How to Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting

HOW TO USE LINKEDIN FOR SALES PROSPECTING


Grow your business by using LinkedIn as a sales tool! Find out how.

What is it to “prospect”

Have you ever found yourself with a great idea that just KNOW someone will want to be a part of?

Have you ever looked for that person in various attempts to get his or her attention and influence them so that he/she does what you expected to do from the beginning? Well, my friend, that is prospecting!

Prospecting is called the act of looking for a person or population that is most likely to do what you are hoping for. Could be to buy a product or service, ask for a job, donate some money or goods to charity, etc.

In this article, you will learn how and why you should be prospecting on LinkedIn.

How to use Linkedin for prospecting

First of all, what is Linkedin and why should you be concentrating your efforts on it?

Linkedin is a social media platform that invites people to share their work-life with their own contacts network. It encourages to build relationships with other professionals from your field of expertise to be informed about relevant progress and news.

Another use for Linkedin (and the one we are most interested in) is to connect with potential clients to grow business, make contacts that will help in the future and have a perfect match with another user and start a partnership to last for years.

What is LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

So, how do we take advantage of this incredible opportunity to find relevant people for our network to feed our funnels and grow our sales?

For prospecting on Linkedin It’s recommended to purchase a premium Linkedin membership and gain access to tools not available to free users and provide an incredible advantage to business against the competition.

What is Linkedin Sales Navigator?

Sales Navigator is one of the primary tools I would recommend using. With this feature users can segment the population with surgical criteria and make sure that the target audience is constituted only by people you know will be interested in the offering (and can afford it).

A:B testing with Sales Navigator

Once you have configured the population, it’s time to write at least 2 types of approaches and connect with the selected target audience. The goal is to find clients and build relationships but it’s important not to forget about your own learning curve.

That is why it’s recommended to do AB tests. When redacting the same message but from 2 different approaches to study how the users respond to each of them. This is one of the best ways to learn from past efforts and improve to gain the attention of high-quality business prospects.

How to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator?

Linkedin vs other social media

Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube are some of the most popular social media in the globe. They offer entertainment, various types of content to self-produce and share with loved ones, be part of communities and they can keep you scrolling, no matter what time it is.

So why would I choose to create prospecting tactics on LinkedIn over all of them?

PROS AND CONS

Depending on the type of business, there are some social media with better environments for your company’s growth. 

sales etiquette

Instagram & Facebook

Pros
  • Targeting by interest and keywords
  • Builds manageable community
  • Several types of formats for communication pieces
  • Tools to interact live with other users 
  • Ideal for B2C businesses and influencers.
  • Both have e-commerce that offers you merch by interests
  • Both social media’s ad campaigns can be configured on the Business Manager
Cons
  • Cold calling is not acceptable.
  • Can’t segment by studies, profession, or company.
  • People are there to consume, not to build.
  • Not suitable for B2B business.
  • The short period of attention span

Youtube

Pros
  • Easy ROI generation on content.
  • Allows longer videos with more attention span.
  • Ads campaigns configured by interests and keywords. 
  • Tools to interact live with other users. 
  • Able to organize content on Playlists.
Cons
  • No e-commerce support on the platform.
  • No private way to interact with viewers.
  • Ads are mostly skipped.
  • Ads interrupt content the user wants to watch, making it annoying.
  • More suitable for awareness than sales on B2B or B2C businesses.

LinkedIn

Pros
  • People choose to be on Linkedin for professional purposes
  • Someone who is connected, it’s likely to provide value to your work life.
  • Offers to build a network and find all the contacts needed for any project.
  • Groups with niche themes to stay connected with the news in relevant fields.
  • Possible to find decision-makers in big companies and approach them.
  • A most suitable environment for B2B businesses. 
Cons
  • Content should only be shared for professional means.
  • Less creative tools for communication than in other social media.
  • Not advisable to build brand communities for final consumers. 
  • Not suitable for B2C business growth.

So depending on your social media campaign’s goals, there is one of them which is a better match to achieve the desired KPIs. If managing a B2B business and want to grow lead generation to feed the sales funnels and sign some new clients, then prospecting on Linkedin is what I recommend.

Prospecting takes time, patience, and experience but here are some tips to give a head start:

How to approach prospects on Linkedin

Do you remember that email from the shoe brand that wanted to share their sales campaign two weeks ago? Of course not. Because it most likely went to spam. 

How to Approach Prospects on LinkedIn

In Linkedin, there’s the same problem. Too many people are trying to approach everyone (even people who are not relevant for their goals). So, how to engage prospects on Linkedin? How do we make sure that the user we want to connect with reads our full message? I will write down some tips:

1. Make sure you are writing to the right person

We have limited invites per week (100 to be exact). So we don’t want to waste any bullets by reaching out for a Jr. when we need to talk to the head division of a company. Also, if they are not qualified enough they may not read the whole message either.

2. Remember it is social prospecting

We are trying to make it seem like if you were writing specifically to that person. Try to engage with them by adding personal details to the invite, so that they feel connected to the not-so-cold message.

3. Understand the difference between a connection request message and an impersonal approach

The first key to prospecting on LinkedIn.

When connecting with another person on Linkedin it is very important to write as much detail about the target user as possible. Use their names, talk about their company, present the offering (what can you do specifically for them?).

The power of a personalized message to get attention is key to warm up the cold messaging. Make sure to be writing for each possible client. 

4. Be direct, be sincere, add value focusing on the offering, and spice it up with a touch of personalized details.

5. Remember: LinkedIn connection request messages can only have 300 characters.

Creating some templates for guidance may help taking the first steps.

Sample:

  • Say hi and use the prospect’s name.
  • Say something about their company. Show you did the research. 
  • Mention your company and be clear with the intentions.
  • ADD VALUE TO THE OFFER.
  • Follow with a question or a CTA (call to action).
  • Finish the connection request with a polite and formal farewell. 

Putting it all together it should look something like this:

Hi {first.name}*,

I looked at your company (insert prospect’s company name*), and I find it very interesting that you are working on ______. 

At ( your company’s name), we are ( what you are working on and might interest the prospect), and I believe we could be a great match

by (added value to the offer). 

Would you be interested in talking further about this matter?

Best,

{user.name}*

*possible to automate with Growth-X

Were you able to identify each structure point within the message? Share thoughts in the comments.

6. Ask for help/referral

As much effort we put into audience segmentation, there is always going to be a percentage of people who are less relevant than the other prospects on the list. 

Most often we address the right company but the wrong person so when that happens it’s very important to find a way around so that the connection invite doesn’t go to waste. 

By asking for someone who could be interested in what you are offering it automatically makes the receiver think about a person that could be a match. 

Sometimes we write to the right person at the right company but at the wrong time. But that doesn’t mean they can’t refer to a colleague. 

7. Try not to take a no for an answer

People may be having a bad day and want to know nothing about anything, or possibly it’s a bad time for the company at the moment we approach. 

These are things we can’t know before starting sending invites but we can always try and drive the user through our sales funnel.

Ask why they are not interested if they are having a similar service or product being delivered by a competition (it’s always good to know where your rivals are working) if he is happy with it if it’s just bad timing and wants to get back to them in a couple of months. 

There is always something else to say but keep it polite. An annoyed prospect is a lost sale. 

(VIDEO)

The importance of knowing your audience

Whether you are a cola factory, a bank, an energy supplier, or an ice cream shop, it’s imperative to know the kind of people you are talking to to understand how to approach them. 

It’s not the same when talking to the director of a software company in the United Kingdom, then when writing to the director of a book publisher in Chicago. Culture, language, levels of politeness, and even the use of a specific word can change the result of an invite to connect on Linkedin.

Suggestion: try reading the prospect’s profile and learn about his company. Check their last posts and news on their websites. It may give insight or a hint to know exactly what they need and that you can provide them with. 

Lead follow up best practices

  • Follow-up message: if they don’t answer it doesn’t always mean they are not interested.

    If you’re prospecting on Linkedin, remember: people have lives and usually very busy ones. Especially if they are into business. So don’t get discouraged for not getting replies at first. Build a follow-up message that adds value to the connection request. 

    (Sometimes it’s better to leave some info behind to save material for the next steps of the sales funnel)
  • Second follow-up message: as this is the third message we are sending (first being the connection request) you may want to say something like “sorry to bother again” or “xx, I hope you find this message of your liking” before going to the point. Add any kind of information that may have been left behind and reinforce the fact that you can make their lives easier or better with your offering.
  • Make a spreadsheet and take notes of the status of each client. Schedule follow-ups and keep track of each opportunity to find business prospects. This is called a CRM (Customer Relationship Management

Your LinkedIn Outreach Strategy

Your LinkedIn outreach strategy

Let’s summarize everything we have learned so far and make a simulation. Let’s imagine we are a large group of ranchers that live in the USA. We figured out that when we sell all our livestock, there is a lot of leather that goes to the waist. So what kind of businesses could be interested in recycling these materials? 

Targeting your audience

First of all, we have to think about all the relevant industries. In this case, we could find valuable leads by approaching people who produce:

  • Shoes
  • Cars
  • Jackets
  • Furniture 
  • Bags/ purses

Writing the connection request

We could create a connection request that involves all of them but when using Sales Navigator we learn that there are more than 500 possible clients per industry. So why would we take the risk of wasting the leads when we could write a specific message per type of producer? 

Remember, when prospecting on Linkedin it’s better to have a personalized, detailed approach so that our prospect feels important to us, rather than being cold-called.

Let’s make a mock-up test for the furniture manufacturers:

Dear {first.name}. I hope my message finds you well.

I’m reaching out to furniture manufacturers such as ______ to offer my ranch as a leather supplier. I’m aware that most of your products are made of such material, and I believe we could take great profit from this relationship.

Does it sound interesting enough? 

Best,

{user.name}

Did the prospect reply? Great! Now it’s time to aim to schedule a meeting.

He connected but did not reply? Good thing we have a follow-up message

Hi {first.name},

Regarding my first message, I’d like to make use of our connection and try and see if there is a match here. My livestock has the best quality leather there is to offer and as I’m just starting to sell it for furniture, I’m not peaky with the pricing. You’ll find it interesting that here at (my company’s name) we have experience working with car factories, providing for their seats. So this should be a familiar field to work on.

Hope to hear from you soon,

{user.name}

Now that we have our first follow-up message we have to prepare a second one. This timeless more aggressive style

Hi {first.name}, sorry to bother you again.

I just wanted to make sure you are getting my messages. If there is a chance of having a conversation and discussing business shortly, I’d like to schedule a meeting very much.

Best wishes,

{user.name}

Learn how to boost your efforts on Linkedin Sales Navigator

You have learned how to find prospects on Linkedin, about targeting and messaging. But there is a small issue to attend to now. 

Imagine sending 20 connection requests per day for a week on working days meaning 100 invitations per day. Got 30% of those connections and now 30 people want your attention and FAST!

Imagine these numbers for the entire month! Now there are 120 people to address. 

It may sound impossible to track so many conversations but luckily there’s a solution. Growth-X offers an automation tool to generate leads making it perfect for prospecting on Linkedin. 

Be coached by a customer success manager to assure accomplishing achievements by growing your network with relevant, high-quality leads and turn them into clients for B2B business. 

message invitation linkedin prospect

Set up a campaign with surgical measurement, prepare an AB test with your messages, and try them out. 

With Growth-X, you will not only be prospecting on Linkedin you will also learn about the kind of people that the business needs. Because many times we think we know who needs our services or products but on the run, we learn from experience and find out there are several groups of consumers and professionals that are in need of us, only that we haven’t thought about them. 

So by targeting outside the comfort zone with the assistance of Growth-X’s customer success manager there is a guarantee in having a fast learning curve and achieving great results earlier.

It’s important to have in account that both LinkedIn and Growth-X work with B2B business (business to business). 

Why? As explained above Linkedin has the best environment for these kinds of companies because everyone who has a profile and participates actively on this social media does it for professional purposes. 

That means that every connection, reaction, comment, and private chat has an objective that if achieved, will boost the user’s career somehow. It could be showing interest as an employee for its own company for my boss and colleagues to see, growing a network to build professional relationships, or finding partners and clients for an ongoing company (or brand new start-up).

So what are you waiting for? Is there a B2B business that needs growth? Contact Growth-X right now and schedule a demo call.

Some of Growth-X’s clients are:

  • WeWork
  • PayPal
  • Kodak
  • Dell
  • Merck
  • Check Point

We have learned about what is to prospect, how to use Linkedin to do so, the pros and cons of several social media, how to approach prospects on Linkedin, the difference between a connection request and follow-ups, the power of a personalized message vs cold calling, tips for lead follow up best practices, the importance of knowing your audience, we made message examples for a leather supplier and last but not least, we learned about Growth-X and it’s an amazing tool to make sure you’re prospecting on Linkedin the right way.

The only thing left is to schedule a demo call with them and start your journey for business growth. And it all begins with a simple click HERE.

Starting his career at McCann Erickson as a creative copywriter at only 20 years old, he showed creative thinking and writing for brand ad campaigns in ATL and BTL. He got invited to be a part of Fast Media Management as team coordinator and scaled his way up to be a partner and the agency’s Chief Operating Officer. Later on, the company was renamed Fast Media Group. Today, Dan spends his days working from Israel building relationships for FMG and creating alliances with other digital marketing bulls, such as Growth-X.