Social Selling Blog

 

What people don’t realize about LinkedIn is that it’s home to executives of B2B and B2C businesses. For a social media platform that has more than 500 million registered members, it’s totally underestimated as a venue for brand marketing.

 

Aside from connecting with people you know, you are more than capable of getting targeted leads on LinkedIn. The question is, how.

 

If you’re planning to take advantage of LinkedIn’s quality of users, now is the time to up your game.

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A 3-Step Guide on How to Get Leads on LinkedIn

Here are three very easy steps you can start doing today!

  1. Profile Optimization

Don’t get scared away by the term “optimization” because to tell you frankly; anyone can do it with the correct approach. Which means you can do it for your LinkedIn profile. All you have to do is fill it out.

 

Two questions:

 

  • Why do you need to optimize your LinkedIn profile?

Your LinkedIn profile contains the information that people will use as search terms. And that’s the point, right? For you to appear on search results that are relevant to your niche. If you want to generate leads, your profile is the greatest weapon you can use.

 

  • How do you optimize your LinkedIn Profile?

Three words: “proper keyword research”. Leverage terms about what it is that you do and which is something you’re good at. These are your selling points and the exact keywords that you want to get showed up for. It sounds like an SEO thing because, apparently, generating leads on LinkedIn requires basic SEO tricks.

 

Every portion of your LinkedIn profile plays a significant role in getting connections and leads. It isn’t necessary for you to use a lot of words, but the character count can also measure profile performance.

 

Refrain from throwing in a ton of keywords just to try and catch those leads all at once. That’s a recipe for your downfall. As you can see, LinkedIn has enough space for direct value. 

 

You need to be as specific as possible when you’re optimizing your LinkedIn profile. For example, if you’re looking for leads interested in “Social Media Management” or “Marketplace Optimization”, then these should be on display on your profile, especially on your headline. You’ll have to bank on the strongest points that represent your personal brand. 

 

  1. Audience Engagement

Make your presence felt by sharing your interests and your knowledge about them. You have to share relevant ideas to promote awareness of your niche. When you do this, you build something that strengthens your LinkedIn profile: authority.

 

Providing regular updates, for at least once a week, will increase your chances of getting contacted for new opportunities. And be consistent with your posts. Pick a time of habit where your audience can build a sense of reliability from your presence.

 

It’s also essential to share content that does not sound like you’re selling. LinkedIn audiences are responsive to experiences and stories. 

 

On your posts, write intriguing headlines that open up with something like “how-to...”, or “a list of…” that are followed with relevant answers and solutions, no matter how typical they may seem.

 

And remember, you still have to apply basic SEO on keywords written on your headlines and content body.

 

To get more engagements, don’t hesitate to cross-promote your LinkedIn content on other social media channels. It could be a way for you to invite your friends and followers on other platforms to join LinkedIn and be part of your connection. That generates a bunch of new leads from a simple snowball effect.

 

Then again, CTAs are always, always a good idea. So, don’t hold back in encouraging your audience to take action even for just a post like. 

 

Engagement also affects profile optimization. While you’re trying to do that, using links on blogs and articles will drive more engagements than images and videos, although all three work at different rates. It has been found out that LinkedIn audience has a higher comment rate on images and videos get more shares. So, it’s up to you to take the pick on which kind of action you need from your audience.

 

  1. Advertise Your Content

LinkedIn sponsors content, too!

 

You can generate consistent and streamlined connections and leads by advertising your content. Sponsored content allows you to reach out to LinkedIn users who aren’t in your connection list yet. 

 

When you publish LinkedIn posts, your established visitors and followers are the only one who sees them. If you want to go beyond that, which you do— undoubtedly, allow LinkedIn to automate this one for you.

 

You may think that this is just like the usual campaigns done on other social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. However, LinkedIn has a couple of distinct targeting capabilities, which you will probably find impressive.

 

  • Specific targeting options. There’s no second-guessing! Your ideal target is within your reach. Instead of wasting your appearance on an audience who won’t see the value on your interests, LinkedIn gives you the freedom and the options to pinpoint the people you want to see your posts and updates.

 

  • Published on company pages. While you can directly target your chosen audience, LinkedIn’s sponsored content does not appear on your company page. It seems, however, on their newsfeeds, top banners, or sidebar suggestions. There’s no way they’re going to miss your updates.

 

In Conclusion

Keep Your Eye On The Prize: Audience Targeting

Now, it only goes to show that LinkedIn is indeed one of the most undermined social media platforms that can be used for marketing. It certainly has a taste for people who are highly interested in building professional relationships. And for once, you don’t necessarily have to pitch in. The secret lies deeply in targeting an audience with consistent engagement.

 

The steps on how to get leads on LinkedIn are simple, and you have to go and work on it. If you do it right and take the chance today, you can get started by growing your leads and connections daily. And don’t forget to follow-through with your measures. Eventually, what began as potential will become your constant generating rate.


Find out your options on social media. Visit Social Sellinator to explore effective social media management solutions tailored to your industry.

 

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Financial service providers are often required to pursue big lucrative contracts. Everything revolves around the internet today. 

 

That’s why using social media platforms is the best way to keep your clients satisfied. It’s also an excellent way to beat your competitors.

 

Over 80% of financial advisors are already using all the potential of social media for their business. So, it’s safe to say that you need a social media approach. 

 

If you’re a financial service provider looking for good companies, you can find out about them by embracing LinkedIn. There are also many other great benefits of social selling on LinkedIn for financial service providers.

LinkedIn is the most prominent business social platform out there

LinkedIn continues to be the biggest business social platform, entirely focused on business. It’s evolving into a content platform. 

 

This shift allows financial professionals to avail themselves of many venues and tools on LinkedIn. They can now promote their brands, both indirectly and directly. 

 

Social selling on LinkedIn offers several benefits to financial service providers, such as:

 

  • An abundant source of secure new clients – LinkedIn enhances profiles with clients
  • More effective and faster client engagement – get your message to clients in a much quicker and effective way
  • Landing new opportunities by leveraging connections – LinkedIn provides important updates from potential prospects
  • Identify high-net-worth professionals – the majority of these professionals use LinkedIn
  • Build relationships with prospects – LinkedIn allows you to provide timely, useful updates in your niche
  • Stay on top of trends in your industry – get the latest news from your industry

Sure, LinkedIn isn’t a direct source of revenue. But it can help you make significant adjustments to your business strategy.

Understanding LinkedIn etiquette

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LinkedIn has one simple goal – to help you develop a strategy that allows your business to maximize the effect of financial social media. It helps you:

 

  • Develop your brand to promote your financial services
  • Build brand awareness to attract the target audience
  • Make the most of your marketing campaigns
  • Build a sense of authority in your business niche
  • Build your reputation as a leading professional in your industry

LinkedIn allows businesses to target campaigns. It provides all the necessary tools these institutions need to reach their target audience. 

 

The key factor of success for financial service providers is building thought leadership. LinkedIn can help by allowing you to show your expertise, thus elevating your brand.

Finding the right target audience

There’s no denying that businesses that manage to harness the potential of social media get a chance to drive more revenue. LinkedIn also helps you establish a meaningful, long-lasting relationship with your audience.

 

That’s why LinkedIn is the best social media platform for social selling for financial service providers. It allows these professionals to focus on the right prospects. It gives them useful insights to build trusted relationships.

 

So how does LinkedIn help financial professionals find the right audience? 

 

The platform allows you to put in place a professional context to target a quality audience. This helps narrow their market efforts down. You can discern between executives, decision-makers, influencers, and act on new opportunities. 

 

LinkedIn allows these professionals to customize targeting with their audience data. They can then nurture interested contacts, leads, and prospects. Finally, LinkedIn allows people to build ideal financial personas by combining targeting criteria. 

Individual profile vs. Business page

The individual profile on LinkedIn allows people to connect on a personal level online. A business page is something entirely else – it provides followers rather than plain connections. A business page on LinkedIn allows prospects to find businesses because of the services/products they offer.

 

According to LinkedIn research, there’s a 50% higher chance that prospects will buy from a brand with a business page. And 80% of LinkedIn members are looking to connect with companies. 

 

Here are some of the benefits a business page can provide to financial service providers:

  • Increase your brand visibility by including logos and images
  • Share videos to improve client engagement
  • Highlight individual financial services and brands
  • Keep your audience engaged by providing updates and relevant content
  • Interlink to other professionals and loyal clients
  • Spread your authority across all available social media channels
  • Drive more traffic to your page by building a following

Tools to help with LinkedIn selling

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LinkedIn went quite a length to make it easier for businesses to achieve their business goals. The network provides many, extremely practical tools for businesses.

 

Many features are constantly adapting to the evolving and increasing needs of users. That way, financial professionals can save time and money while still getting good results.

 

IFTTT

Every online action a business takes on social media matters. These actions can have a positive impact on your brand across all social media channels. Doing it by hand would take a tremendous amount of time, effort, and resources. That’s why you can use IFTTT to allow automation work for you. 

 

This tool automatically causes things to happen simultaneously on all connected platforms. Whether it’s posting, sharing, or hash-tagging, IFTTT makes cross-platform selling a breeze.

 

LinkedIn sales navigators

LSN works in a straightforward way – it allows you to find and target the right audience. You can understand their needs, keep track of changes, and engage your prospects. It’s a tool that allows you to:

 

  • Target the right audience
  • Understand key insights
  • Engage with clients to achieve personalized outreach
  • Create efficient sales processes

 

LinkedIn sales navigator includes several features, such as:

  • Lead recommendations
  • Real-time updates on your clients and prospects
  • Advanced search filter for finding the right companies and leads for you

 

Detective

Detective is a training platform for software adoption. It helps reduce the time it takes to train your employees. It does so by increasing the adoption of the latest industry-related software. 

Detective can help with CRM, knowledgebase, sales enablement, or salesforce software training.

 

Nimble

Nimble is perhaps the most useful tool for customer relationship management. It helps manage your pipeline and contacts, but it also offers one advantage. You can gather data on your potential prospects and clients from various sources. These include emails, cross-platform social interactions, and contact lists.

 

Nimble helps you reach out to each prospect in a personalized way. You can provide an exceptional user experience. It helps make the most out of every lead you generate.

Adapting the social selling approach to LinkedIn

LinkedIn provides connections to a vast pool of potential prospects around the globe. You can use it to establish strategic partnerships, build brand awareness, or generate leads. However, there are a lot more uses.

If you use LinkedIn for social selling, you can engage your audience and grow your business like never before. The process of adaptation includes some crucial steps:

 

  • Create a complete, professional LinkedIn profile with a professional headshot
  • Make your profile client-centric
  • Request recommendations to provide social proof of your services
  • Use high-value content to build trust, credibility, and authority
  • Regularly update your popular content to keep it relevant
  • Republish articles
  • Connect with other professionals, clients, and colleagues
  • Join LinkedIn groups related to your line of work
  • Find more prospects using the advanced search feature
  • Ask for warm introductions and referrals
  • Engage with influencers
  • Engage your new contacts

Conclusion

LinkedIn is all about consistency, patience, and professionalism. It’s a social media platform dedicated to helping businesses thrive in their industries. It does so by providing everything necessary for these organizations to achieve success.

 

Things move fast in this modern world. Technology has the last say in pretty much everything we do. Mastering LinkedIn social selling techniques can seem a bit overwhelming. However, it isn’t that hard if you focus on one thing at a time.

 

This article helps you master each of these social selling steps. That way, you can generate a highly predictable and easily controllable stream of new clients. Harness the power of LinkedIn to beat your competition!

 
Social Selling

LinkedIn is the most powerful platform for B2B social sellers. The vast network that LinkedIn provides allows you to identify and connect with decision-makers that fit your ideal client profile. On LinkedIn, there are more than 61 million senior-level influencers and 40 million people in decision-making positions. LinkedIn provides a straightforward way to build real, genuine relationships with senior-level decision-makers over time instead of relying on rapid pitching techniques.

Social media plays a crucial role in the B2B sales process. While it is true that LinkedIn is a powerful platform for B2B social sellers, it offers a lot of different options and, therefore, can be a challenging platform to navigate if you don't have experience. Building relationships with dozens of other prospects at one time can be tough to manage. Under the standard subscription membership, LinkedIn's built-in limitations can make it challenging to get your social selling strategies off the ground. Some of the key differences between the basic free level and LinkedIn's paid plans include:

 

  • Who's viewed your profile: with a free account, you can only see the last five visitors to your profile. With the paid version, you can see the entire history of visitors over the previous 90 days.
  • The number of search results: The free account limits you to 100 search results. With paid accounts, you can perform many more searches. You can increase the number of inquiries to 300 and more.
  • Advanced search criteria: the paid accounts give you a multitude of criteria you can apply to your searches. Accordingly, your paid account searches a lot more meaningful and much more likely to reach the right people



There are a few tools that every social seller should consider using to effectively identify prospects and develop quality relationships on the platform. Trying to manage all of the manual tasks on your own can leave little time for actually engaging in quality conversations. Ultimately, it will hurt your ability to focus on the most critical projects, leading to fewer sales and beneficial relationships.

If you want to become an active social seller on LinkedIn, there are a few tools that can help to automate and simplify processes and research, freeing you up to focus on the most crucial goal in social selling — building relationships with prospects. 

 

#1) LinkedIn Sales Navigator


Sales Navigator


LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the must-have tool on this list. For a subscription of around $80 per month, you receive several advanced selling features and the removal of limitations on messages and profile limits that would otherwise hamper your strategy. Once you sign up for a premium account, you can view unlimited profiles and do unlimited searches without having your results filtered, allowing you to connect with more decision-makers.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator brings many premium features to the table that assist social sellers in other ways as well. First and most importantly, their Advanced Lead and Company Search features help you to find the right people at the right companies, matching your ideal client profile. You can search for leads using several advanced features. The Sales Navigator backend will automatically generate potential lead matches that you can sift through, tag, and add to lead lists. Their system also provides you with some automatic lead recommendations based on your previous usage history.

Sales Navigator also offers direct CRM integration. This integration is beneficial as it lets you save leads and accounts. You can directly log activity into your CRM of choice with a single click. That's on top of their CRM offering that you gain access to with your subscription. The built-in Sales Navigator CRM is robust with a lot of features that will help you to streamline and fill your pipeline. Sales Navigator integrates with a large number of CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce.com, Hubspot, Zoho, and many others.

Their "Professional" plan is geared toward individuals and costs $79.99 per month. With this plan, you have up to 20 InMail messages per month. You can send InMail messages to people that aren't connections. This approach is ideal for making initial connections with decision-makers. You can also use LinkedIn's prospecting platform to create custom lists with a wide range of prospect-filtering options. Additionally, LinkedIn's job change alerts allow you to take advantage of changes in decision-making teams and speak to new entrants in account-based sales conversations. 



 

#2) HootSuite


HootSuite

 

Do you need a solution that will help you to automate your public interactions on LinkedIn? Remember to login every day and find new content to share is a time-consuming task that is usually best completed in batches. 

HootSuite is one of the most popular social media management platforms on the market today. It's an ideal tool for social sellers that are looking to leverage relationships on several platforms. Many large brands use HootSuite to manage and schedule their entire social media marketing operation. While the tool is more robust than what most LinkedIn sellers will require, it offers several features that help social sellers leverage its powerful features and improve their social media skills along the way. 

First — HootSuite shines because of its excellent scheduling features. Thankfully, these aren't limited to LinkedIn integration and also work for your other social platforms. Hootsuite lets you save time by scheduling your LinkedIn content in advance, making it easy to increase engagement and mix in manual updates along with automated content. 

Hootsuite also lets you schedule and publish LinkedIn videos directly from their platform. According to LinkedIn, videos posted on the platform see five times more engagement than other types of content.  

Hootsuite's system offers an in-depth tracking and analytics suite that allows you to analyze and optimize new follower growth, impressions, and engagement levels of your specific posts. Hootsuite will generate easy-to-understand reports that ensure that you have a top-down view of your efforts on the platform and can identify areas for improvement. 



#3) Nimble


Nimble

 

Nimble is perhaps the best social customer relationship management (CRM) tool on the market today. The platform's focus on social media connections and easy-to-use sidebar interface make it the perfect tool for agile social sellers that need to react quickly to secure connections with new prospects. For $22/month after a 14-day free trial, it's affordable for all of the excellent features that it provides.

Nimble makes finding information about your prospects easy through their Chrome extension. It auto-populates your sidebar with information about your potential future customers. This information includes any relevant info from your contact lists, social interactions (including all social platforms, not just LinkedIn), and email exchanges that you had with the prospects. 

Nimble even notifies you when your prospects are celebrating important events — such as starting a new job or celebrating a birthday. This notification gives you a simple and straightforward way to create new conversations. 

While it may not be the most robust platform available today, Nimble does a great job of simplifying the process of connecting information between your inbox and social media accounts. It may be the best option on the market for automating essential parts of your social selling workflow. It makes social selling on LinkedIn easier and is a tool that any B2B social seller should have on their radar. 


 

#4) Crystal


Crystal

 


Crystal
 is a pretty cool tool. In this particular case, another word you could use to describe Crystal is 'creepy.' In a good way, of course. The company describes its system as "the world's largest personality platform." Crystal helps to guide you by providing insight into the personalities of particular LinkedIn users. That might seem basic on face value, but it is a potent tool for social sellers that can integrate it correctly into their systems. 

Crystal is a unique tool, different from any other on this list. It can review a LinkedIn profile or premium account in seconds and provides in-depth information on the person's likely personality, expressed in a DISC profile. This additional information you gather will help you make your cold outreach much more effective and allows you to touch on subjects that you otherwise would have had no idea about without the help of their system. 

Crystal is a tool that is all about improving your communication by giving you particular and personalized guidance on how to interact with your prospects. It will provide you with recommendations on how to interact with someone over the phone, in a meeting or via email. You can even use the Chrome plugin, and while you're writing an email to someone, Crystal will give you real-time recommendations on which words to use or which ones to avoid. Impressive. Is Crystal always 100% correct? Of course not - at least not yet. But using Crystal brings you a lot closer to sending an email to that has a high probability of resonating with your prospect. 

Crystal also allows you to compare two different LinkedIn profiles while providing you insights into how you can set yourself up for success in your conversations with them. Crystal gives actionable insights like:

  • Appealing to their most passionate subjects.
  • Asking about specific personal details, such as the school that they graduated from.
  • Introduce them to others in your network.


Crystal simply helps to guide your conversations and actions by pointing you in the direction of activities that give you the best chance of appealing to specific prospects. By learning more about your prospects, you'll be able to carefully tailor your messaging to them and ensure that they receive information that is consistent with what they care about and would like to know about your offering. If you want to approach social selling from a data-driven perspective, then Crystal is the perfect tool for you and comes in at $29/month.

 

#5) Dux-Soup


Dux-Soup

 

Dux-Soup is one of the most effective and well-known LinkedIn automation tools and with $11/month a very affordable one. If you use Google Chrome, you should give at least the free version of Dux-Soup a try. Dux-Soup works by automating some of the most critical social selling tasks, freeing up your time to focus on relationship-building and conversations. 

Dux-Soup lets you:

  • Automatically visit 100s of profiles every day - thereby driving visitors to your profile
  • Strike up conversations with your prospects at scale.
  • Send automated messages to first, second, and third connections.
  • Turn your prospecting into a lead management system, complete with notes and tags.
  • Create a repository of profiles so you can search for them later.
  • Identify opportunities for follow-up actions.
  • Upload your list of profiles for targeted sales campaigns.



Using Dux-Soup, you can auto-visit profiles, auto-invite targeted individuals with a personalized message, message first-degree connections, auto-endorse new connections, and automatically follow and tag relevant profiles. 

Dux-Soup is very robust and very easy to use. As a social seller, you should consider looking at Dux-Soup. The best part is that they have gone through great length to ensure that their software is safe to use - meaning, you're unlikely to get flagged by LinkedIn for violating their ToS regarding automation. They randomize waiting times between actions, run on scheduled hours online, and avoid profiles based on a wide variety of internal rules that help the system to create the appearance of randomness. But as with all automation tools, use caution and at your own risk - if you push the system too hard, you may find yourself with a warning



LinkedIn

#6) eLink Pro


eLink Pro

eLink Pro is a solution that is similar to Dux-Soup in many ways. It functions primarily as a LinkedIn automation tool. eLink Pro can help you automate the process of connecting with prospects. Instead of the typical workflow, eLink Pro allows you to input keywords that are relevant to your business and automatically search for the right matches for your business. 

eLink Pro is beneficial because it allows LinkedIn social sellers to devote more time to make connections with prospects and building relationships rather than merely identifying. The tool will automatically view profiles for up to 5,000 prospects per week. This will notify those prospects that you have viewed their profile, enticing them to visit your own. 

The company claims that the average "look back rate" for LinkedIn profile views is 8%-9% on average. Building awareness of your profile is essential to social selling, and you'll be surprised how much engagement the tool can generate for your social selling campaigns.



#7) LeadFuze


LeadFuze

LeadFuze is an all-in-one relationship-building tool for LinkedIn social selling. Their system allows you to search for new leads instantly. You can search for leads in specific roles and industries, using particular software combinations, pay for AdWords campaigns, are hiring, or other criteria that come custom-backed in their system. 

Once you identify a lead, Leadfuze allows you to verify their email, phone number, and social profiles so that you can take a multi-channel approach toward engaging with your target accounts. One exciting feature they offer is Fuzebot, which is their automated sales assistant solution. Fuzebot will crawl the web according to parameters that you set and create daily data sources for leads that are a good fit. It utilizes Leadfuze's database of more than 350 million records and syncs with other data providers. 



#8) Discoverly


Discoverly

Discoverly helps you to learn what your prospects are doing on other social media platforms. When you visit a LinkedIn profile, Discoverly gives you valuable contextual social media information about the individual. For example, it will tell you if you share any Facebook friends if you have shared similar content, and it will provide you an overview of your prospects' most recent social media posts. All of this gives you starting points for personalized conversations, which are more likely to yield responses and turn prospects into customers.

It's a simple platform that can have a significant impact, connecting you to your top prospects through multiple social media platforms. It makes for an excellent addition to your Gmail inbox, providing more insight into where you can reach specific prospects and what connections you might have in common with them. 

 

Work Smart, Not Hard


Success in social selling requires that you can identify where best to spend your time in the prospecting, relationship building, and selling process. Understanding what tasks can be automated, what tools will provide you with the most significant boost, and where you want to invest your budget are critical for ensuring that you extend your reach on the platform. 

Trying to do everything by hand might seem doable at first, but after just a few days, you'll begin to realize just how time-consuming and cumbersome all of the small social selling tasks can be. In the end, they all come together to create an ecosystem that generates revenue for your business. But until then, you must use tools to automate some tasks so that you can focus on more important tasks. Alternatively, you could also use a virtual assistant to help you execute many of these steps. If that's your preference, you should check out this blog by Chris Ducker about the various things to keep in mind, including social media strategy, planning of the activities you want someone to execute on your behalf, account security, and many more.

 
Engaging with Prospect

In our last article, we showed you some good ways to identify and find prospects through LinkedIn, and we touched on engaging with them. Today, we want to focus on the engagement part and expand on processes and strategies you can put in place for engaging with your targets on LinkedIn. We’ll tackle some tips that you can use to improve your LinkedIn engagement strategies and develop more relationships with ideal prospects.

 

#1) Study Your Prospects’ Profile


This should go without saying, but you’d be surprised how many sales professionals out there could be doing a better job if they would only just take the time to dive into some research before reaching out to prospects. 

Take some time to read their profile. What do your potential customers have to say about themselves? Where did they go to school? What did they do before their current job? How have they grown as a professional throughout their career?

The more you know about them as people, the better you can specify your message to them. In the beginning, having a baseline of knowledge about your prospects is so critical for developing that initial connection and setting the stage for further collaboration. A terrific complementary tool for that is Accompany, which provides quick profiles and gives you great conversation starters. The tool even syncs with your calendar and tells more about the people in your next meeting. Through the calendar connection, it even automatically extracts dial-in information from all your appointments. It turns tedious typing of dial-in and passcode combinations for conference calls into a one-click thing. Magical.  

 

#2) Look for Common Connections or Interests


Does either of you work in the same industry or with the same people? Do you know someone at a company that they may potentially have a relationship with? LinkedIn’s shared connections are a great starting place for finding this information. 

When you search for a profile using LinkedIn’s standard search form, their system lets you know how many connections you have in common with a given person. 

Leverage any unique connections or interests that you might have in common. These are great conversation starters, and the information here will give you a common ground to build on with other relevant questions, content, and information that you decide to send their way. 

 

#3) Personalize All Messages, Be Specific


Automation is changing the way that we do business, and smart salespeople can find innovative ways to integrate automation into social selling on LinkedIn. However, you should not automate your conversations that way.

 
From your first connection request through every interaction you have — your goal should always be to personalize your messaging and tailoring your topics and viewpoints to match your prospect’s way of thinking. Reference things that are specific to their work history, company, products, business, or industry. Find any way to show them that you aren’t sending them automated messages and demonstrate that you are genuinely engaging with them. Often, that’s the main hurdle for developing relationships through LinkedIn. 

 

#4) Keep Your Messages Short


People are busy and respect people that show them that they value their time. You don’t want to send a 1,000-word opening introduction to a new prospect. Instead, keep things short and sweet. If you send them a message, keep the focus of the message on one thing. Ask one question. Share one piece of content. Mention one connection that you have with them. In doing this, you’ll increase the likelihood of receiving a response and put yourself in a position to play off of that response with your next reply. 

 

#5) Ask Questions


Everyone likes talking about themselves, including your prospects. Asking questions about their work, company, product, or industry can be a great way to start a conversation with a new prospect and begin gathering more information that you can use to fuel future discussions. Too often, social sellers will use gimmicks meant to persuade without taking the time to get to know a prospect first. So start there — with getting to know and understand your prospects. 

 

Bonus Tip - Get Away From LinkedIn


You’ve nailed the art of engagement on LinkedIn, and people are reading your messages and replying to them. But one of the critical obstacles folks run into is that the conversation will always stay on LinkedIn. Try to get away from the LinkedIn messenger platform and transfer the conversation directly over to email as quickly as you can, ideally even with the first message. 

The reason you want their email is easy: you can send them more detailed information, it’s better formatted, attachments look better, and you have their email address. That’s key because most people check their email multiple times per day - but folks may not be so diligent with their LinkedIn messages. And it happens quickly that a LinkedIn message falls through the cracks and is lost. If you have a CRM or lead generation tool, the prospect’s email address also lets you reach out in a targeted and scheduled way. In a nutshell: ask them to send them their email address so that you can send them more information. 

 

Social Selling on LinkedIn — A Powerful Platform


LinkedIn is, without a doubt, the most powerful platform for B2B social sellers. It gives you unprecedented access to prospects and data about them that would be hard to come by through another means. However, this access doesn’t make you successful on its own. You have to know how to identify prospects on the platform and then successfully engage with them. The tips outlined in this article should give you a good starting point for improving your social selling on LinkedIn and engaging with more prospects, more meaningfully. 

Had any success with B2B selling on LinkedIn? Let us know your tips and tricks in the comments below!

 

 

 
Tips to Prospects

So, you’re a B2B seller. You know that you should make LinkedIn the centerpiece of your social selling strategy, but you aren’t sure how. It’s a different kind of network. If you’re used to engaging with prospects through cold email, Facebook, Twitter, or cold calling — LinkedIn can seem like a completely foreign concept until you begin to get a feel for it. 

72% of buyers use social media to research before making a purchase. They’re trying to get to know your company, product, and your market. They want to ask questions and do their due diligence before making a buying decision. 81% of buyers are more likely to engage with a professional and robust brand. In short — you must have a game plan to follow as you go into these interactions. 

Luckily, there are some tried and true steps that any social seller can take to ensure that they are not only identifying the right prospects on LinkedIn but engaging with them in a way that will produce results in the long-term. 

Take these tips for finding and engaging with prospects on LinkedIn into consideration as you design your strategy on the platform:

 

9 Ways to Find Quality Prospects Through LinkedIn


One of the biggest challenges that new social sellers face is understanding how to use all of the different LinkedIn features to their advantage in their search for relevant prospects to build relationships with. For B2B social sellers, LinkedIn often becomes a way of life after they begin to understand how much power the system offers. 

But to be successful, you have to know how to find the right people. LinkedIn has a wide range of features that make prospect identification more manageable, but the sum of all of the parts can be confusing. What are the best ways to find quality prospects through LinkedIn? What specific steps should you take? We’ll cover key elements in the following tips. 

 

#1) Make Use of the Search Function


Not only since Microsoft acquired it, but for the longest time, LinkedIn has been an enormous search engine for professional and related content. Its standard search function is compelling for a free, out-of-the-box solution. You can use it to search for prospects. It allows you to use boolean searching features, just like you would in a Google Search. It provides many different filters that you can use to sift through their vast database of users. These filters include, but are not limited to:

 

 

  • Connection level
  • Connections of specific people
  • Locations (Country, city, region)
  • Current company
  • Past companies
  • Industries
  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Job Title

Here’s what the advanced search filter screen looks like:

 

Use of the Search Function

The search function is your home base of sorts. It’s your quickest way to sift through LinkedIn’s database of 590+ million members and find prospects. However, LinkedIn does limit the number of profile-views and searches that you can make per month unless you subscribe to their Sales Navigator plan. If you want to use a super-powered version of the search, Sales Navigator is an excellent investment. 

 

#2) Subscribe to Sales Navigator


Sales Navigator is the premier tool for finding prospects on LinkedIn. It provides some highly valuable features that allow you to more easily, quickly, and successfully identify the right targets within your market. These features include advanced lead and company search features, lead recommendations, and direct CRM integration. 

Beyond that, Sales Navigator gives you the functionality that helps you sift through their database, using profile data points that are not available with the standard search. Just take a look at the filter sidebar that shows up when you search on the LinkedIn Sales Navigator platform:

 

Sales Navigator

Sales Navigator is a must-have tool for social sellers on LinkedIn.

 

#3) Look Through the “People Also Viewed” Sidebar


One often-overlooked way to identify new prospects is through the “People Also Viewed” sidebar on a person’s profile. Don’t you wish that you could find people that are similar to your best customers? This feature makes it easy. 

The types of profiles that show up in this area are typically from the same organization, hold a similar position in a different company, or are connected in some other way (alumni of the same school, work in the same area, etc.). 

It looks like this:

 

People Also Viewe

Source: LinkedIn Talent Solutions

This area provides a simple and straightforward way to find related profiles. It’s a great way to turn one great prospect into several excellent prospects. 

 

#4) Reach Out to Prospects in New Jobs


A new position is often a trigger event for sales professionals. When a prospect takes a new role, either within their current company or at a new company, both the prospect and the company themselves are more open to shaking things up. They may be looking for new solutions. Their needs may have changed or expanded overnight with the hiring. Or maybe they need to prove themselves in the new role and showcase their leadership by taking action and drive change.

Whatever the motivation, LinkedIn automatically lets you know when a connection enters a new job. Click on the “Notifications” tab and scan through the daily updates. You’ll find the system lets you know when someone changes jobs, is celebrating a birthday, or has posted new content for their network to consume. 

 

#5) Scroll Through Skill Endorsements


People tend to attract other like-minded people. This is especially true for social media, where everyone gets to choose who they interact with. The people that are endorsing the skills and expertise of your prospect may themselves be excellent prospects if you dig in far enough. 

Go into the “Skills & Endorsements” section of your prospects’ profile and begin looking through the people that have endorsed them. This area looks like this:

 

Skills & Endorsements

Not only are they more likely to be the type of person that would be a good fit for your product or service, but they also have shown that they are active on LinkedIn besides merely having a profile. 

 

#6) Use Alumni Search


LinkedIn’s standard search feature isn’t the only tool at your disposal. The Alumni Search feature is useful in its own right. It will let you search through the alumni of a given institution, find profiles, and provide you with other interesting data about the school and its current and former students. 

Alumni Search

#7) See Who Engages with Your Prospects’ Content


Scroll through your prospect’s updates (or if you see them on your activity feed or through LinkedIn notifications) and keep an eye out for who your prospects are engaging with on the platform. Many of the people that interact with them may be good potential fits for your product. 

Their interactions with your prospect can also give you a jumping-off point for the engagement. You have a mutual connection, and you can use that connection as a basis for starting a conversation with them.

#8) Seek Out Those Who Engage With Your Content

In the same way that the people who engage with your prospects can be worthwhile to keep an eye on, look to engage with people that comment, like, or otherwise engage with the content that you share as well. Use their engagement as a basis for striking up conversations.

Free LinkedIn accounts are only able to see a limited number of the users that have viewed their profile. With a Premium account (subscription to Sales Navigator works), you can have a complete view of everyone that views your profile or engages with your content.

 

#9) Use Google Boolean Search on LinkedIn


You don’t have to stick with LinkedIn’s internal search. Google is also an excellent tool that can help you to find profiles and identify prospects on the platform. By using in-depth boolean search features and applying them to searches on the LinkedIn website, you may find prospects that would not have shown up on your ‘regular’ searches on LinkedIn’s platform.

A search string like this, for example, would provide you with Founders in the greater Seattle area, in the marketing & advertising industry:

site:linkedin.com/in + “Founder” + “Greater Seattle Area” + “Marketing & Advertising”

Google’s index will only pick up publicly-listed accounts but may help you to identify prospects you otherwise would have missed.

Hopefully, this overview has given you some ideas on how to find prospects and engage with them.
If you have any additional comments on how to find targets or if you have questions, leave your thoughts in the comments below. Check back later this week when we post our article on “5 Tips for engaging with prospects through LinkedIn.”

 

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