LinkedIn, arguably the most viewed social network for business professionals, is often falsely seen as simply a place to hunt for jobs. However, savvy sales teams, especially those in the B2B industry, are increasingly using LinkedIn for sales prospecting. If you want to make prospecting a faster, smoother and more profitable process, learn how top salespeople use LinkedIn to attain prospecting success.
Warm up cold calls – You can usually learn enough about a prospect on LinkedIn to make your first sales call more relevant and useful. In particular, pay attention to profile changes, status updates, shared connections and anything posted to a group. It’s easy to open a call with a reference to info gleaned from LinkedIn. It breaks the ice and proves you’ve done the research.
Capitalize on InMail – LinkedIn users with paid accounts can access InMail, the site’s internal email system. It allows you to email any LinkedIn user, no introduction required, ensuring your message reaches thedecision maker without having to jump through corporate hoops.
LinkedIn claims executives are 30 times more likely to respond to InMail messages than cold calls. Here’s the catch: Entry-level business accounts are allotted only three InMails a month, so save them for the big fish.
Search smarter – LinkedIn’s advanced search tool lets you filter a search by company, title, location or keyword. Paid accounts can also filter by company size and title. For example, you can search “Chief Executive Officer” in the software industry within 100 miles of San Francisco. Then, a useful reporting feature sends you a weekly email detailing any new LinkedIn user that meets that criteria.
Make your profile work harder – The above suggestions are all outbound activities, but don’t ignore the potential for inbound contacts. If a prospect is interested in your product or service, he or she will likely look up your profile. Make sure it’s 100 percent complete and gives a professional impression of your company. Include current links to your website, Facebook and Twitter accounts, recommendations from satisfied customers and a professional headshot.
For more tips on sales prospecting with LinkedIn, please contact FRONTLINE Selling™ today.
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