Currently, LinkedIn has about 660 million accounts of registered users. 303-million accounts from these are active and operate monthly. About 90 million individuals from these are influencers of sorts, while 63 million are in decision-making positions.
Given these latest 2021 LinkedIn statistics, the significance of the platform in the professional and industrial world is quite very evident. LinkedIn is not only an excellent means of establishing your place in your respective industry. But the platform is also a promising ground for sales.
If you find yourself questioning how then worry no more. We have a complete LinkedIn prospecting guide here, just for you!
Top 10 Ways of Using LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting
Fundamentally, sales prospecting refers to contacting someone with one specific goal in mind, i.e., to sell them your services, products, or anything else. Your goal would be to convert them into a customer or permanent client.
Since LinkedIn is a platform with serious individuals, you’re most likely to acquire definite leads and sales from here – given you do it right.
Here are a few tested and tried tips and ways to help you make the most of your activity on LinkedIn.
#1. Update your Profile
Perhaps, the very first step towards LinkedIn prospecting is setting up a genuine profile. If you are setting up a company profile, you will need to add:
- Your logo
- Company Address
- Mission & Vision
- Posts about company activity and progress.
You will even have to endorse and enlist your employees so that your audience acknowledges the authenticity of your brand. However, for finding prospects, it’s best to set up a personal profile and proceed with that.
Why? Well, that’s because it makes the process smoother and more authentic. For setting up a genuine profile, you will need to add:
- Your Name
- A Professional Headshot
- Your Position
- Your Location
- Your Education, Licenses, Certifications
- About Section
Now, this is what classifies as a basic profile.
#2. Optimize your Profile
Once you have your basic profile ready, it’s time to optimize it so that you may reach out to your potential clients. For optimizing your profile, you will need:
- A comprehensive and catchy banner
- Explanatory and Impressive Headline
- More Relevant Sections
The banner is more like your cover on Facebook. However, we recommend making the best possible use of it. It should mention:
- Who are you?
- What do you do?
- How can you serve anyone who connects with you?
- Any of your prominent achievements (such as Justin Welsh mentions “LinkedIn All Sales Stars” on his profile)
Just ensure that it does not appear disturbing with excessive colors. Also, avoid oversaturating it with text. You may take the help of a graphic designer for creating this or use online tools like Canva.
#3. Connect with Relevant People Daily
If you think you have 500 connections and that’s more than enough, you’re mistaken. As someone who’s looking forward to getting more leads, no figure’s enough! The more, the merrier!
But that doesn’t mean you should randomly send out connection requests to anyone and everyone. Connect with relevant people, i.e., the ones you know in real life, the industry leads that LinkedIn recommends.
Beyond this, go through your business’s analytics tool and track down your potential clients, i.e., people who showed interest but did not sign up or buy your product for some unknown reason. Reach out to them and connect on a personal basis. You can do the same with people who follow your company’s page.
#4. Personalize your First Messages
LinkedIn prospecting is a legit practice. People know some of us are here for nothing but more clients.
And so, you need to be careful. You don’t want to turn your potential clients off with that overwhelming sales vibe of yours.
You should connect with them on a one-to-one basis. Begin your conversations and connections with a personalized message wherein you feel more of a human than an automated, money-oriented salesperson or business person. (And stay true to your word!)
#5. Make Use of Sales Navigator
Apart from organically searching and reaching out to your prospects, you can also use LinkedIn Sales Navigator effectively. LinkedIn introduced this social selling platform so B2B salesperson could easily search their decision-making audience from extended networks.
You can use it to narrow down your search in terms of:
- First Degree/Second Degree/Third Degree Connections
Once short-listed, you can send them personalized emails or begin communicating on LinkedIn only. Note that it is a paid tool.
#6. Go for Social Selling
Social selling is one the longest but most rewarding routes to prospects on LinkedIn. You can begin with posting content of your own and gathering an organic audience. There should be three things in your content for it to have any impact at all:
Ensure you back your posts with intriguing information and strong CTAs. Use hashtags and invite people to join your webinar or group or other similar things. Simultaneously, comment and interact with others’ posts to exhibit your interest too.
#7. Use Your Posts for Branding
When putting out content, you do not only have to benefit your audience but yourself too. You have to make two kinds of posts:
- Posts that provide newer knowledge to your audience.
- Posts that compel them to try out your product or service
You can approach and execute the first type of posts by mapping out your content strategy. Use your experience and research to craft these posts. These can be both about your personal life experiences, career experiences, life lessons, light-hearted motivational, or even funny experiences.
The second type of post is the ones that will bring traffic to your website or customers to your business. These posts should be about the progress of your company, any new initiatives, or an ongoing process. For example, if you have a construction company, you can share a video of ongoing construction activity. Caption it with the aim of this project and how your prospects can benefit from the project. Say your company’s building a new residential project, share details about what makes your project unique and more beneficial than the rest.
#8. Inspect your Profile Visitors
Another trick to acquiring more prospects is reviewing your profile visits. Go through the list of people who viewed your profile and determine if any of those could bring you sales. If a profile seems promising, send them a personalized message about how you noticed them stopping by and the fact that you’d like to connect. Take it to social selling from thereon.
#9. Opt for an Effective Communicating Channel
You can’t convert a prospect in your LinkedIn inbox only (unless, of course, you are very lucky!) They’re most likely going to consider you an amateur or non-serious professional. So, after building up an initial relationship with your prospect, take them to email or other effective means of communication.
It will also save you from neglecting important conversations that often get lost in the sea of LinkedIn inbox messages. As for InMail, it is an effective means. But again, it is costly. So, opt for InMail pitches and connections for highly promising prospects only.
#10. Try out LinkedIn Ads
If nothing at all, you can try LinkedIn advertising. The platform offers advertisement opportunities similar to Google and Facebook, except with a funneled audience on LinkedIn, you’re more likely to drive better results. Research a bit on existing ads and create a compelling ad copy.
When creating an ad, LinkedIn will ask you to specify the following:
- Campaign Name
- Ad Language
- Media Type
- Ad Destination
- Ad Design
- Ad Variations
Once you finalize it, use analytics tools, the experience of your sales team, and the assessment report of Sales Navigator to target your audience. Some recommended filters when targeting are:
- Company Size
- Company Name
Optionally, you can even target people belonging to specific LinkedIn groups. Now, decide on a budget and invest wisely.
Publish and allow your ad to go live and do its magic. After that, review the analytics to make the best of it.
Summing up, LinkedIn prospecting is currently amongst the most promising means of generating leads. Of course, it’s fruitful only when you proceed with the right approaches.
Before signing off, we’d like you to view this more like bringing traffic to your website. LinkedIn prospecting is very similar to generating website traffic, only on a smaller level. So, at first, implementing these techniques may seem too much of a task. But once you start practicing these and see the tables turning practically, we bet you’d find them super easy and sweet. Good luck!
About the Author!
Shawn Mack is a content writer who offers ghostwriting, copy-writing, and blogging services. His educational background in business and technical field has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He is also fond of writing interesting articles on technology & digital marketing related topics.