Trade-In Tech
by on March 2, 2020

Finding reliable suppliers for any item or product can make for a lengthy and difficult process. Even if you have extensive experience, a well-trained staff, and all of the tools you need, you will almost certainly require custom systems in order to compete. If you need to obtain these parts from many different suppliers, it will take time to create an expansive network of suppliers that you can access at any time.


While creating a supplier network was very difficult before social media, it's now relatively easy to do so on platforms like LinkedIn. The LinkedIn platform was designed for business-to-business interactions, which is why it can be very helpful when you're trying to build a supplier network. Once you have created a LinkedIn account, it's time to use it. The following offers a close look at what you can do to find the right suppliers on LinkedIn.


Search & Join Groups


When you're trying to find suppliers on LinkedIn, the first thing that you should do is search for groups that you can join. LinkedIn has made this easy to do by providing users with a LinkedIn group directory. Groups can be created by professionals in the same industry who want to:


-Make contracts with other members

-Post jobs

-Share content

-Become established as an expert in the industry


If you find a group that's centered around the industry you work in, you will likely be able to find suppliers. When you use the groups directory, you can either search groups by keyword or name. Once you are provided with a list of results, selecting the name of the group will bring up some useful information about the group in question.


LinkedIn will also recommend various groups to you, which can be a highly useful feature. In order to take full advantage of this feature, you will first need to click on the "work" icon that's located in the top right area of the page. When you do so, a menu will drop down with various options, one of which is groups. From the groups page, scroll to the bottom and click on "search". On this page, you will be provided with groups that are relevant to your search. LinkedIn determines which groups are relevant to you by using several criteria, which include:


-Schools in common

-Companies in common

-Industries in common


You will then be provided with a list of suggestions, which should be accurate to what you're looking for. When you want to join a group, all you have to do is click the "Request to Join" button on the homepage of the group. It's also possible that you will receive a group invitation from a member or manager of the group. If you know exactly what you're looking for, it shouldn't be too difficult to find groups with suppliers in your industry.


Search Hashtags


Another way that you can find the right suppliers on LinkedIn is by searching for various hashtags on the platform, which can help you discover suppliers that may be relevant to your interests. Keep in mind that hashtags always start with a # sign, which is followed by a phrase or keyword related to the types of suppliers you wish to find. While there are several ways to find and follow hashtags on LinkedIn, likely the easiest way is to search hashtags.


Navigate to the search bar that's found at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. From here, enter a hashtag and phrase that you believe will lead you to suppliers in your industry. If companies and individuals are using the hashtag that you've typed into the search engine, you will be provided with search results that display that specific hashtag as well as ones that are similar to it.


You can then select the hashtag, which will provide you with all of the content related to the hashtag in question. If you find that a specific hashtag has provided you access to numerous suppliers, you can choose to follow the hashtag, which makes it easy to keep track of the results.


Filter Companies by Keywords


Unless you have a specific supplier in mind, likely the best way to find suppliers that match your company and industry is by filtering companies by keywords. To do this, head over to the top navigation bar and click on "companies" from the drop-down menu that you're provided with. Once you're taken to the companies page, click on the "search companies" tab that's located towards the uppermost portion of the page. You will automatically be shown the largest companies that are currently in your network.


From here, you'll notice a simple text box towards the top of the screen. In this box, you can enter various keywords to search for, which will help you find relevant companies. The best keywords will be ones that directly correlate with the type of supplier you need. You can also narrow your search by selecting a specific location and industry. The results that you're provided with should help you find at least a few suppliers.


Leave a Comment When You Add People to Your Network


Whenever you find a company or individual supplier to add to your network, it's highly recommended that you leave a comment. This comment can be used to introduce yourself and your business. In the future, you can say hello or ask a question whenever you have one, which will allow you to maintain the relationship. Leaving a comment right after you've added someone to your network is a great way to begin a working relationship and will likely be necessary if you want to build a strong and lasting supplier network.


Reach Out to Your Friends Connections


If you already have some friends on LinkedIn, these individuals and companies will be listed as connections. If you have a significant number of connections on LinkedIn that pertain to your specific industry, there's a very good chance that some of these companies and individuals will have their own connections to suppliers in the same industry. When you select one of your friends on LinkedIn, you will be able to view the connections that they have. From here, you can search for possible suppliers. If you find one or more that you believe would be helpful for your business, reach out to them and make a connection.


While you're still going to need to do a lot of work to build up a healthy and robust network of suppliers on LinkedIn, these tips and guidelines should expedite the process and make it somewhat easier for you to find suppliers on LinkedIn that you require for your business.

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