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5 ways to turn LinkedIn prospects into leads

There are plenty of reasons why sales prospecting on LinkedIn makes perfect sense.

With more than 400 million members worldwide, it is arguably THE social network for business development, and a great way to get your foot in the door.

According to the 2014 whitepaper, Social Buying Meets Social Selling: How Trusted Networks Improve the Purchase Experience:

  • 50% of B2B buyers use the network to make buying decisions.
  • 76% of buyers prefer to make their purchasing decisions following recommendations from people in their professional networks.
  • 46% of buyers searched for potential vendors on LinkedIn.
  • 44% of buyers found vendors through common LinkedIn Connections.

LinkedIn is undoubtedly a great source of business contact information. You can find details of a target company, its influential leaders and employees as well as their contact information all in one place.

The big question is: How do you turn these prospects into leads?

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Here are 5 proven tips on how you can make it a primary source for new leads, and new business:

1. Build a list of prospects that match whichever criteria is important to you: sales is about person to person contact, so when you are at a target company’s LinkedIn page, search their list of employees to find the influential person you want to deal with, for instance the Head of Procurement.

Pay attention to changes in their profiles, their status updates, their hobbies, articles they’ve published, conferences they’ve attended and connections you may have in common. With a little bit of detective work, it won’t be long before you have built up a detailed picture of your prospects.

All of this information can come in handy when you make your approach to them. This isn’t online stalking, it’s learning about your prospects to make meaningful connections with them.  LinkedIn provides you with a lot of valuable information at your fingertips, so try using it.

Candidate qualification job interview

2. Focus on LinkedIn groups: many people join groups to learn more about their industries and to forge new connections. Groups can also be a source of new prospects as well as providing additional insights into a prospect.

Membership also gives you another reason to reach out to someone. By joining in the discussions, you could get known by your prospects ahead of your first call to them.

3. Ensure that your profile works hard for you: if you have piqued a prospect’s interest they are going to want to find out about who they could be dealing. Therefore, they will look at your profile.

Ensure that it is always up to date and creates a thoroughly professional impression of you and your company.

Use the headline on your profile creatively to demonstrate the value you can add to your clients. Simply having your job title; “Sales Executive” or “Account Manager”, will add little value.

Our very own Training Consultant, Robbie Driver, has mastered the art of this:

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4. Reach out to your prospects with an InMail: this is LinkedIn’s internal message system that lets you send a message direct to somebody else’s inbox. LinkedIn claims that InMails are 30x more likely to receive a response than an email or a cold call.

Based on your research, you should be able to send a highly individualised message to a prospect, one that is well thought out and relates to them.

Be warned: When adding new connections, avoid the default message “Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” It just says you can’t really be bothered. Make the message personal, and most importantly, natural.

5. Try LinkedIn Sales Navigator: this is a sales tool that uses a sophisticated algorithm to provide subscribers with customised leads. It will even provide you with instant updates from your leads as well as any changes to their job role.

A free trial is available so you can try before you buy.

sales-navigator

LinkedIn provides salespeople with a superb way to make connections with qualified prospects without irritating the hell out of them. But it’s not the only the platform that’s a boon to prospecting in the digital age. You can also use Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and blogs to get more business.

Whether you go prospecting on LinkedIn or any of the other networks, social platforms can shorten the sales process by helping you to warm-up your leads before making the first call.

If your sales team require help selling over LinkedIn and other platforms, then speak to one our Training Consultant’s about a Natural Digital Selling programme.

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