It is a fact that LinkedIn is the world’s largest, most comprehensive professional network. With more than 200 million subscribers, LinkedIn adds two new profiles every second. The clients that you need to do business with are on LinkedIn.
It is a fact that studies indicate that mortgage professionals who implement proven LinkedIn sales and marketing strategies have grown their originations by more than 30 percent. Some of my students have even doubled their origination volume within just 12 months of implementing these proven techniques.
It is a fact that if you are not harnessing the full potential of LinkedIn to grow sales and build a loyal client base, you are leaving more money on the table than you even realize.
But, how do we catch the wave of this massive trend in social media? Here are seven simple strategies proven to grow sales and get more clients utilizing LinkedIn:
1. Build a robust LinkedIn profile
Your LinkedIn profile is the hub of your sales activity. For many clients who do business with you, it will be the first impression that you make with them. The perception of your professionalism, capability and accomplishments has a huge influence on a client’s decision of who they choose to do business with. The first step to acquire more clients with LinkedIn is to build a superior profile page that does full justice to your personal brand and informs potential clients of the depth of your industry experience and competencies.
Did you realize that your LinkedIn Headline (which appears directly under your name) in your profile is picked up in Google’s search algorithms? It is! Simply placing the proper text in your LinkedIn headline can put you in a favorable place with Google’s fantastic search engine. Imagine the possibilities.
LinkedIn profile pages have replaced the old-school version of your professional resume. In this modern era of social media, the people that need to find you and desire what you do professionally, are going to find you online.
It is imperative that your LinkedIn profile include a thorough detail of your professional working history, your professional designations and certifications, as well as a robust client testimonial collection called recommendations, where past clients of yours sing your praises.
2. Add targeted connections
A free basic LinkedIn account allows sophisticated search capabilities. A subscribing member can search for prospects in a variety of ways making it easier to find new clients than ever before. LinkedIn’s advanced search capabilities allow us to search by keyword, name, company, title, location, industry, and even seniority (among others). Just think of the possibilities of searching and finding prospects from a specific organization that is expanding or opening new facilities in an area where you originate loans? Imagine connecting with influencers who have seniority with the clients you want to do business with. How would you like the opportunity find and connect with some of the industry movers and shakers that could stand to become a very profitable strategic partner to grow your mortgage originations business. LinkedIn allows you to do that very thing.
Once you have searched for and found these individuals, you may begin to connect with them through LinkedIn through a variety of methods. You may reach out to them directly through LinkedIn’s InMail system (an internal e-mail system). You could also send them a direct invitation to connect. You may also elect to be introduced to these valuable connections through someone in your existing network that knows them. The networking possibilities truly are endless.
3. Obtain professional recommendations
You have clients who you have happily served before with your mortgage services. They are delighted with your professionalism and capability. How great would it be if you could obtain professional testimonials from these happy clients that edify you and highly endorse your services?
With LinkedIn, you are able to do that very thing. You can request recommendations from past clients through LinkedIn’s InMail recommendation system. The recipients of these recommendation requests are prompted to draft a concise testimonial of your professional services. Once they complete this recommendation, the InMail system automatically notifies you of their recommendation and immediately allows you to post the recommendation on your profile page. You can even return the favor and share a recommendation of how delightful it was to work with that client and tout their professional capabilities as well.
There is nothing as compelling as a professional recommendation. Over the course of time, you can compile a treasure-trove of robust client testimonials to display on your LinkedIn profile that speak volumes of your abilities and experience to help so many others.
4. Post priceless wisdom and always add value
LinkedIn allows you to post valuable information which then appears to all of your connections in the newsfeed-styled updates section. Much like Facebook allows you to post status updates, LinkedIn allows you to share a great article, quote, news headline among so many other valuable things directly as a personal update.
What better way to stay out in front of potential clients and strategic partners? Today’s economy is based on information. When we provide valuable insights to our connections through LinkedIn, not only are we increasing the value of our personal brand, but we are helping them to make informed decisions when it comes to home financing.
As you post the latest valuable industry information to your updates feed on LinkedIn, you will become the provider of choice when your prospects select the mortgage professional that they desire to do business with.
5. Communicate strategically
Once you have connected with the individuals you desire to do business with, you can implement a strategic communication strategy with them directly through LinkedIn. I encourage regular, ongoing frequency of communication with your LinkedIn connections.
The initial contact with the connection may be a simple expression of gratitude for adding them into your network. Often, during these first exchanges of communication, you are getting introduced to them and getting your name out there. Expressing a bit of thankfulness and then positioning yourself to help them when the need arises, is always a tactful way to create a great first impression.
Follow up communication directly to your LinkedIn connections should always be saturated with value-added information and never pitching a product to them. There is no faster way to turn a prospect off than to use social media as a platform to pitch your latest product. LinkedIn is the platform to create authentic, mutually beneficial professional relationships.
6. Join industry groups
LinkedIn has thousands of industry and professional groups that you can join. Most of these groups have a leader who administers the group and also screens applicants so that the membership of each group is of true professional quality.
Once you join an industry group, you may be the benefactor of leading strategies and techniques for your profession that the group publishes and gives you access to. LinkedIn also allows you to set the communication preferences and frequency of group communications so you can manage your time and inbox efficiently.
Most LinkedIn Groups will host conversations relative to a specific hot topic or trend. You can join the conversations and share your ideas and thought-leadership. LinkedIn discussions are a fantastic way to engage with other professionals that share a common passion and interest area that you may learn from and contribute to.
7. Post your valuable intellectual assets
LinkedIn allows a great variety of ways and means to post your ideas and get your personal brand established. In today’s economy, thought-leadership is of paramount importance. If you want to be the mortgage professional of choice, it is imperative that you add value like no one else can. This means that ideas and opinions you contribute from your experience in the profession have great influence on the decisions your prospects make.
Posting these intellectual assets is easy with LinkedIn. You can post articles or publications that you have written. You may share resources through LinkedIn’s Slideshare feature which is viewable to all LinkedIn members and posts directly to your profile page. When you come across another interesting article or discussion posted by a connection of yours, you may also share it so that your connections may see it in your updates feed as well.
When it comes to posting updates and information on LinkedIn, it’s always a good practice to keep the variety of information you post fresh and interesting. Sometimes I post an article; at other times, I may post a motivational quote. At other times, I may share something that is humorous and tasteful that my LinkedIn connections would find uplifting. The idea here is to fully leverage the capabilities of such a robust social platform as LinkedIn so that you may obtain more clients and deepen the relationships with existing clients.
LinkedIn is one of the powerful tools you have at your disposal to build a truly remarkable mortgage practice. It’s time that you reached into the tool chest and put it to effective use.
Jeff Krantz is of www.JeffKrantz.co LLC trains the techniques that ultra-top sales producers use to fill their calendars with qualified sales appointments. He may be reached by phone at (716) 432-1202 or e-mail [email protected]