During these unprecedented times, businesses big and small are facing hardship with a lack of physical and social interaction. It is more important than ever to make your online interactions meaningful and part of your company’s B2B sales strategy. Most prosperous networkers already understand the psychology and value behind using social media sites.
Spaces such as LinkedIn nourish relationships that we form and the people that we already engage with. Whether you are trying to learn about a new industry, looking for a job, or catching up with old friends, online profiles have become essential to fostering relationships and marketing yourself in a digital world.
I spend most of my time at work managing lead generation on LinkedIn for our clients. And not just increasing the number of connections but adding value to the B2B sales strategy as well. The advantage of lead generation on LinkedIn in addition to cold calling B2B is that you have the time and space to gradually interact rather than immediately delivering a sales pitch.
LinkedIn is a place to build long-term relationships, which can eventually lead to business collaboration. Each new connection is viewed as an opportunity to have a meaningful conversation, rather than indicating a measure of popularity. Baumeister and Leary (1995) claimed that the need to belong (i.e., the desire to form interpersonal attachments) is a fundamental motive with significant consequences for social functioning. By networking and establishing LinkedIn connections in one’s relevant industry and reaching out to ask about the work others are doing, the individual can feel a sense of community and belonging. Moreover, this online relationship building transforms cold calling B2B into much warmer interactions.
Another advantage of lead generation on LinkedIn is its visual aspects. When someone hears a piece of information, they will remember only 10% of it three days later. However, when paired with a picture, they will remember 65% of the information three days later (Medina, 2008). Since people can visualize each other’s profiles and work experience, it welcomes them to engage more than simply a voice over the phone.
As visual beings, optimizing our profiles and presentations on LinkedIn to attract the appropriate people is more important than ever. Research by psychologists shows that profiles that are longer, have more connections, and include a photo are favored by employers (Roulin & Levashina, 2018). Whether we are trying to attract recruiters, employers, or collaborators, LinkedIn allows us to be creative and tell our stories beyond our resumes.
Focusing on LinkedIn account management has taught me that social media presence is important for B2B sales strategy, but the psychology of nurturing relationships on social media sites is even more beneficial for success. By nurturing your network in addition to cold calling B2B, each connection has the potential to be a valuable resource.
Baumeister, R. & Learly, M. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497-529.
Medina, J. (2008). Brain Rules: 12 Principles for Surviving and Thriving at Work, Home, and School. Seattle, WA: Pear Press. Print.
Roulin, N. & Levashina, J. (2018). LinkedIn as a new selection method: Psychometric properties and assessment approach. Personnel Psychology.