How to Use LinkedIn for Successful Sales Prospecting
You can find more than employees or jobs on LinkedIn, learn how to use Linked in for sales prospecting to generate more leads.
Most sales professionals understand that LinkedIn is a great tool for prospecting. With an audience of over 849.6 million members, LinkedIn provides salespeople with a wealth of potential customers to target.
But simply being on LinkedIn isn’t enough to reach your sales prospecting goals. To be successful in this area, you need to know how to use the platform effectively.
The wrong approach can quickly lead to frustration and waste time, so it’s essential to do things right from the start.
In this article, we’ll show you how to use LinkedIn for successful sales prospecting so that you can start building relationships, generating more leads, and closing more deals.
What Is LinkedIn Sales Prospecting All About?
Sales prospecting is all about finding and qualifying potential customers for your products or services. It’s a vital part of the sales process, and it’s something that all salespeople need to be good at if they want to be successful.
Traditionally, sales prospecting has involved things like cold calling and direct mail. But in recent years, the rise of social media has changed the game.
Now, sales prospecting is often done through platforms like LinkedIn. With LinkedIn sales prospecting, you can reach a larger audience of potential customers with less effort than with traditional methods.
Sales Prospecting Vs. Lead Generation
When it comes to social media marketing, “sales prospecting” and “lead generation” are often used interchangeably.
While they are similar, there is a crucial difference between the two. Sales prospecting is about finding potential customers, while lead generation is about turning those potential customers into actual leads.
With sales prospecting, you’re just trying to identify potential customers who might be interested in your products or services. Once you’ve found them, it’s then up to you to turn them into leads by reaching out and making contact.
Lead generation is then about taking those potential customers and turning them into actual leads that you can then work on converting into paying customers.
When it comes to LinkedIn sales prospecting, you’re just focused on the first part of that process. Said differently, you are simply trying to find potential customers who might be interested in what you have to offer.
The Benefits Of Sales Prospecting With LinkedIn
Sales prospecting with LinkedIn can be an extremely effective way to find potential customers and generate leads. Here are just a few of the benefits:
- Reach a large audience: With so many millions of members, you’ll have no shortage of potential customers to target.
- Save time: Traditional methods like cold calling can be very time-consuming. With LinkedIn sales prospecting, you can reach many potential customers in a shorter period.
- Cost-effective: LinkedIn sales prospecting is a very cost-effective way to generate leads. It often costs less than traditional methods like direct mail.
- Build relationships: LinkedIn allows you to build relationships with potential customers before making contact. This can make it easier to convert them into paying customers.
- Increase conversion rates: Because you’re able to build relationships and establish trust before making contact, you’ll often see higher conversion rates with LinkedIn sales prospecting, as the know, like, and trust factor is already there.
Best Practices For LinkedIn Sales Prospecting
Now that we’ve gone over some of the benefits of LinkedIn sales prospecting, let’s look at how you can get started with the various tools and features LinkedIn provides.
Use InMail To Get Results
InMail is a feature on LinkedIn that allows you to send messages to members to that you’re not connected. It’s a great way to reach out to potential customers on LinkedIn and can be very effective for sales prospecting.
To see results from your InMails, look at who has already commented on your prospect’s posts. Use those comments as a starting point for your message when prospecting.
This type of prospecting can also be very effective for building relationships with potential customers and enabling social selling. By reaching out and connecting with people who already have an affinity with your industry, you’ll be more likely to convert them into paying customers.
Use The People Also Viewed Sidebar
The “People Also Viewed” sidebar is another excellent way to find potential customers on LinkedIn. This sidebar appears on every member’s profile and shows you a list of other members who have viewed that person’s profile.
When it comes to social media mastery, focusing on the people who have already viewed your profiles is a great way to get the reps in and really hone your skills. These people have already shown an interest in you (and what you do), so they’re more likely to be interested in your products or services.
When you find someone in the “People Also Viewed” sidebar that looks like a good potential customer, reach out and connect with them. You can also use InMail to send them a message.
Consider The Alumni Search Tool
The Alumni search tool allows you to search for members who have attended the same school as yourself. This is a great way to find potential customers because it will enable you to connect with people with whom you already have a connection.
Whether you’re a recent graduate or have been out of school for years, this search tool can aid your sales prospecting.
Look For User Interaction Using The Posts & Activity Tab
You can find users who have interacted with your posts under the “Recent Activity” tab on your profile page. Checking out the profiles of those you believe you can provide value to, is a great way to increase your interactions and grow your following.
If you see someone you’re following sharing something relevant to your industry, take the time to leave a comment or like their post. This will help you get on their radar and start building a relationship.
Search The LinkedIn Group Memberships
LinkedIn group memberships are searchable, which makes it easy to find people for sales prospecting. To get started with making the most of this feature, searching for members in your target industry or job title is a good way to go.
For example, if you’re selling products to small businesses, you can search for members with “small business” in their job titles. You can also use LinkedIn’s “Advanced Search” feature to narrow your search results even further.
Consider Boolean Searches
Combining Boolean operators with your LinkedIn searches is a great way to find potential customers that are a good fit for your products or services.
With the ability to use quotes, OR, AND, or NOT operators to find precisely what you’re looking for, this is a more advanced way of finding the right people to connect with.
For example, you could search for “accountant AND finance AND CPA” to find members who have all three of those keywords in their job titles. This will narrow your results and help you find potential customers that are more likely to be interested in your products or services.
Steps To Finding Success On LinkedIn
Now that we’ve gone over some of the ways you can use LinkedIn for sales prospecting, let’s take a look at the steps you need to take to find success on this platform.
Build Credibility With A Great Profile
A profile that speaks to your audience and tells them what you can do for them is essential for LinkedIn’s success.
For example, if you teach people the process of investing in gold, you want to ensure that your profile tells people that you’re an expert on the subject. You can include keywords like “gold investing” and “financial planning” in your profile headline and summary.
In addition to using keyword-rich headlines and summaries, you should include a professional headshot and cover photo. These photos will help you build trust with potential customers and make your profile more credible.
Next, Create Visibility For Yourself
While your profile is the first step to creating visibility for yourself, there are other things you can do to ensure that your target market can find you.
One way to do this is by writing and publishing articles on LinkedIn. These articles should be well-written and offer value to your readers. If you can provide helpful tips or advice, you’ll be more likely to attract readers and get their attention.
Creating a social media calendar can help ensure that your content is regularly published. This will keep you top of mind with your audience and make it more likely that they’ll think of you when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Going with the gold expert example mentioned above, you might want to create posts that revolve around timely topics, such as the current gold market. You can also answer questions that members have and provide helpful resources.
Another great way to create visibility is by participating in LinkedIn groups. There are groups for almost every industry, so there’s sure to be one relevant to your business. You can quickly build relationships with potential customers by joining a group and actively participating in discussions.
Build The Best Relationships
While this article mainly focuses on sales prospecting, generating social media leads through LinkedIn is the next step in making the platform work for you.
Remember, LinkedIn is a space for building relationships. So, once you’ve built up some visibility and credibility, it’s time to start reaching out to potential customers. The best way to do this is by sending personal messages.
Personal messages are a great way to start a conversation and build a relationship with someone. You can mention something you read in their profile or in one of their posts and start from there.
Whether you want to turn 100 dollars into 1000, get feedback on a product, or simply start a conversation, personal messages are the way to go.
One way to start a conversation is by congratulating people on a recent achievement, such as being featured in the news or being promoted to a new position. This will help you break the ice and start building rapport.
Another great way to build relationships is by offering advice or assistance. If you see that someone is having difficulty with something, offer to help. This could be as simple as providing a helpful resource or introducing them to someone who can help.
The key is to focus on building relationships and providing value. If you can do this, you’ll be well on your way to success with sales prospecting on LinkedIn.
LinkedIn is a robust platform that can be vastly used for sales prospecting.
However, it’s important to remember that LinkedIn is a two-way street. In order to be successful in sales prospecting on LinkedIn, you must also be active and engaging on the platform, providing value to your connections.
Consider that it takes time to build relationships like in the real world. Similar to how Rome wasn’t built in a day, relationships on LinkedIn (or any other platform, for that matter) take time to foster and grow.
By being active, engaging, and providing value on LinkedIn, you will be well on your way to achieving success in sales prospecting.