“Above all else, sales is about establishing relevance. If you could somehow ensure that you’d be in front of people at the exact moment they needed to solve the precise problems that your product addressed, you’d close deals 100% of the time.”

This was an opening line in an article I read today on the site Business2Community.  Not only is it relevant in an Inbound Marketing model, but it can be true for your efforts in LinkedIn.  As I have stated before, the power of the buyer has never been stronger when they are going through the buying process.  The information they need is at their fingertips.  By building your network in LinkedIn, participating in relevant groups, and posting relevant status updates will allow you to position yourself as a person of knowledge in your particular field.  Your customers are there, you should be too.

The article talked about 3 ways to build your referral pipeline through LinkedIn.

1.  Share content that is relevant in order to establish yourself as a thought leader.  You can do this via status updates and the groups you participate in.  Now, don’t put out “stuff” just to put our “stuff”.  Each morning I pull up LinkedIn to see what is going on in my network.  When I see someone has posted like 3-4 articles in a row with no summation or reason behind the posting, I find that I blow past it.  Be relevant.  Not noisy.  Also, no need to use marketing buzz terms, words that someone needs a dictionary to translate…be real.

2.  Build a quality network with quality connections.  I made this mistake about 4 years ago as I was digging into the power of LI and I connected with anyone that was breathing and willing. My  thought was to get my “stuff” in front of as many people as possible and I will win new opportunities.  Now I look for quality.  Not only in those that I look to build a relationship with who may someday buy our services, refer me to someone that could use our services, but those that I may be able to help build their business.  The last one can be just as important as the first 2 in the previous sentence.  Give and you will receive.

3.  Use referrals to expand your network and reach.  If you build quality, research that quality, see who they are connected with.  Look for opportunities for referrals as well as competitors, vendors, suppliers, groups they participate in, etc.  Quality leads to quality.

If you want to read more, here is a great article on the LinkedIn about 7 Things You Can Get Out of LinkedIn Groups When You Get In ‘Em.  Generally, it applies to LI as a whole.  In short the 7 things are:  Get Advice, Get Status, Get Content, Get Smart, Get Traffic, Get Clients, Get Opportunities.

Remember, buyers are looking for quality people to do business with.  Get the right information in front of the right people at the right time and you will see your pipeline IMPROVE.

Questions?  Feel free to contact me.