For business owners, account managers, business development managers and anyone else who is in sales, these are the benefits LinkedIn can bring you:
1. Identifying the right people at a customer or prospect (finding their profile)
2. Receiving introductions or referrals to prospects (via the introductions tool or outside LinkedIn)
3. Receiving referrals to other departments at current customers (via the introductions tool or outside LinkedIn)
4. Discovering the relationships between customers, prospects and other contacts (see the connections in their profiles)
5. Discovering the relationships between your colleagues from the same and other departments and prospects (see the connections in their profiles). This might avoid painful situations when sales people from the same company call the same prospect or customer without knowing that their colleagues from the same or a different department are already in touch with them.
6. Discovering information about prospects and customers which makes the conversations online and offline easier (reading their profile)
7. Maintaining relationship with current customers (Personal contacts, Discussions in Groups and answering questions in Answers)
8. Visibility for you as a sales person and your organisation and personal branding (your profile not only on LinkedIn, but also in the Search Engines like Google, contributions in Answers and in Discussions)
9. Make yourself be perceived as an expert (contributions in Answers and in Discussions and Expert points)
10. Word of mouth publicity (receiving recommendations and people telling about you in Discussions, mention you as the expert in Answers or talking about you outside of LinkedIn)
11. Getting recommendations which are visible to customers and prospects (recommendations written by other people which can’t be modified by you which makes them stronger)
12. Finding the right groups and organisations to be member of, both online and offline (via the profiles of people from your network)
13. Picking up trends in the marketplace (Discussions in the groups of your customers and in the groups of your peers)
14. Getting notifications when someone changes jobs, this is a trigger to contact them to see if you can be supplier to the new organisation and to get introduced to the one who will replace them at your current customer (network updates)
15. Getting notifications when your customers link with sales reps from a company which offers the same products or services than yours. This might be a trigger to contact your customers again (network updates)
To your success !
PS: this is an excerpt from the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (of in het Nederlands: Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken). Make sure you download your FREE light version.