LinkedIn isn’t just for job prospecting. Savvy sales people around the world have begun realizing its potential when it comes to finding new customers. After all, users give you all the information you need to sell to them: Location, interests, and job history. Why wouldn’t you be using this (free) valuable information to sell more?
LinkedIn Is Growing
More than 500 million members use LinkedIn from all over the world, and LinkedIn’s growth is quickly gaining pace to catch up with the major competitors. LinkedIn offers something that those platforms don’t. In addition to being solely business-centric, public profiles also go into extensive detail about professional interests, job experience, and more. This data is what makes it extremely powerful for any business looking for new prospects.
It also has features like tagging, sorting, and InMail built right in to help you turn LinkedIn into your own lead-generating machine, so long as you know how to use it.
10 Tips to Using LinkedIn’s Full Sales Power
What do your current connections look like? If it’s mostly friends and family, you need to begin finding new connections. First-level connections open the door up to second and third-level connections (that is, your mom’s connections, and their connections). Additionally, when you meet someone new in person or online, you should always look them up on LinkedIn and send a connection request while you’re fresh in their memory.
Map Your Prospects:
People give you all the information you need to identify potential prospects, you just have to look at their profile. They might even give you information about themselves down to which team they work on within a company, and this makes deciding who you need to target (who has sales influence for a business) extremely easy.
Never Cold Call:
There won’t be a reason to cold call if you utilize the power of LinkedIn in making connections. Use your connection’s LinkedIn profile to get enough information about them that it’s not a cold call at all. Go into the call with a solid background on who they are, what they do, and what they are trying to achieve. If you take the time to do your research (which isn’t hard at all since LinekdIn literally puts it right in front of you!), you’d be amazed how quickly conversion rates will begin improving.
InMail is LinkedIn’s built-in messaging service. Unlike other methods of contact where higher-ups in a company guard their time like you’re the plague, InMail lets you message any user directly without the need to introduce yourself through a receptionist. This puts you right in their inbox, but you better be ready to get straight to the point or they’re going to feel like it’s a waste of time. InMail is only available for paid members, and you will have a limited number of credits. Each credit gives you one message, but if you get a response to a message within 90 days, your credit is refunded. So as not to bog people down with messages, you should always use InMail as a last resort if you can’t get through to a person through other means.
Filter Your Search:
Don’t waste time scrolling through people who don’t fit your target audience. Filter your search using the incredibly powerful search facility that’s built directly into LinkedIn. You can filter by title, company, and other aspects, and if you have a paid account, you can even filter by seniority and size of company. If you use this feature, it will prove to have great value for time-saving and lead conversions.
If you’re a salesperson, you know that change creates opportunity. LinkedIn allows you to stay up-to-date with potential prospects by looking at what’s happening in their job, at their company, and in their industry. Keeping up with this information gives you the perfect time to string out the bait if you see an opportunity where your product or service could be extra useful to them. Starting your message with, “I’ve been keeping up with _____________ and recently learned that __________,” also allows you to present yourself as an authority with a vested interest in the person or company.
Groups are another powerful part of LinkedIn that should not be ignored. Use them to gain further insight into potential prospects, and more information about them.
Use Your Profile:
Using every part of your profile is important to presenting yourself professionally and making it clear who you are and what you do. Don’t underestimate the importance of an informative and attractive profile.
Know who looks at your profile by using the built-in widget. When someone looks at your profile, look back at their’s to express mutual interest and follow-up on a potential lead.
You can integrate LinkedIn with Sales Cloud to track and manage your sales pipeline and produce substantially better results and conversion rates. Other integrations out there can also give your profile and efforts on LinkedIn a lot more power.
All the best with your Prospecting and Sales journey!