According to Paul Sowada, Marketing Development Manager of Binocular, social selling is “taking out the pitching component of sales. You’re creating conversations about your product and services which organically can produce sales conversations.” Basically, social selling puts the relationship first, and the sales pitch, or sales presentation second. Instead of selling first, then building a relationship, you build a solid relationship first, then the product or service sales falls naturally out of that.

LinkedIn feels that social selling works! LinkedIn is after all a social media platform, one that’s geared specifically towards business. So, you’d think they actually have the “inside skinny” on this. And they do! According to their statistics, 78% of social sellers outperform their peers who don’t use social media, and strong social sellers are 51% more likely to reach their quotas. Bottom line here, social selling is a good thing, and it would behoove you to learn how to do it. So, let’s do just that. Let’s have a little primer on how social selling works on LinkedIn.

It Starts with Your Profile

Your profile establishes your personal brand. If someone wants to know who you are and what you stand for, all they need to do is to click on your name and read your profile summary. If they want validation, they can check out your recommendations and your endorsements. Think of your profile as a sales letter that’s selling you!

Next, Find the Right People

You need to next connect with your target audience. For most businesses and professionals, these will be people interested in buying your products or services. This happens on LinkedIn in two steps. First, you need to connect with a lot of people, then you use search to find the right types of people to connect with among your 2nd tier, or indirect connections, and over time, you connect with them!

Build Relationships

Just being connected, however, won’t cut it! You need to take this all a step further and actually build a relationship with your connections. This is going to take time. Think of it more like building a long-lasting asset rather than going for the quick buck!