I just spoke with two executives from a division of Hewlett Packard that sells a quarter million dollar product to print and graphic companies. As we discussed their long term goals to utilize LinkedIn as a marketing tool for their product, they expressed interest in my LinkedIn marketing consulting and ongoing LinkedIn marketing programs.
They asked me point blank – When can we expect a return on our investment?
I explained to them that LinkedIn is a relationship building tool and you cannot expect anyone to invest in your products (especially an expensive product right away). I explained to the IBM executives that they would have to build trust and show their expertise to their connections. And, this takes time and even though I wish I could project when they’d be able to see monetary results, I could not. Below, I reveal three reasons why.
Why You Can’t Expect Quick Sales On LinkedIn When You Are Selling $250, $5000, $50,000 or Quarter Million Dollar Products and Services…
Reason 1 – You have to build the relationship
Because a prospect connects with you, accepts an invitation to connect with you, joins your LinkedIn group and community or even expresses interest in your products or services, it does not mean that they are ready to buy from you yet.
Think about it this way – if you were interested in purchasing an expensive product or service, would you buy from someone who you just “met”? Of course not! You want the sales executive to build, nourish and maintain the relationship with you.
It’s the same thing with LinkedIn. In fact, I like to think of LinkedIn as a relationship builder and not a sales tool. Before you can make that sale, you have to show prospects that they can trust you, the information you provide and your solutions. They have to see that you are “the” answer to their problems – and not just because you mention it on your LinkedIn profile.
Reason 2 – You have not proven your value
The price of your products or services in most cases is NOT the reason why prospects aren’t buying it. That’s the reason your prospects may be telling you. But the truth of the matter is that you haven’t proven the value of your services and you have not demonstrated why your prospects need your products or services.
This again can take time!
Reason 3 – It is all about timing
Even if you build a relationship and even if you prove your value and demonstrate to your prospects that they need your solutions – it still may take you time to close the sale. Remember, sales are all about timing.
You will not turn a prospect into a client unless the timing is just right. They have to be in the market for your product at the time you are promoting it. They also have to be ready to actually invest that amount of money at the time you are promoting it. The prospect has to have all their ducks in a row in order for them to be ready to invest and purchase your high end product or service. All the stars have to be aligned so to speak in order for you to be able to close a deal with a prospect.
That’s why it’s important to have your own LinkedIn group and community and for you to regularly engage with your prospects on LinkedIn by sharing content and proving your worth. You can’t let your prospects forget about you. By building, enhancing and nourishing relationships you will get a better ROI using LinkedIn because you will have customers for life. You’ll have a developed relationship that will entice customers to keep coming back to you.
With all that being said, if you use LinkedIn properly – you can make sure you get on the IT buying committee’s short list of approved vendors and you can shorten the sales cycle. Check out this webinar that shows you how to influence buying decisions using LinkedIn and content marketing.