LinkedIn Lead Strategy in 4 Easy Steps
Today’s business world is digital. That means you no longer need a literal “foot in the door” to create opportunities for sales and career advancement. It also means you’re not restricted to only vague online listings and cold calling to make meaningful connections. With LinkedIn you not only have the ability to access “someone on the inside” for various business purposes, but you can also approach meetings and tasks with the confidence of knowing that you can be vetted through your existing client relationships and shared contacts.
With this level of convenience of course also comes an increased level of exposure – and a greater chance of making an accidental misstep. So it’s a smart idea to know how to optimize a resource like LinkedIn to generate the most favorable results for your purposes. This Step-by-Step guide will get you started.
The LinkedIn 3-step strategy will involve growing your network on this platform by “connecting” with other users.
- Create your hit list for leads by using the built-in search function
- Join LinkedIn groups
- Make initial contact – Writing the right introduction message
Step 1: Create your professional LinkedIn profile
Due to the popularity of the platform, LinkedIn is now an essential branding tool, which makes it more important than ever to build and maintain a stellar profile. With more than 400 million members worldwide, LinkedIn has a substantial pool of potential leads for your business. The web tracking software company TRUCONVERSION has created a detailed and easy to follow infographic that provides the steps to create a great profile, and we are sharing it with you beginning on page 6.
Step 2: Create your hit list for potential prospects by using the built-in search function
2:1 Take some time to clearly identify your ideal prospect
- Target industry or business
- Geographical area/territory
- LinkedIn groups your prospects may participate in
- Identify their titles or positions
2:2 Use the ‘Advanced’ search
Based on your ideal potential prospect attribute list, use the ‘Advanced People Search’ to start your research. If you contact just 6 prospects per day (5 days a week) you’ll have successfully sorted through more than 1,500 contacts to learn which are the most promising.
Step 3: Join LinkedIn Groups
There are many good reasons to join a LinkedIn Group. We feel these are some of the most important:
- Access a specific database of connections
- Meet people in your industry and stay informed
- Get exposure for your professional or corporate expertise
- Find great and updated content to share and comment on
Step 4: Make initial contact
writing the right introduction message
4:1 Offer a Digital Handshake
When working in a digital realm, it can be easy to forget a little common courtesy. You wouldn’t walk into a room of people you’d never formally met and dive into a sales pitch with someone a colleague pointed out as a friend.
So don’t do it online either. Introduce yourself and what you have in common, be clear about what you hope a new relationship will do for both of you.
Using that information, create a simple and clear subject line like “Great speech on (DATE)” or “Follow up question to your webcast” or “(SHARED CONTACT) thought we should connect.”
4:2 Continue the Introduction
With your initial greeting out of the way, continue just as you would at a meeting or networking event.
Make sure to expand on whatever details you hinted at in your subject line.
Don’t skip this step and assume your contact will just click on over to your profile to fill in the gaps. More often, they’ll just move on to something or someone else. Be respectful of the other person’s time and give yourself a chance to put your best foot forward.
A sample might be something like:
“Hello. I’m (NAME), I’ve been following your posts on mobile apps for logistics and wanted to ask a follow-up question. My company provides mobile data and would very much like to hear your thoughts on what real-world users need in the field.”
Very quickly and succinctly, you’ve put a conversation in motion that will allow someone to eagerly reply with mutually beneficial ideas, or you’ve allowed them to explain why you’re not a good match (and maybe even shed some light onto different sales tactics in the process).
In either case, you’ve also increased your chances of being passed along to the right contact by being clear about what you do and what you offer.
Your initial message may be slightly longer depending on the nature of your business, but try not to go more than a few sentences on this first contact.
4:3 Set the Stage for the Next Contact
Digital communication is like a tennis match. If you don’t serve the ball over the net, your contact can’t return it. So be polite, thank them for their time, and offer a quick counter-move for them to respond to.
So continuing with the step above…
“If you’ve got some time in the next few days, would you be willing to (take a survey, chat, attend our webinar, etc.) so I might be able to include your expertise in our development efforts? I’d be very grateful to have someone of your stature weigh in on things. Thank you in advance.”
You can employ the same technique for asking for introductions, asking for recommendations, and other tasks.
4:4 Moving Forward
Once you’ve got the digital conversation going you’ll be able to take things to the next level with phone calls, campaigns for your most interested leads, person-to-person requests or even offers when it’s appropriate.
Over time your network will grow and you can leverage your connections to help make the sale. Just remember – you’re never more than a few clicks away from success!