If you’re trying to decide on a social media network for your business, LinkedIn is arguably the best choice, and because LinkedIn boasts over 350 million (and counting) global members, the platform is great for sales prospecting.
Most people don’t realize that LinkedIn has this powerful capability. Instead, most people think of it as a resume posting site—a place you go to find your next job. And it is. Recruiters extensively use LinkedIn to find candidates.
But LinkedIn in so much more. Smart sales people have caught on to the power LinkedIn has to sell in a global, connected marketplace. As a lead generator, it’s second to none. Many LinkedIn members use it as their primary source for B2B leads; prospecting this way is much faster, and that translates into more profit.
People worldwide rely on LinkedIn for business development. It’s a great way to get information on companies, potential prospects and decision-makers in your industry.
Here are some specific ways you can make that happen.
Connect, Connect, Connect!
Take a critical look at your contacts. Are you connected with Aunt Sue and your college buddy Bif, or are most of your contacts legit businesses? Think of contacts like currency—the more you have (of the right ones), the richer your LinkedIn experience will be.
Connections definitely lead to connections. It’s like that old shampoo commercial, “and they told two friends, and so on and so on”. Your first level of LinkedIn contacts can open up a whole new world ov second and third level contacts you never would have known about. It’s called scaling your network, and it’s really important. If you meet someone offline, quickly follow up with a LinkedIn connection.
The Powerful Profile
Most people on LinkedIn make the mistake of not completing their profile. You need to attract and keep all that inbound traffic coming your way. If you peaked their interest, they’ll want to look at your profile for sure. So make sure it’s complete. Always be professional about yourself and your company.
Make sure you have up-to-date links for your website and all your social channels. LinkedIn thrives on recommendations, so make sure you have some as prospects will take notice. Always, always add a photo; it helps people relate. Make it professional and make sure it’s good quality.
The Power of Information
People put a lot of information in their profiles. They talk about which group they’re in, as well as their specific role. A little sleuthing on your part means that you can quickly determine who the decision-makers are for a particular company. It’s a great way to get a clear organizational picture to improve your chances of making the sale.
The Days of Cold Calling Are Over
Who wouldn’t jump at the prospect of never having to make another cold call? Cold calls are old school, LinkedIn is new school. The platform allows you to learn a lot about the person or company before you ever dial. Rather than feeling like a stalker, just tell people that you’ve looked at their profile. It’s actually a great ice breaker to start the conversation.
Rather than calling prospects, use LinkedIn’s InMail feature. It’s a better way to reach people. If you’re trying to reach a senior-level person, they’ll screen calls and ignore most of their emails.
InMail is very effective; LinkedIn says you’re 30 times more likely to get a response compared to a cold call. InMail is only available as a paid feature, but it’s worth it to reach those higher level accounts.
Searching for Sales
LinkedIn also has a fantastic search engine; you can find someone by pretty much any mechanism—name, company, title or even keyword. LinkedIn even has a saved search feature, and you can get a weekly search report delivered right to your inbox. It’s great because LinkedIn does the work for you, and leads are effortlessly delivered right to you.
You’ve made connections, you’re using InMail. Have you forgotten anything? Yes! Don’t forget to look and see who has viewed your profile. LinkedIn sends you periodic reminders, so set aside time in your schedule to do this. It’s a necessary part of your business that could have great payoff. It’s easy. Just click on the link labeled “Who’s Viewed My Profile?”, then you’ll see a list. You have limited views with LinkedIn’s free account, but you can get the whole list with a paid subscription.
People can view your profile in private mode, so you can’t see their identity. Recruiters often view in private mode. Once anyone does view your profile, it gives you a great reason to reach out, with either a connection request or a follow up email.
If you need help developing a plan, LinkedIn Lead Ninja has a solution for you. Don’t keep wasting your time with marketing efforts that don’t work. Contact us today for a 15-minute discovery call and start making your LinkedIn marketing strategies work for you.