What comes to your mind when we talk about professional networking?
LinkedIn, without a doubt!
Over the years, LinkedIn has become the go-to platform for professional networking – be it for career opportunities, business development, company visibility, or even individual growth.
Yes, we have found the right prospect for our lead generation. Now, what is the next step?
Here’s a step-by-step guide to how to take things forward:
Step 1 – You utilize LinkedIn Search to find your ideal prospects
Step 2 – You send personalized invitations to connect with those prospects
Step 3 – As each new prospect accepts your invite, you build a rapport with them but liking, sharing, or commenting on their most recent activity. While doing this try and add value to their work or life
Step 4 – Once engaged, write a direct message to them, which either adds value, asks questions, or shows synergies
Step 5 – Continue the conversation along with engagement (like, comment, share)
Step 6 – Ask for a meeting!
Wondering how to effectively build a relationship with your LinkedIn prospects? Here’s how –
LinkedIn offers unique opportunities to move people from leads to customers.
Once reps have taken the time to research their prospects, they can start building relationships and adding value to their buyers.
Sales Navigator’s way of creating value is through comments. When a lead posts a new piece of content, that content will appear in the sales rep’s home page, and the rep will receive an email notification. This is an opportunity for a sales rep to jump into a dialogue with the buyer.
But reps need to be strategic. Writing, “Great post!” doesn’t add much value. Instead, they need to be more thoughtful. They might want to choose a quote that resonated with them, or maybe they can ask a follow-up question to get the prospect’s opinion.
Use the @ mention capability to tag a prospect in a comment. That way, you ensure the prospect will see it.
For curated content, look for articles that your ideal customers will value and add your own opinion or insight. Sharing content on LinkedIn has several benefits. With your posts and the comments, you have an opportunity to talk directly to your ideal audience. When you establish your expertise, your connections will feel more justified in becoming your customers. Sharing content frequently and consistently also helps you maintain visibility in the LinkedIn feed.
People like to be acknowledged and congratulated, and you can use LinkedIn to recognize your connections on special occasions. Occasions are a great opportunity to reach out and communicate with people.
When you click the Say Congrats button, LinkedIn opens a new message to your contact with a brief starter such as, “Congrats on your work anniversary!” To make your message stand out from other messages your recipient receives and make them feel like a customer, add a personal message after the starter.
Clients appreciate when salespeople make an effort to demonstrate that they are interested in their company’s future and that they are eager to help them find optimal solutions to their problems. LinkedIn groups and forums are a great resource for connecting with like-minded individuals and sharing knowledge and best practices that will benefit everyone.
When sales reps look at their list of leads in Sales Navigator, they’ll notice that they can either message their leads or send an InMail. InMails are private messages that you send to LinkedIn members who are not your first-degree connections (i.e. people to whom are you not connected on LinkedIn). For example, the following script can be a great way to start a conversation that follows the guidelines and moves the conversation from LinkedIn to email:
I notice that you’re [job title at the company]. I hope your new role is going well.
I help businesses like yours get more clients using LinkedIn. I recently delivered a branding project at an organization that is similar to yours.
I’d love to send you [content]. Is [email address] the best one to send it to?
InMails are one of the perks of a Sales Navigator subscription. Use it wisely and you will reap the benefits.
A large number of people have more than 500 LinkedIn connections. The businesses that identify these connections as an untapped resource of potential customers can develop a strategy to convert them. The key is personalized communication. With this type of communication, connections will feel valued.
What do you think? Have you used LinkedIn to develop relationships with new customers? What tips will you try in the future? Please share your thoughts in the comments.