B2B marketing boils down to one all-important fact: It’s all about creating relationships. Today’s demand generation has created a long cycle in online lead nurturing.  From first click to sealing the deal, trust and rapport are critical to the sales process.

The influence of social media is a cornerstone to opening the door to new leads and bolstering existing ones.  When you leverage the power of a positive reputation, you build your prospects’ confidence. Colleagues and customers who can vouch for your quality of service and be a source of leads expand your credibility, too. LinkedIn is an ideal platform for developing and maintaining business relationships.

Check out these five reasons why LinkedIn should be a permanent part of your lead generation strategies:

1. A LinkedIn Company Page showcases your business brand

On LinkedIn over 50,000 products and services are showcased on company pages and that number is growing rapidly.

Millions of LinkedIn members follow over a million companies.  The site offers a range of capabilities for companies to gauge how prospects perceive their brand and is constantly adding new ways for businesses to reach out to potential customers.

2. LinkedIn users feel confident with recommendations

Remember the truth that trust and credibility are key to lead generation?  Build a link in the comfort chain by providing credible recommendations. They’re confidence-boosters for your company’s brand. Have satisfied customers provide testimonials, and illuminate these endorsements.  When you provide this information first and foremost, prospects get reinforcement regarding the quality of your products or service.

3. LinkedIn helps you survey the scene

LinkedIn’s most potent advantage is the connections feature, which lets you see the network of your personal connections. In addition to viewing the connections of direct contacts, search the data banks for prospects using LinkedIn’s people search, where results show connections to your network. This can be a great source of prospects especially if your network is willing to make introductions. Advanced search capabilities target through keywords, industry, company and relationship to your network.

4. LinkedIn opens doors by increasing your connections

As you watch your network of connections grow, get active in using them to meet more prospects. It’s most effective to directly communicate with your network members but you can also use LinkedIn’s “Get introduced” wizard to initiate contact.

A connection can vouch for your expertise, and share confidence in the quality of your product or service.  Take care to know how current your network connection’s is with your prospect. If they haven’t spoken to your prospect in a long time, or they’re not well acquainted, see if there are others within your network that may have a stronger tie.  A sales lead is always stronger when a relationship backs it up.

5. Viewing LinkedIn profiles can refine your sales message

Nothing improves a sales pitch more than incorporating commonalities and shared experiences.  Read your prospect’s LinkedIn profile to find information that can strengthen your bond. You can learn a lot about a person’s personality by reading their recommendations, too.  If you know someone who recommended your prospect, be sure to bring up the connection.

By leveraging the notion of relationships and credibility, you can boost your marketing efforts in ways that will generate solid results.  Insert this type of tool into your strategy and watch your lead generation process grow.

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