LinkedIn is a powerful sales and networking tool for anyone in any industry to grow and develop their business. It can especially be a useful tool for the commercial landscape business since LinkedIn has an audience of professionals waiting to be tapped into.
If you know how to leverage LinkedIn the right way, you should be able to use it to network and make connections, find others in your industry in order to gain knowledge, and generate some new leads for your business.
Here is a step-by-step guide to using LinkedIn to grow your commercial landscape business:
Grow your network
LinkedIn is full of likeminded people, you just have to find them! Do a search of industry keywords, follow other businesses, take a peek at your competitors and who works for them, and find some of your customers or customers you’d like to have. You want to make an introduction when it’s relevant, and use LinkedIn as a way to be “in the know” of what’s going on both in your industry and with potential customers.
Try connecting with commercial clients you’d like to have, such as colleges and universities, resorts and hotels, government buildings, etc. An introduction can go a long way, and LinkedIn is a great place to say hello.
Reach out and get engaged
Now that you’re connected to the right people and companies on LinkedIn, it’s time to get engaged. If you see someone post about their lawn or landscaping, or even an interesting article on the industry, don’t be shy – make a positive comment or contribution.
Especially keep your eyes peeled for someone venting or asking for advice. This is the perfect opportunity to share some advice and provide thought leadership. If you want to take your engagement a step further, try out writing your own blogs on the industry, or tips and tricks. Presenting yourself on LinkedIn as a thought leader and expert will help you grow your network (and win potential clients).
Try to coordinate an offline meeting or call
Once you’ve built your network on LinkedIn and made some connections that go beyond a simple “hello”, reach out to meet in person or have a quick call to discuss their needs. The great part about social media is that you can make warm leads rather than cold calling. The personal touch on social media can make for stronger leads in the long run.
Have a strong follow-up
After you’ve had your call or in-person meeting, it’s time to follow-up with more information or a specialized offer tailored to the needs of your potential new customer. On the same day (or within 24 hours), follow-up with an offer to provide references, preferred pricing, and other information related to your quality of service as an option for their review.
This part is crucial because, after a meeting, you are top of mind. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to close the deal.
Send non-sales relationship building messages
Whether or not you close the customer, or have just started an open dialogue with future potential, it’s important to keep the relationship warm. LinkedIn is a place for sharing information, reading articles, and interacting with other people in your industry. Take the time to find informational articles on trends or tips and share them with specific people you think would like them.
The personalization shows you care and are in the know. It helps people trust you and see you as an expert in the industry, which will pay off when it comes time for them to find a commercial landscape business to work with.
Match your website with your goals to gain more commercial landscape business
You can use LinkedIn as a starting point for conversations, but it’s important to make sure your website is at its best in order to close the connection loop. Once you meet someone on LinkedIn, chances are they will check out your company’s site. So, you want to make sure your website is focused 100% on your industry, which is commercial landscape business.
Once you have your website and your social media strategy to match, make sure you are out there making connections, competing for subcontracts and prime contractor contracts, and keeping those leads hot.
LinkedIn as a sales tool
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to build your sales funnel using LinkedIn. It’s a free and easy to use a platform, with a ton of professionals and corporate businesses waiting to meet you. With any client facing communication, make sure your profile (and profile picture) is professional, approachable, and completely filled out. Ask for references and recommendations, and build your network strategically.
Set goals for yourself and your team on LinkedIn (ex. 5 new introductions per week, 1 blog post a month, 3 comments a day) and build out a strategy to help drive business results. You’ll be amazed at the success you see with just a few small efforts.