LinkedIn is NOT just a place to congratulate users on their job promotions and to “connect” with your previous co-workers. LinkedIn offers tools that produce real and effective ways to increase sales, engage with prospective employees and connect with industry giants.
At Social Motto, we check in with our LinkedIn each morning for just 15 minutes (yes, that’s all it takes) to help ignite our B2B practices, connections, and future collaborations. The tools we use offer measurable results – and we’re happy to share a few of our favorite tricks with you. Here is how you can utilize LinkedIn as a powerful prospecting tool:
InMail is essentially a B2B messenger application – a way for you to get in touch with employees, senior level decision makers and even CEOs, COOs and owners of other companies without the challenge of ignored emails. The personalized message is sent to a user of your choice even if you are not connected. If you have a basic (free) LinkedIn account you’ll need to upgrade to a paid account in order to access InMail. The B2B social network offers three different premium tiers: Premium Career ($29.99/month), Premium Business ($59.99/month) and Sales Navigator Pro ($79.99/month). Is it worth the extra fee to access LinkedIn Mail? Absolutely. In fact, LinkedIn claims that an InMail message is a staggering 30 times more likely to warrant a response than a cold call.
When crafting an InMail message, remember that the intent of the first message is simply to connect, not seal the deal. Use a conversational tone, be brief and mention why their profile stood out to you and what opportunity you’d like to explore with them.
Want to know who your competitors are connecting with? Thanks to LinkedIn, you certainly can. Simply navigate to someone’s profile and click “see connections” on the top right of their profile page. On the “people tab”, click on a name and view that person’s profile. This is extremely helpful to learn if a new budding relationship between a competitor of yours is connecting with a person or business you’ve wanted to work with. Additionally, it can help you spot new connection opportunities you didn’t think about. Essentially, it’s a game of spy, and it can be really helpful.
Develop Search Strings
Search strings can help you identify the right stakeholders to connect with! At Social Motto, we like to divide our search strings into three categories: marketing OR sales, marketing AND sales, and marketing NOT sales. Here is what each will produce for you:
- Marketing OR Sales: This combination will perform an all encompassing search that includes all LinkedIn profiles that have the keywords Marketing and Sales.
- Marketing AND Sales: This tends to be much more limiting as the profile must include both terms marketing and sales.
- Marketing NOT Sales: Will deliver a search of profiles that include the word marketing and not the word sales.
We recommend trying each out and comparing the results to discover which set produces the results that best help your company gain connections.
Search for Buyers
LinkedIn isn’t just for connecting with future employees, other senior level decision makers and congratulating others on their promotions. LinkedIn can also generate sales by helping you locate and engage potential buyers. Here’s how…
- Paste the search string in the search bar.
- Click on the People tab and choose 2nd degree connections to identify who in your network can make introductions to your target market.
- Visit the profile of the prospect that you’d like to meet and click through shared connections.
- Select the shared connection in your network that you’d like to ask for an introduction.
- Click through your shared connection’s profile and click on the message icon.
- Send a note requesting a warm introduction.
Want to target buyer titles and identify stakeholders instead? Easy!
- From the top search bar paste your search string.
- Click on the People Tab.
- On the right hand column scroll down to Current Company filter, click the +add and type in a company.
- Identify potential stakeholders and make your list for your primary contact.
- If you don’t have a Coach or Champion – you will need to find one and begin a relationship.
- Have your Coach make internal introductions with a note that provides value not your pitch.
- Build interest by sharing industry insights and company news. Nurture the relationships.
Check Your Caller ID
Caller ID isn’t just for phones anymore, folks! When utilizing a premium LinkedIn account, you can check out who has viewed your profile. Is a person you’re interviewing next week checking out your profile first to research discussion points? Is a new business looking for potential collaborations and looked at you? There’s only one way to find out..
- Click on the “Who’s Viewed Your Profile” in the box on the left side of the home page.
- Identify a viewer that you might want to engage.
- Right click and open profile in new tab.
- If they are a 1st degree connection – Reach out about reconnecting.
- If they are a 3rd degree connection – Thank them for visiting your profile and offer to connect via mutual interests.
This feature will also tell you how they found you. They may have searched for you, spotted your name in a sidebar or your profile link may have been shared to them through someone else. Knowing how they came across your profile is just as important as knowing that they looked at it!
LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is hands down the most powerful prospecting tool. It allows you to easily:
- Focus on the right people: This sales tool features a sophisticated algorithm to give you tailored lead recommendations. Easily save leads and sales lead lists.
- Stay informed with insights: Get up-to-date information about your prospects. Be in the know with timely information to warm leads.
- Build trusted relationships: Leverage your own and your Company’s network before the initial conversation.
Sales Navigator also provides a Salesforce Lead Builder which is a powerful search tool that every sales professional should be utilizing. Here’s how to build leads through it:
- Click Lead Builder next to the Search icon at the top of your Sales Navigator homepage.
- Select and enter search criteria to target your leads using LinkedIn filters.
- Choose 2nd degree relationship to identify who in your network knows your target buyers.
- In “TeamLink” you can see TeamLink leads that other members know.
- Find a lead and want to save the account? Simply…
- Click the blue save as lead button next to the profiles you’d like to save.
- Updates will appear in your newsfeed.
Remember how we discussed mining your connections’ connections before? Well, Sales Navigator makes this even easier!
- Type in a client name in the search bar and look them up.
- From their profile click on their connections.
- Drill down on the left side filters or open Lead Builder by clicking View all filters at the bottom.
- Make your list and request introductions.
Devote 15 Minutes Per Day
While this may seem like a lot of tasks to add into your daily schedule, it really isn’t! In just 15 minutes a day, you can generate leads, increase sales opportunities and open doors for business collaborations. At Social Motto, we implement these daily, weekly and monthly LinkedIn checklists:
- Daily: Check who’s viewed our profile, check InMail and check pending invites and connections.
- Weekly: Find 3-5 new leads from People Similar, engage in 1-3 discussions, find Pulse content to engage with.
- Monthly: Publish an original post, search our strings of 1st degree connections and reconnect, and search companies in our network.
At the end of each month, we encourage you to track your success! How many users did your network grow by? How many conversions did you make? How is your level of engagement on your posts (both shared and original?). We think you’ll be surprised at how useful LinkedIn can be to help grow your business.