By Jill Konrath
What would it take for you to double or even triple your win rates? According to LinkedIn research, you have a significantly better chance of closing sales when you have multiple connections within a single account.
Can it really be that simple?
Not exactly … Winning isn’t simply a function of having lots of LinkedIn connections. It requires a well-thought-out strategy. If you’re only well connected to one or two people at a company, you’re vulnerable if something happens to them.
Also, since most decisions today involve 4+ people, it’s essential to establish relationships with all of them. That way you have a greater likelihood of getting buy-in, working through obstacles and keeping the decision process moving forward.
Start by Doing This ….
1. Identify the key positions. Take a look back at recent decisions you’ve been involved with – win or lose. Who was involved? For example, if you sell to Marketing, a single decision might involve: CMO, VP of Corporate Communications, Director of Demand Gen and an IT Director.
2. Leverage LinkedIn to scope out names. Look up your initial contact, then search in the “Others at XYZ Company” section. These are often co-workers. Here’s where you’ll find this particular company’s job titles – which vary everywhere.
3. Use Advanced Search to root out other positions. If key buyers are in different functional units (sales, purchasing, IT, HR), they can be uncovered this way.
Then Do This to Expand Your Contacts
Many salespeople are really uncomfortable expanding beyond their existing contact. They don’t want this person to feel like they’re going behind his/her back by establishing relationships with others in the company.
That’s an error in judgment. You are the professional. Your prospect’s don’t make decisions like this very often and they honestly need you to provide guidance. So you say:
Alex, I work with lots of other companies who are trying to decide if it makes good sense to change from the status quo. Virtually every time, the decision involves these types of people/positions. Based on my experience, it’s good to get them engaged as soon as possible.
You could also add:
I did some checking on LinkedIn, and this is my best guess who should be involved. Let’s take a look at this list to see if it’s right. And if not, determine who else we need to engage.
AND, you can also send an InMail to any of those people you’ve identified saying,
I’m talking to Alex in Marketing right now about how we might be able to help your company shrink time to revenue on an upcoming product launch.
Usually when I work on projects like this, the VP of Sales needs to get involved fairly early on too. Would you have time for a quick conversation next week? Tuesday afternoon is best for me.
P.S. I’m sending you a LinkedIn invite too. Looking forward to meeting.
The key is to be a leader in initiating contacts. Don’t ever let your future in an account rest on one person. Know who you need to meet with – and reach out to them.
It’s one of the best things you can do to increase your win rates.