After having some pretty impressive results ourselves out of LinkedIn it seemed like a great idea to share some of the tactics we used to prospect to its users!
1) Look at who viewed you!
This is a great tool to discover people who clearly have an interest in the product or service you are trying to sell. Yes, I can guarantee that a good 90% of people who view your profile are either trying to prospect to you or are just being nosy. Either way, it should be pretty easy to differentiate these guys from the people who are genuinely interested by viewing their profile.
Use InMail wisely – you do not want to be too forward in selling your brand. Engage in a more general conversation about connections you have in common, perhaps, or how their current [product/service you are trying to sell] is performing. This softer approach tends to gauge a higher response rate due to the general query rather than the introduction of a strong sales pitch. Gradually build up the sales pitch alongside the construction of the relationship with the prospect.
It is important to note that InMails are only available for paying LinkedIn users if you are not already connected to the person you wish to contact.
3) Engage in conversation in groups
Find groups that relate to your industry (or your prospects industry) and try and get everyone involved in as much conversation as possible. By doing this your employees will sound knowledgeable and you will gain credibility as ‘industry leaders’ from your willingness to engage in conversation and tackle any industry knowledge head on.
4) Find your decision maker
Sometimes gate keepers make it incredibly difficult to discover who your decision maker is. A sure way to get round this complication is to research on LinkedIn. I always double check that the decision maker is still with the company before I consider picking up the phone. It takes 10 seconds and makes you appear confident on the phone as you know you have the correct decision maker.
5) Give LinkedIn Sales Navigator a go
This is a fairly new paid tool in which you can target many sectors, geographical locations, decision makers etc. You can then use your InMails to contact these prospects (follow advice from second point!) and save people as leads in your own mini CRM.
Here’s a quick overview of the stages we took to get some fantastic results. Firstly, choose your target audience (location, age range, job title etc.) and then change the settings to ‘2nd contact’ so you see only the people you have in common with someone else.
Contact the person you have in common with the secondary contact and double check that they are happy to reference your name when introduced. Never ask your connection to introduce as it can take time and people may forget! You can then either call them and introduce yourself as we do or go down the InMail route.
This is something which we have begun using for clients which has proved a very interesting prospecting tool with great results!
6) Combine with a call
As a telemarketing agency you can probably understand that the easiest way for us to close a sale is to pick up the phone and give the decision maker a call. All of the leads we have generated from Linked In have been from following up with this method and as a result we have had a great level of business.