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“Identifying, sharing and building relationships have become the key tools of modern social selling,” was the key message delivered by Koka Sexton, Sr. Social Marketing Manager from LinkedIn. As more buyers and sellers are connecting and researching prospects and companies, LinkedIn has become a vital hub.

The keys to any sales person being effective using LinkedIn are finding the right people with the right connections, leading with insights that are valuable to your target audience, and being able to leverage relationships to lead you to decision makers or other prospects. “There are on average 5.6 decision makers in most organizations and it is important to understand who those people are to be the most effective,” says Koka.

When advising sales teams on effectively using social media sites like LinkedIn, Koka recommends:

1. Build your profile to showcase your skills, insights and experience to build your reputation
2. Develop your network with people who can help you achieve your goals
3. Gather insights that are important to your audience and targets
4. Contribute your insights in meaningful ways within groups and forums

Sales people and sales teams need to understand that buyers are researching sales people and companies before ever allowing them to make a one-on-one connection. Sales people who position themselves as experts, who provide solutions from solid companies, are ultimately more successful than their counterparts who ignore the value of social selling.

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