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I know lots of people who, having accepted a LinkedIn connection request and then immediately receive a sales pitch, will ditch the connection.

Now I appreciate that this might be frustrating for the sales person. After all, you’re tasked with finding new customers and selling to them as quickly as possible, but put yourself in the shoes of the recipient.

How do you respond to a dreaded “PPI” cold call, or one of those “I understand you’ve recently been involved in a road traffic accident” call?

If you’re like me, you’ll ask the caller to remove your details from their contact list and end the call.

So why should B2B selling be any different? ……. It’s not! So what should you be doing?

1. Do Your Research

Look at the contact’s website and their LinkedIn profile. What do they do? What potential challenges might they be facing that your product or service might be able to address?

2. Show Some Interest

Keep an eye out for your prospect’s LinkedIn postings and if you like what you read “like” the post. At least then you’re demonstrating your interest in their subject matter.

3. Comment on Postings

If you see a posting from a prospect that you can add value to, make an appropriate comment. Better still, add something extra that demonstrates some insight into the topic. If you can demonstrate that you have at least some knowledge of the prospect’s world, you’ll start to build credibility.

4. Make your own postings

Post interesting articles or blogs on LinkedIn, discussing issues that you think might be of interest to your prospective customers. Again, you’re then demonstrating that you’re someone with useful experience or insights into the market in which your prospects operate.

5. Be Patient

Don’t think that by taking this approach, you’re going to be flooded with enquiries (if you are, you’re incredibly lucky!), BUT ….. you’re significantly increasing the likelihood that when a potential customer recognises that they might benefit from using your product or service, they’re more likely to approach you…… because you’ve built some credibility in their mind and developed a relationship with them.

Selling is rarely a quick process….. you need to play the “long game”.

Selling is a Marathon, Not A Sprint