We’ve had our Linkedin profile for while now, but we were not very active on the network until a few months ago. That’s when we discovered Linkedin Groups. We signed on for project-management related groups. The discussions on Linkedin groups are insightful, interesting, and go deeper than those on Twitter.

On Linkedin, we are all individuals, not the companies we represent. We become part of the community. And this is a much more powerful sales tool than one would expect. At first, it may seem like a big investment in time, that yields no direct sales.

This is not true.

Linkedin is about people. And people need tools and products in their lives. Guess who people will listen to when they are looking to buy something? Their network. It’s simple really.

And the great thing is it really works. I follow and contribute to Linkedin groups when I feel relevant to do so. I am not pushing anyone or spamming groups to promote AceProject. However, when someone is looking for project management software, I’ll tell them about AceProject. It’s not a sales pitch. It’s a simple suggestion to check out AceProject.

The interesting thing is you never know who you end up talking with, who will see the discussion, or the company behind this person. Sometimes, I’ll suggest AceProject to a consultant, who has a mandate from [insert big company name here] to find a project management system.

Being in the community builds trust.

There is no better sales tool than someone’s trust. The trick is we have to nurture this trust:

  • Be part of the community. If your only interventions are aimed at selling your product, how will people know they can trust you?
  • Be honest. With the amount of information online, people will figure out if you’re lying.
  • Don’t push. No one likes a pushy sales person. Instead of manipulating people into buying, let them decide for themselves.