LinkedIn Unlocked: Unlock the Mystery of LinkedIn to Drive More Sales Through Social Selling

 In Book reviews, Business Model Management, Featured, Industry News

I do not like the term “social selling.”

When I reviewed Jamie Shanks’s book Social Selling Mastery: Scaling Up Your Sales and Marketing Machine for the Digital Buyer in November 2016, I made quite a buzz criticizing the expression and praised Jamie for his thorough description of what new opportunities the social media platforms provide us to increase the productivity of our marketing and sales efforts.

The short conclusion was:

Social yelling is not social selling.

Success with social media requires preparation, structure and work – a lot of work.

With her new book, LinkedIn Unlocked: Unlock the Mystery of LinkedIn to Drive More Sales Through Social Selling, Melonie Dodaro is out on the same errand as Jamie Shanks. But where Jamie writes about the subject across all SoMe platforms, Melonie focuses on LinkedIn alone. And where Jamie’s target group are the bigger companies in which a full team of specialists take care of the various tasks, Melonie writes for individuals who are responsible for the entire revenue generation process.

LinkedIn Unlocked starts by claiming that the sales dialogue has recently changed from “What can I sell you?” to “How can I help you?”

However, value-based selling has been on the agenda for all the 40 years I have been in business. That there are still many who do not understand that approach is a different issue. In my opinion there has been no major change in the basic behaviour behind a purchase (which is the prerequisite for a sale). But the Internet and especially social media have created some new opportunities for both buyers and sellers. If you are responsible for revenue generation for your company, then you better take a close look at the new opportunities. But how to take advantage of them depends on what kind of business you are in, what types of customers you serve and what your role is in the process of helping customers buy.

LinkedIn

With 546 million users (March 2018), LinkedIn is a very unique database of information about businesses and people. It is also a social media platform where individuals and companies post updates, content and participate in discussions.

However, on a monthly basis, only about 20 percent of users log in to the system and only about a half a percent are actively posting something on their profile.

I would think it is fair to conclude that only a small number of LinkedIn users have any idea of what they really want from the platform and that most people spend very little time on it. You should keep that in mind as you set out to use LinkedIn in your marketing and sales efforts.

The LinkedIn Domination Formula

Melonie rightly describes that revenue generation via LinkedIn is divided into two processes, each with several steps to be taken one at a time.

Process 1: The LinkedIn Domination Formula
Process 2: The LINK Method

She warns against the yelling technique, which many marketers have taken with them to social media and that scare away customers. Selling via social media requires preparation, insight, patience, efforts, structure and perseverance. In short: a lot of work.

In the first chapter, she introduces the LinkedIn Domination Formula, which is an extension of the first part of the well-known AIDA model (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action). A major portion of the book describes how to use this formula to build your brand on LinkedIn, which is the decisive prerequisite for the subsequent work of establishing connections that can evolve into real relationships.

If all 546+ million LinkedIn users took advantage of this formula, it would not make any difference, but as only very few will ever follow the guidelines, it is a unique opportunity to stand out from the huge pile of indifferent or self-inflated profiles.

On this subject, Melonie’s book is packed with good and practical advice. With the book in hand, anyone can enhance their profile on LinkedIn, so it is guaranteed to show up in far more searches and to receive more inquiries from persons relevant to what they wish to achieve with their presence on the platform.

The LINK Method

Once you have the LinkedIn Domination Formula in place, you can start using The LINK Method, which consists of 5 steps:

  1. Find prospects
  2. Make the first contact
  3. Engage in dialogue
  4. Build relationship
  5. Move conversation offline

Melonie meticulously describes how to apply the method on LinkedIn and again there are practical advice and instructions that are straightforward to apply. In particular, her review of the LinkedIn search function is valuable and will help anyone who wants to use the platform for business development, marketing or sales.

Insight into customer challenges

og:imageThe book’s section on building insight into customer challenges is particularly good because this is where most users make an expensive shortcut. In spite of the thousands of books that have been spoken about marketing and sales in the 40 years I’ve been in business, most sellers (and their management) are still product focused. The lack of willingness and ability of the sellers to address customer challenges is clearly reflected in the social media, where it is easy to broadcast messages to groups and to individuals. The majority of sales promotional communications remain product and company focused propaganda.

Where one can desk-research much, it requires a personal dialogue to gain insight into the individual customer’s current challenges as well as what consequences their lack of resolution entail.

Value Assumption -> Value Suggestion -> Value Proposition

Therefore, Melonie emphasizes that communication and dialogue at one point must go offline and become completely personal. It is necessary in order to gain insight that can lead to a precise value proposition that then forms the basis for building the relationship and trust that leads to the customer’s decision to buy.

Conclusion

If your customers and potential customers are on LinkedIn (and they most likely are), then Melonie Dodaro’s book is a comprehensive guide for how to use the platform to fill your pipeline with leads.

The book’s strength is its focus on LinkedIn, making it complete, super specific and very practical.

The illustration is from my ebook: “Revenue Generation: Facilitating the Buyers’ Journey”

In the more general areas of marketing and sales that Melonie covers to describe the context that your LinkedIn activities must work within, there is not so much new stuff to discover. But she describes the areas well and for people who do not have that much experience with business development, marketing and sales, it can be very valuable.

If you only have the capacity this year for reading just one book on best practices for revenue generation, then Melonie Dodaro’s LinkedIn Unlocked: Unlock the Mystery of LinkedIn to Drive More Sales Through Social Selling would be my recommendation.

LinkedIn Unlocked: Unlock the Mystery of LinkedIn To Drive More Sales Through Social Selling

Title: LinkedIn Unlocked: Unlock the Mystery of LinkedIn To Drive More Sales Through Social Selling
Number of pages: 234
Author: Melonie Dodaro
Publisher: Self-published
Date of publishing: 24 April 2018
Price: USD 9.99 plus VAT (Kindle edition)
Recommendation: Can be recommended for all small businesses where individuals account for the entire process of generating revenue.
Reviews: The book has received excellent reader reviews,

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