Social selling is becoming a vital component of business growth and LinkedIn is proving to be the best tool to facilitate this. If you have a LinkedIn profile, you can check how well you rank on their Social Selling Index. Many people completely overlook this until they see their low score. Here are a few ways to improve you social selling index rating and make LinkedIn work for you!

1. Establish yourself as a credible and professional brand

Keep up with trends and think about what would attract a customer to engage if they view your profile. Do not set up a profile with the intention of only getting employed – make yourself seem like an asset. Identify the key problem your ideal client faces and position yourself as the ideal solution (download our free ebook for an indepth guide on this).

The next step is to contribute meaningful content, be it infographics, videos or useful links. Now not only is the image you project powerful, but you are viewed as engaged, interested and interesting to work with.

2. Making good connections

In today’s world, there are numerous factors and people that influence ultimate buying decisions. You can’t rely on one inside contact to help get your foot in the door – there should be multiple doors opening at any given time. In turn, you should have multiple contacts as well as the right contacts.

Building credible business relationship does require some savvy interpersonal skills, but finding out who is best to use those skills on is simple. Start searching on LinkedIn, and map out the industry influencers, best potential buyers and the who’s who of relevant companies. You can start with the basic free search and build up to the paid advanced search as you become more comfortable with the platform.

Having done this background research allows you to bring up names and titles of relevant personnel during your interaction with the company, helping solidify the relationship and potentially reaching new opportunities.

3. Be interested and sincere

Avoid the old-fashioned practice of cold calling – while it may work some of the time, it is mostly a waste of time and quite disheartening due to the high rejection rate.

Make better use of your time by actually engaging with the topics that surround your industry – you don’t have to be an excellent wordsmith, just contribute to intelligent discussion, offer your thoughts on articles, share relevant content and have your name be seen.

From here, reaching out to people for selling purposes will seem far more natural and sincere. In fact, something you share might prompt them to call you!

Keep an eye on changes that occur amongst your top potential prospects – a simple “Congrats!” on a promotion may serve you well in the future.

4. Nurture good business relationships

Find a good balance between having a solid network of people who have done, or would recommend, doing business with you and value your input and not having too many shallow connections. Having too many connections can sour the sincerity and trust aspect of it.

On the other hand, if you’ve met with someone face to face don’t forget to connect with them on LinkedIn while you’re fresh in their mind. Foster these relationships and you’ll reap the rewards.

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