Tuesday July 17, 2012
Why I love Jill Konrath's Book SNAP Selling and how LinkedIn can help you with your Sales Strategy.
I was just re-reading Jill Konrath's book "SNAP Selling" and am reminded how important it is to have a snapshot of your ideal client or customer. I talk a lot about this in the second chapter of my book, "LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour a Day," but since it hasn't released yet, I thought I might mention it here too.
Unless you really like cold calling and rejection, it's a really good idea to not only to do your research on your prospective clients, but also to be very clear on what kind of client your perspective client is. Being able to serve anyone in business, anyone with the start up, anyone with the face, anyone with a body, or anyone with health issues, is not actually very effective. Yes, you might be able to serve them - but will you serve them well? Will you get their business? When you talk to them, will they feel like you know them and their special needs if you can serve "anyone" anywhere anytime?
As Jill mentions in SNAP Selling, you have to know exactly who your target client is. Not only know who they are, what their likes are, what their frustrations are, what their lives are like. And beyond that - (I love this since I am a total Trekkie and geek) - you need to be able to do a "mind meld" with them. You have to get into their heads, into their thoughts, into their needs, and then see if you are offering the right solution and using the right "pitch" when you offer the solution.
I absolutely love the suggestion she makes of calling yourself on the phone, as if you were talking to your ideal client, pitching your product or service, and then calling back and listening to that pitch. As she says, you'll know soon enough, if you are honest with yourself, if you are on target. If you were your client, would you buy from you?
Now this is where I think LinkedIn can really come in handy. Once you have your ideal client mapped out (for help on this - you guessed it - read her book) start doing some research for individuals who fit into the map you have created. Using the Advanced Search, search by the keywords, the title field, maybe even the Company field, to find real individuals who fall into your definers.
Spend some time researching their profiles. You may or may not end up contacting those individuals as a potential future clients, but you can learn a lot about your client's personality, idiosyncrasies, needs, and offers, just by reading their profile, their updates, and taking a look at their activity, Group and Answer involvement. You really can get into their heads. (If they are on Twitter and have their Twitter account listed on LinkedIn, then bop over to Twitter and take a look at that Twitter Stream of Consciousness too)
You might even reach out to one or two of them for an informational interview. Be honest with them, let them know what you are doing, and be very considerate of their time. Let them know that you are researching a client type so that you can better formulate your product or service to serve their needs. Be very very clear that you are not going to sell them anything. That this is research only.
Because it's LinkedIn, you can reach them through a message if they are a first level connection, through a message through a group if you share a group with them (and you should join some groups they are in too,) through an Introduction (if you have any left and time is not of the essence, this is a good idea) or you might have to invest in an InMail. LinkedIn will show you how you are connected to the individual and how you can reach out to them.
And then make sure you honor their time, and that you don't try to sell them anything.
With the information you glean from your LinkedIn research, as well as interviewing a few client types, (and maybe, as Jill suggests, some of your own existing clients) you can you will have all the information you need to create extremely powerful and effective unique selling proposition (USP).
In order to create those unique selling propositions, you're going to have to read Jill's book. You can get it here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1591843308/ref=rdr_ext_tmb
Once you have your USP down, then you might consider using LinkedIn to reach your potential new clients since now you know exactly who and what they are!
If you have not yet done so, check out her website: www.JillKonrath.com. Jill has a lot of great information and articles and free resources that can get you started!
I thought I would focus the July 24 LinkedInChat (www.tweetchat.com/room/linkedinchat) on using LinkedIn for Sales and Marketing. Please join use to answer the following questions:
Q1: What is you definition of sales?
Q2: What is your definition of marketing?
Q3: Do you know your ideal client(s)?
Q4: What is your USP - Unique Selling Proposition?
Q5: Are you actively using LinkedIn in your sales and marketing campaigns?
Q6: Have you had any success using LinkedIn for marketing and sales?
Q7: Do you use LinkedIn to research your clients?
Q8: Do you think LinkedIn should be used to promote your product or services?
Q9: How do you promote your sales and products on LinkedIn?
Q10: How do you communicate with potential clients on LinkedIn?
Q11: What other suggestions do you have?
Here's the transcript for tonight's chat thanks to Charlie Jeffers of @Hashtracking: http://beta.hashtracking.com/ht-pro-rpt/cjeffers-linkedinchat-2012-07-24/