Using LinkedIn for events can be the one most powerful tool to close deals. I managed to get hundreds of customers only using LinkedIn.
Lotfi Senhaji tells us more about that during our half an hour talk. He is the founder and administrator of Event Pros, a 150.000+ members worldwide community on LinkedIn. As a LinkedIn Expert and Consultant, he coaches people on how to reach their goals through the platform.
“I try to share as much valuable content as possible“, he states. “So, since Event Pros members know me because of the group and the Digest, people are receptive about the idea of getting coached by me.”
1 – Who is Lotfi Senhaji is he is not training a client, developing the next B2B Marketing project or selecting posts for the best Digest of LinkedIn for events?
I’m a professional sax player. I often play in hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and weddings. It’s mainly a hobby but I need to say I earn pretty good money with it. I play two to three times a week, sometimes even every day of the week.
2 – When working on your LinkedIn Consultations, what’s your client’s most common request and the first thing they ask you?
In the USA, which is the main presence of LinkedIn, with thousands of millions of users, people still don’t get the idea that LinkedIn is a great place to do business. They still think about it as place to post your CV. But they don’t get the idea that, through LinkedIn, you can get a lot of customers. It can actually be the main channel for prospecting and closing deals.
Usually, my clients are a bit skeptical about making sales through LinkedIn. People think that they just have to make a profile and some magic will work all of a sudden. You need to spend minimum 45 minutes to one hour a day in order to make LinkedIn work for you.
It’s a misconception they have on the beginning of the consultation, but this is usually where we begin from. That’s the very first idea I share with my LinkedIn event pros coachees.
3 – And what about you, what’s the first question you make for your coachees?
It’s “What is your objective with LinkedIn?”. For instance: when you have a student, an intern or someone who just got their first job, they want to advance on their career. When you have a business owner, they want to know how to hire good people, generate more leads and get more customers.
So I start with: “What are you exactly looking by being on LinkedIn?”.
4 – We’re witnessing the era of brand unloyalty. A recent study published by “Meaningful-Brands” shows that people wouldn’t care if 77% of brands disappeared. What you think is the root cause for that?
I think that we have an abundance of choices in the world lately. It’s like you’re not going every night to the same club. Take for example whatever brand you use the most: if it disappears, there’s gonna be somebody to offer you the exact same thing. So people get less emotionally attached to brands.
5 – As well, we’re also in the era of data-driven businesses. Using data to support decision-making is great, but you think people are freaking out about it? Is there still any space for doing old school marketing?
For me, there’s no old school. Let me give you an example: in sales, you can do it through automated marketing and emailing. But I still see businesses who still sell 100% per cold calling, which is considered by a lot of professionals as old school.
It’s not old, it’s just another way of doing it. And you don’t need to choose either, you can mix several sales channels.
For me, for example: on a daily basis, I accept a lot of people in the Event Pros group, which is considered Inbound Marketing. So people come to me and I share value though my content curatorship. But I also do Outbound. Maybe more than 50% of the people in my group, whenever I have the chance, I call them. At this stage, its outbound, but it is not a cold call anymore. It’s not someone that I randomly chose from whatever list. It’s a person who saw my profile, joined Event Pros community, got some social proof about my work and, only then, they got my call.
That’s why I don’t think there is such thing as old school. Loads of B2B leads are generated on LinkedIn for events and event pros. That’s why I believe Marketeers, Sales and Business Development professionals should focus more on LinkedIn. All the people that you want to work with are there. You just have to prove that you are good enough to really offer the expertise they’re looking for.
6 – How about the the future of marketing decision making: you think eventually machines will take over or humans will still have space?
I still believe in the fact that people will make a decision to work with you. I try to prove myself as a professional every day, increasing my online presence as much as possible, especially on LinkedIn.
That’s because everytime someone would watch a video of you, a post of you, your reputation with this person will increase. I’m a firm believer of content marketing through blog posts, vlogs and all the possibilities of formats that we have.
Therefore, I think that people will still make the decision. People decide to work with me, for example, because I try to publish and curate as much valuable content as I can on LinkedIn.
7 – What about your next projects,what’s in your mind? And what would you recommend for someone who wants to start improving their use of LinkedIn for events right now?
I’ll begin to publish videos with tips very shortly. Every time somebody sees a video of you that really bring value, they get more curious and interested in your work. You build up your authority. I believe that every single piece of content published increases the awareness of your personal or professional brand.
Let me tell the story about how I became a sax player. Every time I played a famous song, people like it and, because of that feeling, they think I’m doing something great. In Morocco, where I live, there are a lot of people that I know that play better than me. But people look at me and, because we connected previously when I played their favorite songs, they remember my face. Same thing happens with any business. You need to connect.
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