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How "Social Selling" Is Reinventing Cold Calling

In a Q&;A, LinkedIn's Ralf VonSosen, head of marketing for sales solutions, says his company is using its own tools to build connections through social channels that facilitate a better selling and buying experience.

He calls this "social selling," and says that done right, it "moves our contact from a traditional cold call to either a warm introduction or at least a warm conversation."

VonSosen details the free ways that people can build strong personal brands online, including using their free LinkedIn profiles more strategically — "You change the mindset of 'I have this LinkedIn page for recruiters to look at' to 'I have this page for prospects and customers to look at.'"

He also explains how LinkedIn's Sales Navigator product can "help sales individuals as well as sales teams actually do social selling at scale." The product's TeamLink feature allows users to uncover connections that their colleagues have, "even if you're not connected in a first degree connection to those colleagues."

Although TeamLink mostly applies to big companies, VonSosen says that smaller companies have been using it for expanding and leveraging their outside network, to use outside introductions to help them get in the door.

"At the end of the day the question is: can I look at my closed deals and do I have some way of assigning where that the closed deals came from or were influenced by?" says VonSosen.

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