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LinkedIn can Leverage your Partner Recruitment Process
Finding the right channel partners and solution providers to join your distribution network is no small feat.
From cold calls and emails, to obscure referrals and failed presentations, partner recruitment can be a painful process that mandates a hefty portion of patience and research.
Surprisingly, however, manufacturers fail to leverage one of the most powerful and efficient methods for establishing meaningful relationships with solution providers: LinkedIn.
A platform so comprehensive and versatile that many of us assume we harness it correctly.
Leveraging LinkedIn successfully doesn’t solely entail a professional headshot and detailed summary.
There are subtle nuances to executing LinkedIn correctly that go beyond its traditional formalities.
In order to truly take advantage of the platform, find the right channel partners and squeeze out as much opportunity as possible, look to the following suggestions as your guide to LinkedIn glory.
Visibility creates opportunity
One of the reasons LinkedIn is such an incredible tool for channel producers is because you don’t always have to do the recruiting.
Solution providers are constantly sifting through LinkedIn for vendors where the potential of synergy may exist. If your profile fails to immediately demonstrate your value and relevance (to a potential partner), you’re unlikely to spawn new opportunities.
Think about why you have a profile, to begin with.
Who is your target audience you want to visit your profile? What information, validity and key words do you need in order to persuade partners that you’re person they’ve been looking?
Visualize your profile as a billboard on a highway. You have to get your message across fast in order to capture the interest of people driving 70 mph.
Here’s a quick overview of what your LinkedIn profile summary should include in order to break through the clutter:
1.) Person –quickly distinguish why you have the answer to target’s problems and pain points.
2.) Story – evoke validity by articulating a story in which your target can resonate with instantly
3.) Result – Showcase the transformation of what you offer
4.) Differentiate – what factors make you unique against competing profiles
5.) Describe – detail exactly what it is you offer
6.) Action – what should they do next (e.g., connect, direct message, call, email, etc.)?
Engage with value
If someone requests to connect with you, accepting without a response could potentially lose you a great business opportunity.
Think of it as shaking someone’s hand without conversing.
This is your chance to spotlight your personality and warm energy—qualities a potential business partner may be pleasantly surprised to receive.
Following is a short example of the direct message you might send a new connection:
Glad to have you as a connection, [NAME], and thanks so much for reaching out!
May I ask how you found me? I am curious to see how our careers crossed paths…
I did have a chance to quickly visit your profile and found your experience to be impressive.
As [COMPANY NAME’s TITLE], I think you will find this white paper my team published on [TOPIC] to be very interesting [INCLUDE LINK]. Let me know what you think!
Thanks [NAME], looking forward to talking with you soon.
If your recipient fails to respond within a reasonable timeframe, don’t classify the connection as nonexistent. Instead, send a second direct message similar to this:
I trust you found the white paper an informative, interesting read.
I was just glancing over some of [YOUR COMPANY’S] earlier infographics and thought this would provide some additional insight into [WHITE PAPER TOPIC] [INCLUDE LINK]. If possible, I’d love to have a quick conversation with you about how to properly execute [TOPIC]. This is actually may area of expertise so I would really enjoy sharing my insight regarding this topic.
I’m sure a call will be well worth your time, so let me know when works best for you.
Thanks [NAME], looking forward to talking with you soon.
The idea behind this strategy is to provide value for potential partners. By easing into a new relationship without rushing into business talk, you come off as much more approachable. The combination of a strong profile summary and personable attitude will differentiate you from nearly 85% of all other profiles.
Take advantage of people interested in your profile and content
As you know, the warmer a sales lead, the better.
LinkedIn gives you a wonderful opportunity to create your own sales navigator (or partner navigator), and the best part is, leads come looking for you.
The “who’s viewed your profile” (WVYP) application is one of the most powerful tools LinkedIn has to offer. Although WVYP is only featured through Premium accounts, the cost can be easily justified by the incredible opportunity it creates.
When you know who’s viewed your profile, you no longer have cold connections. This presents the perfect opportunity to strike up a casual conversation, pinpoint how you will share value, be introduced to a wave of new people, and so much more.
When you can see every person that views your profile, it completely transforms your outreach strategy into something that’s personable and relevant to prospecting partners.
When someone in your network likes/comments/shares the content you publish, you are now in their network news feed; when their network likes/comments/shares your content, the domino effect continues, and you’re now marketing your profile to an infinite number of unassuming partners being introduced to you for the very first time.
Ultimately, the more value you publish, the more opportunity you have to get likes/comments/shares, and thus, introduce yourself to new people. So, be deliberate with the content you choose to share. Do you find it interesting? Will others be drawn to it as well? Is it relevant to your overarching message or value proportion? The better your content is, the more eyeballs will come looking for you.