 device as the customer was opening another location and couldn’t get hold of their previous rep.
- One client sold over $5,000 worth of new toner supplies within the first month.
- One customer noted “I never knew you sold toner and office supplies. I currently buy from Staples, but I’m much happier giving the business to a local company. We are in this together…”
- Another client said, “do you guys do managed print? I hate ordering toner, can you just manage this for me?”
“I never knew you sold toner and office supplies. I currently buy from Staples, but I’m much happier giving the business to a local company. We are in this together…”
The overwhelming evidence here points to resellers and salespeople ignoring their customer base as a source for new business revenue. Why? Maybe you are compensating your reps to only sell big ticket items. Maybe you celebrate new customer acquisition more than incremental revenue from existing clients.
Look, LinkedIn is okay. But it's just okay. I know where I’d focus my resources if I were in your shoes. Contact me today if you want to chat.