I think that there is a huge difference between thinking you’re using and really using the internet to develop the business. A lot of the time what I see is a public display of vanity rather than a commercially fueled injection of sanity. But it doesn’t replace every other communication channel and tool! The internet, social media, telephones and old school cards are just tools of “the trade” – whatever professional role you are in.
But how many industrial injuries are caused by tools each year? In one case the CEO of a board I trained had seven (!) years of unactioned invites in his inbox on LinkedIn, he was mortified when I explained what they were and asked how he would feel if he invited his suppliers and they never responded. I tactfully suggested he should accept them and then send each a nice note to say sorry, just had a LinkedIn Course and perhaps they ought to catch up.
How many sales people and professionals actually make this LinkedIn “stuff” work?
My experience is very few until I train them, which is really sad, and it’s not just a UK thing either but a global phenomenon. LinkedIn is the most underutilised free sales tool on the planet!
I work with many globals and when I audit them the profiles are shocking, the company profiles are dire and the way that they use, behave and convert the tools to more effective engagement and shorter sales cycles … well let’s just say it leaves me scope for improvement.
All tools are good, if used well, at the right time and in the right way. At the moment my best guess is 5-10% of LinkedIn users are there; I cannot and wouldn’t comment on all the other internet tools but suspect it could be very similar.
As for the impact of LinkedIn on sales, this depends on how you use it. I have one client that counts results in Millions of pounds so like all tools, used well and used at the right time = fabulous results, but used badly = frustration, wasted time and at worst self harm as you publicly demonstrate your lack of engagement, your lack of focus on your personal or corporate brand.
Check out this blog about why your organisation should be using LinkedIn.
If you’re not getting results on LinkedIn perhaps we should talk?
Article kindly provided by guest author James Potter the Linked In Man for our November 2012 newsletter.