Book Review: Cracking the LinkedIn Sales Code

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Cracking The Linkedin Sales Code

I’ll keep this short. I have to, otherwise it would take you longer to read this review than to read the actual e-book.

This is a very useful book. Download it. Read it. Use it. There, all done. Everything after this is filler. I get paid by the word. (Not really. If I were, I’d be reviewing Cryptonomicon, 1,168 pages.)

This is an e-book, you download it for free and there are eighteen very short pages of actual text, so there is no excuse not to read it except you’re being obtuse. LinkedIn is one of the most important sales tools available to us, and when you read the book, you’ll find out that people aren’t using it! You know what that is, don’t you? An advantage. A head start. A boost. Who would have thought that this far into its history, LinkedIn would still be underutilized by professionals who have something to gain from it?

This is a what-to-do book, not a how-to-do it. You’re on your own there, but its inconsequential because the LinkedIn site is pretty intuitive, and if you do what Jill Konrath and Ardath Albee (the authors) tell you to, the how is pretty obvious and easy.

Based on their definition, I am a considered a “moderate” user, number two in their 4-tier hierarchy. But that doesn’t matter, except to me when I realize how much more I could be getting out of LinkedIn. The book focuses on the top 5% of successful users, those who say they have generated lots of opportunities using LinkedIn and are reporting very good sales years.

To find these top sellers, as Konrath and Ardath call them, they surveyed over 3,000 sales professionals, entrepreneurs, consultants, and service providers. They compared the use of LinkedIn by these top sellers to all the other survey respondents and show us the results. They are quite amazing in their clarity and lack of any ambiguity. Those 5% are clearly using LinkedIn in ways the rest of us aren’t, and apparently it’s paying off.

Here’s a few interesting findings:

  • Over 41% of respondents say they don’t have time to learn and use LinkedIn. Based on how the top sellers are doing, that’s like saying you don’t have time to create a strategy to win a sale. You make time!
  • Most users still view LinkedIn as “job shop” and present themselves as potential employees. As the authors point out, your customers (who are checking you out) will “cringe if they read that you’re an aggressive salesperson.”  Much better that they see you as a problem-solver.
  • When you average top seller’s stats in four categories (bad statistical practice, but I’m not trying to perfect game theory), 63% of top sellers viewed LinkedIn as essential, used the paid version, had a good profile, and invested six or more hours per week. 15% of the other users did the same. Like I said: no ambiguity.

The beauty of this book is that it’s easy, clear, and direct. No filler (unlike me), no homilies or anecdotes, no how-to’s for each type of sales environment, etc. Just straightforward statistics on what to do to benefit from LinkedIn.

It’s up to you to do it.

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  • Keith

    OK – you’ve convinced me. I’ll let you know how it goes! Downloading as we speak.

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