October 18, 2021

LinkedIn Prospecting

LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network. With over 320 million members, it has become an essential part of our professional lives. But not all professionals are using LinkedIn to its full potential, and it turns out that the majority of professionals aren’t even aware that they can use it for their marketing efforts.

LinkedIn is mostly used by job seekers and employers, many businesses are now starting to realize the importance of it as a tool for lead generation. This is where LinkedIn prospecting comes in - using this channel to find the relevant decision-makers (preferably high up on the corporate ladder) at specific organizations who would be more than willing to talk with you about your products/services. This might sound like a difficult task as there are over 740 million users on linkedin. But here’s how you can make linkedin prospecting easy.

What Is LinkedIn Sales Prospecting?

LinkedIn is one of the most popular social networks for professionals, especially when it comes to business-to-business (B2B) companies. Let us tell you about 9 ways in which you can make your business grow with LinkedIn and do better sales prospecting;


1. Optimize your LinkedIn profile-

-Before you contact anyone, make sure your LinkedIn profile is complete and professional. Customize your LinkedIn URL to be easily accessible i.e., www.linkedin.com/in/yourusername.

-Once your LinkedIn account is created, start filling out your profile with website links to get more credibility on LinkedIn. That could be your Twitter, Facebook, personal blog. Fill out all the relevant work experience by including company names, job titles, descriptions of tasks completed while employed there.

-Your most recent employment experiences should appear at the top - so potential prospects can see what kind of expertise you have within a few seconds.

-Add a crisp LinkedIn summary to describe your skills and other required details, along with specialties that pertain to your business. If you want to look even more professional, upload a LinkedIn photo of yourself - it will appear next to every message you send out.


2. Build credibility

-Before you make contact with anyone, you should be LinkedIn " endorsed ". This is a great way to give and receive recommendations from others on LinkedIn. Endorsements can recommend candidates for skills and abilities they feel would contribute positively to their company. 

For example: If we were looking at hiring an SEO consultant, we might endorse them as having expertise in that area (or an endorsement from someone who is linked into that person's network).

-On the flip side, you can also endorse people for different skills and build your credibility by giving recommendations to those who have endorsed you. 

-Now that your LinkedIn profile is optimized and you have some endorsements under your belt, make sure to develop a strategy for LinkedIn prospecting.

Remember: If you don’t endorse, you won’t get endorsed! Make sure every skill listed is linked with a current or former place of employment – so prospects know you have the experience they are looking for.


3. Identify your audience

-LinkedIn has more than 740 million members, so LinkedIn users likely come from all different industries. To narrow down who to contact, try using a LinkedIn search to find people at certain companies or in specific roles. 

-Make sure the keywords match their job title – this will ensure you are reaching out to the prospects within their correct department.

For example: if you are looking for someone who works with social media marketing, then for keywords like "social media marketing" instead of just "marketing".


4.   Engage with other profiles

-While indulging in LinkedIn prospecting, you can get involved in groups by commenting on discussion threads or starting your discussion. In the LinkedIn news feed, you can comment on others' posts to start a conversation. Once they respond to your post, you will have their attention and be able to ask for a connection request.

-If these prospecting messages go unanswered, do not forget that LinkedIn allows members to send a direct message to any other profile – even if they are not a connection! You just need their email address from the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. Sending an email is not considered spam since it is sent from a member's account.


5.   Start conversations

-The LinkedIn prospecting tips in this article were meant to help you find appropriate members without having to join LinkedIn groups yourself. But what if the group is your target market? 

-If you want to start prospecting through LinkedIn groups, it is recommended to join at least 10 different groups related to your target market before you start sending out messages. Join the community and get involved in discussions for a week before starting any sort of direct outreach. 

-Also, remember that each message in the LinkedIn groups needs an introduction that explains why you are reaching out to them. Just like when you do cold calling or cold emailing in any other situation! Once people get to know who you are, they will be more likely to respond to your messages. Then it is just a matter of following up.


6.  Follow up

-LinkedIn has made it super easy to follow up with your prospects within itself! You can organize your contacts into groups like "Sales Leads" or "Want to Meet". Re-sending messages on LinkedIn is perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) because most members will not check LinkedIn every day - especially if they are busy making money!!

-LinkedIn prospecting is not about spamming people for sales purposes. In fact, it is about staying top of mind when the time is right. If you have done your research, shared relevant content, and started conversations with potential customers then following up on LinkedIn should be your primary lead generation source after LinkedIn search.


7.   Post ads on LinkedIn

-If you want to target specific users rather than LinkedIn groups, you can buy LinkedIn ads. As it sponsors posts that allow you to reach people based on their work history, location, and other criteria. Your message will be considered an ad but it will look just like any other post in the news feed.


8. Scroll through "People Also Viewed."

-When you visit someone's profile within an active group (or even on their profile), scroll down to see who else they have viewed throughout the day. This is a great tool to find new prospects with similar connections or interests who could be very valuable connections for you! 

-If you spot someone that looks interesting but did not catch their full name in the preview window, LinkedIn allows you to send them an invitation to connect with the click of a button.


9.  Send InMail messages.

-If someone in your network has linked with someone who ends up being a prospect (or even better, a very valuable contact), you can always ask to be introduced. But what if the connection does not know them? Or maybe they have linked with them in the past but are not currently connected on LinkedIn?

-In such cases, your best bet is to send an InMail message to that person. You can find their email address by going into the advanced search and choosing "People Also Viewed" under the “Keyword” menu.


The above ways we discussed require no cost but you can also amplify your LinkedIn prospecting by using its Sales Navigator. So, let us now discuss it. 


How to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for prospecting?

LinkedIn Sales Navigator for sales prospecting is a great tool to assist you in getting in contact with potential new customers. By using this tool, you can get the email address of companies and people who might be interested in your product or service that LinkedIn users are linked to. This has many benefits over cold calling or unsolicited emails because it is more likely that they

know someone at the company you are trying to reach out to, making them potentially more receptive than if you just contacted them out of the blue.


Let us walk you through 5 different ways of how to use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for prospecting.


1) Use Sales Navigator

You can use a sales navigator for reaching out to customers who have been Re-engaged. You can also use LinkedIn lead generation for this, but LinkedIn re-engagement ads are great if you have lost touch with your past customers or current customers who have not purchased from you in a while. 


This is very beneficial because it allows you to get back in contact with them without having to outsource your emailing or calling efforts, which means more potential sales for your business. You can also save money by doing something yourself rather than outsourcing it.


2) Find Prospects Of Your Competitors

LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to find LinkedIn users who are linked to your competitors. This means that it will be easier for you to get in touch with potential prospects because they are linked to someone who is familiar with your brand or knows someone at your company. 

When this happens, the likelihood of closing a sale increases because the person has already done their research on whatever it is that you're selling, which can save both parties valuable time and energy.


3) Research Prospects Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator

You can research LinkedIn users using the sales navigator by clicking on "view profile." You will see all sorts of useful information about them, such as where they work and went to college. 

This means that if they went to a prestigious school, they might have a closer relationship with the people at your target companies than LinkedIn users who did not.  


4) Reach Out To Influencers In Your Space

LinkedIn is also great for reaching out to many LinkedIn influencers. You can do this by using LinkedIn sales navigator and searching "influencer" in your area of business or industry. 

If you are using LinkedIn lead generation for tech startups, you might search for  "influencer tech startup." Then all you need to do is look through their profiles and send them an email with a personal introduction and explanation about why they should work with you.   

                    

5) Find Professionals Who Have Changed Jobs & Companies

It is always beneficial to know what LinkedIn users are up to because this allows you to reach out to them before they get too busy doing something else. That is why LinkedIn Sales Navigator's LinkedIn Search Option is great for prospecting. 

As it will allow you to find LinkedIn users who have recently changed jobs or companies. This can be done by searching "users who work at X company who also worked at Y company" and seeing if there are any prospects that stand out from the list.

Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a very effective way of prospecting for new customers. It has never been easier to do something yourself rather than pay someone else, which means more money in your pocket and a better ROI on LinkedIn ads. It allows you to see your competitors'  accounts without having to join or pay for a  premium service. These have been proven by many users as being especially effective for LinkedIn prospecting when it comes down to finding new customers.


Apart from this, you can make use of LinkedIn Groups and connect with the ones belonging to the same industry as your target audience. Let us show you how!


How to collect email addresses from the LinkedIn Group?

LinkedIn offers many ways to promote business, including LinkedIn Answers and LinkedIn Groups. These groups are convenient because you can connect with people who share similar interests from your downline as well as those in your upline

Join those groups that have members who are in the same industry as your target market. This will help you become an expert in their field, so they can associate you with being someone who knows what is going on in the business world. Suppose, if all your company does is print t-shirts then do not join a LinkedIn group about SEO! Find relevant industry groups to be part of by searching LinkedIn for keywords like:

Group name + relevant term, that is, "Colorado Search Engine Marketing Professionals".

Once joining the groups, try posting relevant content regularly. LinkedIn allows members to post updates in the news feed that only their closest connections will see. For these updates to show up in your prospect's LinkedIn news feeds, make sure to add them as a connection first. 

Doing this will establish a level of trust and credibility with your target prospect without even having to say a word! You can also post links on group boards if it relates to the group topic – just remember to always stay within LinkedIn terms of service.


Here is how you can find, and connect with LinkedIn Group Members:


-Step 1: Find LinkedIn groups that are relevant to your business or website niche. LinkedIn offers a Directory section that is filled with groups in various fields. You can search for LinkedIn groups using keywords related to your industry or business niche.

-Step 2: Join LinkedIn groups related to your industry and add value to these groups. Members there highly appreciate valuable posts, so this way you will attract members who have similar interests as you. 

LinkedIn offers many ways to add value to  Groups, such as by suggesting blog posts from your website or content from your feed. You can also comment on a LinkedIn Group post, share LinkedIn Group posts on social media, or ask LinkedIn Group members questions.


Step 3: Connect with group members in your LinkedIn downline or upline by sending LinkedIn invitation emails via the Connections tab. 

LinkedIn will generate a list of its users who are not in your LinkedIn network but are in the same groups as you.


Step 4: Try scraping all members of the group & collect their email addresses

If you are looking forward to collecting your prospect's email address then go for Phantombuster. It is an excellent data scraping tool. You will have access to all of them if you use the Phantom LinkedIn Group Members.

Now, with this, you can send emails to the prospects you are interested to work with.


Step 5: Send LinkedIn Group welcome emails to new group members in your LinkedIn downline or upline. It always made it easy to welcome new group members.


How can you automate LinkedIn prospecting messages?

We are about to create one LinkedIn prospecting sequence that will automatically send personalized messages to prospects.

First, let us narrow down our LinkedIn search results by choosing the correct keywords. It should not be too broad (like a salesperson) nor too specific ( like a senior accountant). 

Now, let us send them a “Welcome message”. LinkedIn prospecting messages automation starts here - LinkedIn system introduction.

This is a LinkedIn sequence that will both organize and automate your LinkedIn prospecting process. The message sequence consists of a few messages which you can personalize depending on the LinkedIn prospects' occupation and potential interest in your services/products.

Based on what we have learned from our LinkedIn research, we want to create a welcome message for all the LinkedIn users who share the same interests (i.e., companies they work for) with us.

Sample:

“Good afternoon [NAME],

I'm reaching out because I found through LinkedIn that [COMPANY NAME] might be connected to my industry and that [NAME] is the LinkedIn Lead Generation Expert at [COMPANY].

Would you be interested in discussing how I can contribute to your LinkedIn business page? I'd like to know what topics are of most interest to you and create LinkedIn company updates around them.

Best regards,
(name)”

We also want this sequence to automatically send a follow-up email 2 days after the initial message. It should contain a LinkedIn invitation (if LinkedIn contact has not joined yet) and ask if they are interested in collaborating. If they accept, we will schedule LinkedIn company updates based on LinkedIn members' LinkedIn job positions.


Let's see what LinkedIn automated follow-up email looks like:

“Hi [NAME],

I hope you had a great start in the new year and welcome to LinkedIn! I'm reaching out because we found through LinkedIn that [COMPANY] might be connected to our industry and that [NAME] is the LinkedIn Lead Generation Expert at [COMPANY].

You shared some ideas for LinkedIn content that could be of interest to my current LinkedIn connections. I'd love to help you get started with LinkedIn marketing automation and connect you with some relevant sources for your business. May we schedule a short call next week?

Best regards,
(name)”


Two days after the initial welcome message, we want to send another personalized message. This time it will focus on LinkedIn company updates and LinkedIn content marketing statistics.


“Good afternoon [NAME],

We found through LinkedIn that [COMPANY] might be connected to our industry and that [NAME] is the LinkedIn Lead Generation Expert at [COMPANY].

I thought you might be interested in checking out some of my recent company LinkedIn updates which recently received higher engagement compared to all other posts I've made (average click rate of 3%). Here's one I posted today: [LINK]

I'm also including LinkedIn company statistics which you can use to create LinkedIn updates in the future. If I can help in any other way, just reach out!

Best regards,
(Name)”


We have covered ways that you can optimize your linkedin profile and how to use tools like linkedin sales navigator to send refined prospecting messages. If you are looking for a way to find potential customers, LinkedIn is one of the best places to start. It is no surprise that more and more people are turning to social media networks like LinkedIn when they want to make new connections or reconnect with old friends.


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Himangi Lohar

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