I have spent years working with a wide range of businesses, from Fortune 500s to local mom & pops generating sales and leads online. One thing that has perplexed me over and over again is, “Why isn’t LinkedIn a goldmine for new business?!”
Could it be because:
I was unsure, but I knew there had to be a better way, so I decided to figure out how I could generate leads for our business through my LinkedIn network.
First things first, let’s take a step back and evaluate if this is even an opportunity worth pursuing.
We all know that LinkedIn is the world’s largest database of business professionals, but when you break this down into actual numbers the size of the opportunity becomes clear.
According to LinkedIn:
That’s 40 million potential targets on the LinkedIn network that are in positions to make business and buying decisions. This leaves little doubt that there is a large audience which presents the opportunity to generate new business from the LinkedIn platform if a smart strategy is employed.
Now I knew there was an opportunity, so it was time to see if I could find the right strategy. It is important to determine what the right strategy is, so for me that meant it met the following parameters:
Here is the simple three-step process I came up with that has been generating very strong results without a large time commitment and no money spent on LinkedIn advertising. I have been repeating this process 2-4 times a week depending on my workload.
The first step is viewing of target profiles. This requires you to first determine who is your ideal lead. If you’re using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool you are given 22 different filter categories to refine the LinkedIn database into your ideal target list. These categories include: Geography, Keywords, Relationship, Industry, Postal Code, Job Function, Job Title, Seniority, Years in Position, Years at Company, Years of Experience, Company, Company Headcount, and more.
One important note for our process is that we only add people to our list that are 2nd connections to myself. This is for two reasons:
Once we have that list we simply start to view the profiles of those people one by one. Nothing else.
The reason we do this is to show up in the person’s “Recently Viewed” list. Once we have viewed a profile we then wait to see if they view us back and move on to step 2.
Once we have viewed our target profiles we wait to see who views us back. When someone views us back we take this as an initial sign of interest or a first opt-in point. Once someone views your profile, the next step is to send them a connection request.
This connection request should always be personalized and not the standard LinkedIn message of “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” This is boring and gives no context as to why someone would want to connect with you.
Address them personally to stand out from the other connections and give them a reason to connect. Personalized connection requests will drastically increase the chances of someone accepting. Here are a few more tips on writing the perfect LinkedIn connection request.
Like with Step 1, after we send a connection request we again wait to see who accepts those requests. Waiting to let our targets take action avoids spamming anyone who isn’t interested in interacting with us. When someone accepts our connections request, Step 3 is to now send them a message.
This message should thank them for connecting and introduce the idea of setting up a time to talk. These messages shouldn’t be overly salesy, but merely look to start a conversation and continue to grow the relationship with your target.
If someone doesn’t respond after a few days a follow-up message may be appropriate as well, but don’t push too much. If someone isn’t responding they probably aren’t interested in talking.
In conclusion, I want to give you an idea of the results I saw from running this process over a month. I really didn’t know what to expect going in, but was really excited about I saw:
I did employ some internal software to scale this process up, but this was by far the best results I have gotten from any channel to drive leads for my business. This process is simple and repeatable for anyone selling in a B2B context.
If you are looking to generate more leads for your business with LinkedIn, give it a shot!
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