Prospecting, Training and the Job Hunt on LinkedIn Groups
The Best LinkedIn Groups for Salespeople
LinkedIn Groups are a great resource for experience and novice salespeople alike. There are 3 reasons to be on LinkedIn in the first place:
- Job Hunt – not necessarily the obvious job hunt of the temporarily unemployed, but also participation in your professional community that makes hiring managers aware of who you are and what you do.
- Prospecting – finding new customers in likely companies or expanding your contacts horizontally through the ranks of existing customers.
- Education/Training – keeping up with current technology and market trends that affect your industry as well as continually improving your sales skills.
These are 3 completely different goals, so we’ll take each individually.
Job hunting on LinkedIn can be done in secret, if you’re currently employed. That topic was handled more fully in this previous article, so we’ll concentrate on Groups that provide a more public approach. There are 2 types of Groups you can join to find jobs:
- Industry Groups – for example, if you sell to the Government, or specifically military, you may join the AFCEA group for the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association. In each Group heading there’s a Jobs tab. You can post that you’re looking for work, along with a brief sales pitch, or you can search any posted positions. Some larger groups, like the Telecom Sales and Marketing Group, will have recruiters or hiring managers post available positions right in the Discussions section like this one:
- Skills Groups – this is my term for the groups that are organized by a skill, rather than an industry. For example, there’s a Group for Sales/Marketing VPs, Sales Blogcast, and more..
- Recruiting Groups – this one seems obvious, but many people don’t even know that there are LinkedIn Groups specifically for Recruiters! Just select Groups from the search menu, type in “recruiters” and find one or two to work with.
- Industry Groups – There are some great ways to find new prospects within Groups that apply to your industry. You can look troll through the member list of your industry group and connect with likely prospects or you can see who your competition is connected to and identify who their customers are.
- Company Groups – many companies, small and large, have created their own LinkedIn Groups that are a goldmine of prospecting information. One great example is HCA, one of the nation’s largest healthcare companies. Their company Group has just under 7,000 employees listed includes everyone from the Telecom Manager for North Texas to a Director of IT Operations in St. Petersburg, FL, who do you need to talk to?
Education and Training
- Industry Groups – you can learn a lot about your product sector just from reading the questions and answers in the Industry Groups of your choice. Better yet, accomplish 2 things and ask questions of your own. This will help you get educated and raise your profile in the industry at the same time.
- Sales Groups – my favorite here is the Sales Best Practices Group. You’ll get a wealth of sales techniques and prospecting ideas from the Q & A in this group. There are other based on sales and marketing of different types. These groups work best to hone your skills if you participate and ask questions.
Every time I log into LinkedIn I find more reasons to participate, the Job Hunt, Prospecting and Training are just a few.