how to use linkedin to find clients

Time to read: 3 minutes. “I have seen little (ok, I’m exaggerating) NO success using LinkedIn,” says John Reeb of the Colorado Leadership Institute. Sound familiar? Wondering how to use LinkedIn to find clients? Start telling the TRUTH about what you sell. Are you using the truth to your advantage on social media like LinkedIn, Google+, blogs and YouTube? Let me show you how to use LinkedIn to find clients—using the truth as your secret weapon.

“I have tried to add value to anyone who reads what I post … so that they gain some kind of expertise or learning that helps them in their day-to-day work.”

“Yet I’ve receive virtually no feedback nor any sales from it,” Mr. Reeb told me in a candid LinkedIn exchange.

Ironically, the discussion ended up generating over 100 leads for me in 2 weeks time. Because I dared to talk about the elephant in the room—the taboo issue that my competitors won’t go near. THEIR lack of truthfulness!

When we met, Mr. Reeb was frustrated. Rightly so. After all, he was following one of the biggest LinkedIn best practices for sales—sharing valuable content. Helping people.

We’ve been bamboozled by charlatans

I know lots of good sales people like Mr. Reeb. They’re sharing tons of valuable content. The result for most of them? Nada. Zippo. Nunca. Why?

We’ve been conned by self-appointed LinkedIn experts. They claim being seen as an expert in your field is the strategy. But it’s not. It’s the reward for having an effective approach.

We’ve been told “share and they will come.” But merely sharing valuable content on LinkedIn won’t help you find clients. And we’re not in business to be charitable.

We’re under pressure to use LinkedIn to—systematically—find clients, right? (without sucking up valuable time)

How telling a ‘shocking truth’ helps you find clients

Think about the last time a seller told you a shocking truth. You know, something sellers are not supposed to talk about with buyers. A business taboo.

How did knowing the truth make you FEEL—the moment it was revealed? Did you feel privileged? Were you surprised?

Did it grab your attention and make you want to hear more from the other side?

Sharing something valuable with a prospect is weak. What if they already heard the advice before? What if they don’t have any reason to care about it? There are too many negative variables.

That’s why Marcus Sheridan of River Pools & Spas tells the truth. He produces and share videos, ebooks and blogs that tell the truth about products he distributes. Does it sometimes anger manufacturers? Yes. Does it delight customers and drive his business? Yes.

He’s become one of the most successful sellers of luxury items in North America—using the truth to his advantage online.

Why your truths will be damn effective

“Advertising today is a truth-free zone,” says Jonathan Salem Baskin, author of Tell The Truth: Honesty Is Your Most Powerful Marketing Tool.

Baskin points out a surprising truth himself: Today’s most effective advertising is not the most entertaining. Ads that sell the most stuff are the most bold.

The most truthful.

Truth yields competitive advantage—especially online where claims made by sellers are outright lies or iffy at best.

That’s why it will be easier for you to grab attention, hold it and generate a lead. Because you’ll be giving buyers:

  • insight on an idea they never heard before
  • affirmation about a belief they’ve been told is true (that isn’t!)
  • confirmation their sneaking suspicion about a seller fibbing is correct
  • guidance to avoid dangers resulting from a myth they believe

Any one of these are far more powerful than “sharing valuable content.” Which, frankly, is a meaningless buzz phrase.

For example, what do your potential buyers believe—that actually blocks them from getting what they want? Jot that puppy down right now. In fact, take my free training and get started on the complete process to using the truth to your advantage.

Get started: Be your client’s most truthful advocate

Whether you’re selling a product or a service THIS is how to use LinkedIn to find clients. Make a LinkedIn profile call to action pointing customers to the truth. Start bold, truthful headlines in LinkedIn Groups on issues that competitors don’t dare go near.

Give clients a reason to listen to you, to care about your words—to pay attention to you.

Tell the truths your competitors don’t want told. Tell the truths you are a little scared to tell!

Ask yourself what shocking truth can you reveal that…

  • gives insight on an idea customers never heard before
  • affirms a belief your clients have been told is true—that isn’t!
  • confirms their suspicion that some sellers are telling “white lies”
  • guides them away from dangerous myths they believe

Successful social selling (using the truth) means helping prospects believe in a new, more useful point-of-view. A way of thinking that gets them what they want—more success.

You see, your success depends less on how frequently you update your profile or how often you participate in Group discussions. Participation on LinkedIn is the cost of entry. Telling the truth is the force multiplier.

There are no silver bullets. If you want to learn how to use LinkedIn to find clients you’ve got to break away from the pack of UN-successful sellers.

Good luck. Let me know how telling the truth works for you, ok? I’m glad to help you with tips or my LinkedIn sales training course.

Photo credit: Mobilestreetlife

In 1999, I co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc. where I helped secure 2 rounds of funding and built the sales team. I've been selling for over 2 decades.

After this stint, I returned to what was then Molander & Associates Inc. In recent years we re-branded to Communications Edge Inc., a member-driven laboratory of sorts. We study, invent and test better ways to communicate -- specializing in serving sales and marketing professionals.

I'm a coach and creator of the Spark Selling™ communication methodology—a curiosity-driven way to start and advance conversations. When I'm not working you'll find me hiking, fishing, gardening and investing time in my family.

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