Why are sales professionals met with such negativity on LinkedIn?
"In the digital world of today, where roughly two-thirds of the B2B buyers make their decision via online content, the rules of sales prospecting have changed." - LinkedIn
I've been considering this question for quite some time now... after-all, like it or not, Linkedin is a professional platform which is largely geared towards Sales and Recruitment. Linkedin even promotes sales behaviour by offering specific Sales and Recruitment tools and licenses, yet still, sales professionals often get the cold shoulder, not all the time of course but it does happen more than I would like.
With over 450M members, LinkedIn is at the forefront of connecting B2B buyers and sellers. A recent IDC social buying study has shown:- 75% of B2B buyers use Social Media to make buying decisions.- 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a source for making purchase decisions.- 76% of B2B buyers prefer to work with recommendations from their professional network.
Going by the figures above, it should be no surprise that sales professionals now use Linkedin as one of their main forms of communication and selling tools. Gone are the days of "cold calling", even hearing the term gives me chills - excuse the pun! I've been in recruitment sales now for a number of years and I've never been a fan of the idea of a cold call and that more dials = more business.
I am a very strong believer that we, as sales people should focus on the quality of the conversations we have, not the quantity. One of my favorite managers always said "you can call my granny 100 times to try to sell her a pen, but if she doesn't need a pen she's not going to buy it."
I couldn't put it better myself, it's all about research.
Contrary to what I think most believe, sales people spend a lot of time researching and learning about your business before they contact you, or at least I do, as do my team. Firstly, I want to ascertain do you have a need? I then want to understand that need and if our solutions fit (they might not and I don't want to waste your time). Once I have a solid understanding and an idea of how I may be able to help I'll then reach out and hopefully, if I'm lucky and the Linkedin gods are shining down upon me that day, I'll get an acknowledgment and we can start a conversation. How can I help or add value to your business?
To help and add value is genuinely what the vast majority of us are trying to do. The ideal scenario for me is that I find an amazing candidate for a fantastic role within a great company and that company benefits from the value and talent that candidate brings to their business. There is nothing more to it for me, I just want to get to know as much about you and your business as I can (I am inquisitive by nature) and if you need help I want to look at how I can offer that to you or how I can make your life easier and maybe free up some much needed time for you to focus on other things.
So I guess what I want to say is, give us a chance if we reach out. You don't need to ignore our messages or requests to connect. Even just a "thank you, great to connect but not just now" would be preferential over being ignored. I know I work in sales, but I am human, and being ignored hurts my feelings, especially when I am just trying to start a conversation, get to know you, and possibly... you never know, solve some of your recruitment woes. We'd all like that, wouldn't we?
In the meantime, we would love to connect with you on LinkedIn. - Follow Aspire on LinkedIn
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