In this article, we’ll discuss five common reasons behind LinkedIn failure and what you can do to turn that tool back to good use.
LinkedIn, Twitter, and similar social media sites offer sales teams unmatched outreach potential, utilized properly. Some businesses exist solely on the back of LinkedIn sales or leads. But any tool can be misused, and few find themselves misused as often as LinkedIn accounts. Whether your account sits unattended and unprofessional, reeks of lazy, blatant, low-effort marketing tactics, or simply wastes time better utilized elsewhere, your LinkedIn account can hurt your sales as easily as it can help them. In this article, we’ll discuss five common reasons behind LinkedIn failure and what you can do to turn that tool back to good use.
Not having a LinkedIn account at all is one thing. Having a poorly maintained and planned profile is far worse–not every sales person or company shows its face on LinkedIn, but when you do show up you should put forth a face that represents you well. Whether you’re using LinkedIn sales as part of your methodology or not, it’s possible that a prospect’s first impression of you will spring from a chance encounter with your profile. It’s a first impression that’s wholly within your control, so don’t let it be a negative one.
Interactions on your LinkedIn sales account can become a bit more ‘personal’ than other forms of communication with your industry and customer base. It seems obvious that you should always watch what you say in the public eye, but social media presents a forum where the wrong thing is often all too tempting to say. If you want to take advantage of a heavy presence on LinkedIn and generate LinkedIn sales, you need to be just as professional and cautious as you would be elsewhere.
Handled poorly, your LinkedIn sales account can become a dead-end in your funnel. Even if the situation never becomes that disastrous, your LinkedIn sales account can be an unnecessary distraction that slows the sales cycle. Don’t press your LinkedIn presence on any prospect that it’s not going to bring closer to a sale; not every tool has a role in every single sale.
Your connections can become a negative point with potential customers, if you’re not cautious with your networking. It’s very easy to find yourself tied to an individual or organization that’s become toxic to your target demographic; not a situation you want to let stand for long. This is just another reason you can’t treat LinkedIn as ‘fire-and-forget’ marketing; social situations change and your social presence needs to adapt quickly to new realities. Watch what your connections say, watch who you connect, and watch what people say about them. Don’t get caught in a fight that’s not yours to begin with.
If your business isn’t well suited to utilizing LinkedIn for sales purposes, or you’re investing time long past the point of diminishing returns, your sales could be suffering simply because you’re not using that time elsewhere. Social media can be a dangerous trap for anyone in any industry, as there’s always ‘one more thing’ you could spend your time on–but have no doubt, there’s always a point where it no longer makes sense to invest more time for your business. At that point, you’re merely entertaining yourself under the guise of ‘working on social media’. Don’t waste time; don’t let your sales suffer. All things in moderation–the balance of time should be a factor of how much you gain from LinkedIn. Are you getting LinkedIn sales, generating leads, building your presence, or simply making a showing because everyone else in your industry has a LinkedIn presence?
Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.