As I’m sure you know, LinkedIn is the largest B2B social network in the world. It is great for prospecting… if you use it right. Here are 4 great sales tips for using LinkedIn.
1. Use LinkedIn to map your prospects
Almost all complex or semi-complex sales involve multiple decision-makers and influencers. Use LinkedIn to map those decision-makers and influencers and get better results.
You may be surprised how much you can learn from a prospect’s profile, such as what office they work out of, the projects they are working on, and what team they are on. Using a little effort and creativity will allow you quickly to map out a picture of who you should be talking to and what they’ve done before.
You can also develop a map of who reports to whom and gain a cleaner picture of the people you’ll need to influence to make the sale.
PRO TIP: Check out the decision-makers’ and influencers’ other co-workers they are connected with. People working on common projects or in common spheres of influence are often connected on LinkedIn. In addition, take a look at the “Viewers of this profile also viewed…” box on their profile.
2. Don’t ever make another cold call
Before you call any prospect, check out their LinkedIn profile – and really check it out. Not just the title or job history but the summary, the recommendations, the skills the prospect puts first, the connections or groups you have in common, what they may have written or published to a group, etc. If you really look, you may be amazed at the breadth and depth of information you can get from a prospect’s profile.
Now use this information in your call to make the call more relevant to them. At a minimum you can use the information gleaned to build rapport. Also, don’t be shy about letting the prospect know that you looked at their LinkedIn profile. It sets you apart from the other 95% of people who call them with a sales pitch.
3. Save your InMails to get past the gate-keepers
We all know access to key executives is closely guarded. They get inundated with calls and emails every day, as a result, they protect their time by screening calls, ignore most of their mail, and have gatekeepers to prevent unwanted sales approaches from getting through.
After you have exhausted all other methods of bypassing the gatekeeper, use an inmail. Don’t forget to make it memorable with what you learned when you read their profile.
PRO TIP: One way to bypass a gatekeeper without using LinkedIn is to call before (preferable) or after standard business hours. At these times, key executives often answer their own phones.
4. View unto others
LinkedIn allows you to see who viewed your profile. Paid accounts get more information than free accounts, but the functionality is there. Periodically check out who has viewed your profile. First, it gives you a great reason to reach out with a connection request of your own. Second, if you view that person’s profile, some of those people will send you a connection request. If you don’t appreciate a good Inbound connection request, you should read The Power of an Inbound Connection Request. It’s a great guide on how to handle connection requests on LinkedIn.
If you want to turbo-charge your LinkedIn prospecting, please contact us here. We can help..