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How Did We Sell Before LinkedIn?




Hey there, who remembers business development and sales before LinkedIn? 


I do. 


Back then, our biz dev and sales tools were phone calls, emails, direct mail, and face-to-face meetings. We did our due diligence and then we had to present benefits, demonstrate a clear fit between what we offered and what our clients needed, and be ready to handle push back. Effective probing was a must.


Patience was required and there was minimal pitch slapping because relationships took longer to develop.


LinkedIn has undeniably changed the landscape, offering a platform where networking, prospecting, and initial relationship-building can happen more efficiently. 


It's great.


But let me be clear: LinkedIn is a tool, not a silver bullet.


Using LinkedIn for sales means leveraging its vast network to identify potential clients, research their needs, and engage with them in meaningful ways. 


It's great for gathering intelligence, understanding market trends, and starting conversations. 


However, the fundamentals of sales haven't changed. You still need to prove your value, tailor your conversation to the client's specific needs, and navigate the complexities of the sales process with skill and finesse.


Creating value remains at the heart of successful selling. 


On LinkedIn, this might mean sharing insightful content, participating in relevant discussions, or directly reaching out to prospects with personalized messages. 


But these activities are just the beginning. The real work starts when you take the conversation off LinkedIn and into a more direct, personal engagement.


Showing a fit between your service and the client's needs involves deep probing and listening, skills that were essential long before LinkedIn existed. 


It's about asking the right questions, understanding their pain points, and aligning your solutions with their goals. 


This level of engagement often requires direct communication, whether through calls, meetings, or detailed proposals.


Handling push back and knowing your next steps are critical competencies that LinkedIn can't replace. 


It's about anticipating objections, preparing thoughtful responses, and guiding the client through their decision-making process with confidence and clarity. 


These are the skills that differentiate a good salesperson from a great one, and they were just as relevant in the old days as they are now.


While LinkedIn is a valuable tool that can enhance your sales efforts, it is not a substitute for the core competencies of sales. 


You must still KNOW your prospect, create value, demonstrate fit, handle objections, and know your next steps to succeed.


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