2-3 years ago, you could get away with a connection request straight into your prospect’s inbox and a good chance of getting a reply.
Now your prospects' inbox is jammed with spammers trying to get their attention.
We’re going to break down 6 important things to think about before you start prospecting on LinkedIn to make sure you don’t just get written off as another piece of junk mail.
#1: Create long term quality instead of short term hacks.
LinkedIn isn’t cold calling.
You don’t want to be dropping in unannounced into your prospect’s inbox and pitching your solution straight away.
It doesn’t work.
You can use LinkedIn easily to grab attention and engage a prospect in a meaningful conversation.
This means sometimes sending less messages but putting in more thought.
At any given time in the B2B sales space only 3% of your market is ready to buy.
Which means the more times you speak to them, the more likely you will be top of mind when they are ready to buy.
Get away from the inbox graveyard and by creating longer term content on LinkedIn with these 4 steps:
- Create regular content that delivers value to your industry and potential prospects with thoughtful posts
- Please the LinkedIn algorithm by getting your colleagues to like/comment on your post when it goes out
- Start conversations with people in the industry who comment on your posts
- Direct message potential customers who now already know you and start a conversation, rather than being just another sales pitch
#2: Your LinkedIn target audience is your business’ ideal customer.
Your ideal customer is your target audience.
Not everyone who likes and comments on your posts is going to be a potential buyer.
Vice versa your potential buyer may not be that engaged. They are a LinkedIn lurker who reads your posts but never comments or likes.
You want to be targeting an audience that is relevant and engaged. Do this by being smart with your connection requests.
For example if you were selling a marketing automation tool you would:
- Send 80% of your connection requests to Marketing Managers and 20% to Chief Marketing Officers.
- Write actionable posts and produce videos that help Marketing Managers do their job better.
- Message the CMO’s directly to engage them in conversation and solve their problems.
- Engage with them in the comments and through direct messages.
#3: Create engaging content by using repeatable processes.
How do you make valuable content that’s going to make those potential sales conversations happen?
High quality content is a big time commitment, so how can you shortcut using your existing resources?
Here are four time-saving ideas to get you started:
- Interview your CEO and ask for their opinion about something your audience cares about.
- Write posts about recent discussions you have had with product/ service users that give actionable insight.
- Ask questions directly to your audience that they will reply to and are curious about how other people will answer.
- Summarize industry podcasts into bite-size actionable lessons.
#4: Use triggers to prospect more effectively.
A trigger is something that prompts your audience to take an action.
Your audience is constantly interacting with other people and posts on LinkedIn. You can piggyback off these triggers to put yourself in front of them..
By using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can see what your audience is liking and commenting on in your home dashboard. Or you could manually search through each prospect’s feed.
What happens when you see a trigger?
- They Post > You post a thoughtful and relevant comment
- They Like a Post > You connect with them
- They Like a Post > You email them and open with “I saw you liked [post]
- They Comment on a Post > You reply to them with something thoughtful
- They Comment on a Post > You email them and open with “I saw you comment on [post]
At every turn you deliver value and engagement to your target prospects and it will pay off handsomely in the end as you start great conversations that help them.
You can simplify this by setting aside 10 minutes each morning to engage with your audience's triggers.
#5: Focus on adding value, not asking for sales.
Don’t be the person who's always trying to sell or book appointments in comments and messages.
People will catch on real quick that you are someone to avoid.
But if you’re the person who is always providing value and asking great questions, you could soon find yourself as someone that people turn to, not only for your solution but also your opinion.
Take the time to build trust and it will pay off big time. Here’s how you can do that:
- Help them learn something
- Ask them about their problems
- Offer solutions to their pet peeves
- Provide bite sized actions they can take
#6: Drive inbound leads by building a strong reputation in your industry.
Imagine your inbox full of leads who want your service, and you didn’t have to lift a finger?
Great brands and influencers have people flocking to their banner, because they take the time to build real value and reputation as a solution that works.
Take the time to build a reputation in your industry as someone who can be trusted and really help by:
- Creating thoughtful content.
- Engaging your audience daily.
- Providing encouragement and support.
- Giving generously without the thought of instant return.
Put all these thoughts into action and turn LinkedIn into a prospecting gold mine.