Paul actually wrote this in response to my earlier post on using Linkedin for business development purposes (here), but I decided that it was such useful comment that it deserved it’s own post. Thanks Paul!
“For me, the true value of Linkedin (and true of all forms of social media stalking) is the fact that the information on an individual profile, is a subjective set of data written by the individual you want to connect with, highlighting the information that is important to them.
When writing a profile on Linkedin, people invariably focus on branding themselves and highlighting the events and achievements that resonate with who they are and who they want to be.
By spending time reading into the summary and the salient points they have chosen to highlight, you as a sales person are given access to an invaluable set of data providing you with insight into
– Your client’s individual brand
– What they see as being most important in any career
– What their aspirations are (they invariably highlight strengths and achievements that they see as being important for their aspirational role)
In the sales process dealing with a true “decision maker”, you cannot afford to waste those precious initial moments of contact, searching for that sense of rapport you need to start an effective conversation.
I found that using the information gleaned from a client’s Linkedin profile assisted me in more successfully developing rapport with the client in the first 30 seconds of the interaction, that all important FIRST IMPRESSION. In addition, this insight also allowed me to position my proposal more effectively by building the solution in manner that resonated with my clients aspirations.
I recommend cyber-stalking the hell out of any potential decision maker before ever interacting with them.
In all sales, the deal is closed because of the trust your client has that what you sell will achieve their true objective best.
This trust is established by more than just hard facts. It is a series of intangibles that differ for every individual. In our current time poor commercial lives, especially true for “decision makers”, having access to the crux of what they are really after (written by them, about them, for them) in a commercial and professional interaction, helps to identify those intangibles for consideration in shaping your discussion, before you have even met.”