When did you last feel that one of your LinkedIn connections had a sincere interest in offering professional inspiration without an obvious motive? Could that actually be transformed into concrete actions within your company?
Through enrichment, you can create strong connections and ambassadors in the market, and that’s when the Social Selling outcome takes place.
GLI Business case
Guardian Life Insurance (GLI) offers an excellent example of how a company can work successfully with Social Selling. In striving to ensure the most valuable use of LinkedIn, GLI offers a training program in social selling. This program trains their employees on how best to conduct themselves on LinkedIn. The training sessions are weekly and include guidance on personal profile optimization, professional enrichment, network building, and content sharing. At the same time, sales professionals learn how to listen with social media and engage themselves in dialogue with their contacts. GLI provides the means to work with Social Selling; guidance on how to use those tools effectively and sustain enthusiasm among their connections.
GLI´s Social Selling strategy
GLI’s primary content strategy focuses on serving its financial interests and strengthening brand perception among future and existing customers. With this strategy in mind, their marketing department works closely with the sales department to develop product-driven, unique, and easily accessible content. This content is afterwards shared in their colleagues’ personal networks. It is precisely this use of their employees as brand ambassadors that has been essential to GLI’s work with Social Selling.
Creating a personal and professional brand for GLI
Their employees position the company through their personal profiles and use the medium to explain how they can bring value to customers. GLI urges their employees to brand themselves since they must sell not only the company’s brand but also their own personal brand. This tactic is founded on the understanding that people prefer to do business with people – not companies or brands . That, as a consequence, creates a portfolio of competent and trustworthy employees which is a huge advantage to the company. They, therefore, measure success not merely on traffic but to a higher extent on visits to their employees’ personal profiles.
Results, results, results
This intensive effort has been effective for GLI. The use of LinkedIn provided quick results and created lasting relationships through Social Selling. GLI experienced a rise of 56% in their connections on LinkedIn; an increase of more than $21 million in life insurance income in just twelve weeks. GLI employees who worked with Social Selling brought in an average of 45% more “business opportunities”. They were 51% more inclined to achieve their targets than those who did not.