Using LinkedIn Groups without looking “spammy”

VengresoSales Coaching Using LinkedIn Groups without looking “spammy”

Using LinkedIn Groups without looking “spammy”

LinkedIn Group SpamThirteen years ago LinkedIn launched Groups, an online space for lively discussion and ideas. So what could possibly go wrong?

Well like every other free online forum on the web it quickly filled with people more interested in prospecting for clients than actively contributing to the conversation. As a result things became very spammy and the “real” discussions waned.

Seeing the need for reform, LinkedIn retooled Groups and instituted a set of rules, guidelines, policies and features designed to make it far less of a spam factory.

So how can you use LinkedIn groups for sales without annoying the very people you want to connect with?

The first rule is don’t be the “real estate agent” who only goes to parties so he can get his card in everyone’s pocket.

People can sniff this out a mile away. And they can see you don’t care about anything other than making money off those in attendance. Even the host is left wondering how you even got in.

So the trick is to be tactful about your approach.

Here’s one way…

On the Groups page, type into the search bar a topic that your prospects might be talking about.

So I type in the keyword ‘training’ and a message pops saying, “Hey, here are some discussions within the Sales Management Executives Group that include the word ‘training’.”

Seeing some useful groups in the search results, I would then post some useful content in the conversations there to further the discussions. The idea is that people would notice my statements, comment on them and ideally want to reach out to connect with me to discuss further.

The other way is a little more proactive. Look at the various comments on the subject and explore who is doing the liking and commenting.  Then take a look at the commentor’s profiles and if appropriate, reach out to them about their comment in the group and set a conversation in play.

Both approaches require a fair bit of tact and finesse to ensure that those you reach out to aren’t made to feel like they’re a mark. That means, coming with your A-game with good content to add to conversations and a willingness to invest in the discussions.

There are two reasons for doing this. One, is to ensure that Groups are seen by users as a good place for discussion. The other is to ensure that you, and by affiliation, your company are seen as high-information contributors  in the groups.

Because if you’re spotted as someone merely on the prowl for prospects, you’ll be as clearly identifiable as a tin of spam.

Kurt Shaver

Kurt Shaver is a co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Vengreso. Kurt is an expert at getting sales teams to adopt new sales tools and techniques. Through a successful career in technology sales, Kurt learned what it takes to reach B2B decision makers. As a VP of Sales for a global software company, Kurt was the executive sponsor of a rollout. That’s how he learned what it takes to get salespeople to adopt new tools and techniques. That knowledge led to him launch his own Salesforce consulting business in 2008. When LinkedIn went public in 2011, Kurt recognized that LinkedIn would be the next great sales technology and that it would require expert training. He pivoted his business and now has over 10,000 hours of experience training corporate sales teams like CenturyLink, Ericsson, and TelePacific Communications. Kurt is the creator of the Social Selling Boot Camp and is a member of the National Speakers Association. He frequently speaks at corporate sales meetings and conferences like Dreamforce, Sales 2.0, and LinkedIn’s Sales Connect.

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