This morning Breakfast TV had a feature on “Sharenting” – the practice of parents sharing every aspect of their children’s lives on Facebook. The piece was presented with representatives from both sides of the argument. The supporter of the practice vehemently defended their actions on the basis that Facebook is the modern way of “talking over the fence to your neighbour” and the person against was seemingly bored with the whole “social media” thing – preferring the way sharing children’s achievements was in the “old days”.

This got me thinking about LinkedIn training, the platform itself, and how it has become an important tool for B2B networking and Business Development but only as part of the “mix”.

The most fundamental change in Business Development over the years has been in how we engage with new prospects and clients. It is still all about relationships and credibility but the way in which we make that initial contact has changed.

When I first started in sales, I was handed a telephone and a stack of Yellow Pages with the instruction “here are your prospects, off you go”

Since then, much has changed. We still need to engage with new prospects to maintain a healthy sales pipeline but these days 90% of decision makers don’t respond to cold calls. They do, however, respond to relationship builders and will recognise those who bring value to them in some way or another – and since LinkedIn is one of the most widely used professional networking platform, it makes sense for those involved in marketing their business to be using it to its best advantage – one of the reasons there’s so much need for effective LinkedIn training.

Most buyers are using digital media to be more informed these days, and therefore it is important to have a first-class digital presence and activity. However, some assume their presence and activity on LinkedIn should be the sole focus of their marketing efforts. “Social Selling” is the new kid on the block but LinkedIn is not social media. It IS a powerful B2B networking tool that can be used strategically, positioning yourself and your business to network across its wide Database of contacts and engage with them productively, BUT, it is still only part of the Business Development and Marketing mix. We still need to make phone calls, meet people and nurture relationships the “old fashioned way”, but with the right LinkedIn Training, these calls and meetings are warm – not cold.

Broadly speaking, as with any business strategy, it’s all about balance. The digital age is with us, and we need to embrace it but also realise that the “old skills” still have a part to play.

Learning to use LinkedIn productively and integrate it in to your Business Development and Marketing Strategy is a vital part of doing business in the digital age, but it’s essential to remember that the human touch goes a long way too.

LinkedIn Success Systems are business development systems for business growth and brand building.

Designed for businesses of all sizes – all sectors – by business development experts.

A combination of 30 years’ experience and many many clients has perfected these systems.

Easy to learn through a choice of learning methods to suit teams or you.

Come along to one of our free Events

Please connect with me Lester Young Associate Partner – London, Slough, Guildford, Croydon, Tunbridge Wells, South East UK