Growing one's visibility in their industry niche is something many sellers are working to do now. Last month over at the Inside View blog, Koka Sexton wrote a great post called How to Generate Expert Credibility (highly recommend you read this). It is so true that by positioning oneself as a subject matter expert raises visibility.
Once you have raised your visibility as a top influencer - hopefully through talking online about subjects and issues on the minds of your clients and potential customers - you need to find ways to further those conversations so that if there is a need on the part of someone viewing your content, you'd know it.
This is where many salespeople working to build credibility online stop. They write, they post, and they go on about their business. It is that next step, one of engaging with more probable prospects, that takes you to discussions around how you could help through your products and services.
So reach out. Here is one example that is extremely simple, easy, and has high pay off: Interacting with people on LinkedIn.
1. Upgrade your LinkedIn account to a paid one if you haven't already
2. Look to see who has viewed your profile
3. Selectively reach out to anyone who looks like an interesting connection. (Note that I didn't say "who looks like a customer" )
Here is how we often might respond through a LinkedIn message -
Hi John, I saw that you had viewed my profile through the wonders of LinkedIn technology and was curious if you are looking for a specific answer when it comes to your...... [sales team] or [company] or [fill in the correct word]. Happy to talk by phone - just give me a call at [insert my number in].
Many times, people don't respond to that, but they do sign up for our newsletter. Sometimes they do respond and say they are not in need of any specific thing, but am glad I reached out. We now have a connection and that person fits the profile of our prospective customer so is a valuable connection.
Here is a recent post about underutilized social strategies in selling.
What to do if people are NOT viewing your profile: Get actively involved in answering questions posted on LinkedIn, and join LI Groups where your customers or those who can refer them your way live. Give answers there and build trust. Over time, you will have solid relationships that cannot be replaced by paid search or by fly-by-night tricks to grow business.
Back to Koka's post, it is critical that you know whether your focus is on gaining credibility among your peers, or among your customers and prospective customers. I believe either route works, but since ultimately you want to reach your customer a part of your focus always needs to be on where are they, and how can you help them.
How are you building credibility? Do you stand out or just make noise?
Lori Richardson speaks, writes, and trains on sales strategies for B2B mid-market technology front-line sales teams. Why not sign up for our twice-monthly newsletter, “Sales Ideas In A Minute” or the award-winning blog rss feed?