Using LinkedIn for prospecting is one of the best ways to get the most from LinkedIn. However like everything else in business, LinkedIn is only as good as you make it. When I hear people tell me it “doesn’t work for me” or “it’s a waste of time” it’s nearly always down to the way they use it – it’s the same for “real world” networking it’s the people who dress smart, speak well and show a real genuine interest in other people that get results.
The people who turn up poorly dressed, late and just simply pitch their services to everyone in the room usually leave with nothing.
Using LinkedIn For Prospecting It’s the same with LinkedIn! As a passionate LinkedIn coach I want to share with you 3 great tips that will help you make the transition from “LinkedIn doesn’t work for me” to a point where it can form the foundation when prospecting for new clients.
Using LinkedIn for Prospecting tip#1 – Give Your Profile a Make Over
If you want to successfully prospect on LinkedIn, you must attract the attention of the people in your market. Does your LinkedIn profile looks like an online CV? If it just states, your job title and what you have done for the past number of years’ people won’t be that interested in reading it and you won’t successfully be able to prospect for new business.
Key steps to creating a great LinkedIn profile:
Start with a powerful value driven professional headline
Ask yourself these two questions:
- People only really care about themselves – when they look at your profile all they will think is whats in it for me?
Why should they want to talk to me back? people only really care about themselves remember!
The answers to those questions should form the foundation of your headline – think about what people get as a result of your engagement.
Humanise your summary – focus on the “WHY”
The simple truth is that no one really cares at the first point of engagement about WHAT you do or HOW you do it – its WHY you do what you do that gets people interested in you. And that is what you must do with LinkedIn because “people buy people” first NOT products and services”
I am an Accountant called Dave– OK well that’s interesting
I do spreadsheets and files VAT returns for my clients – just like every other accountant?
I became an accountant because I love numbers, and helping businesses owners focus on what they do best. My commitment is to create a solid financial platform for all my clients so they can build the business of their dreams.
Which one of those statements tells you more about Dave? Tell people in your summary “WHY” do you what you do make it passionate and emotional – humans love that stuff.
Provide evidence to back everything up
Good quality recommendations are key to your profile. In today’s market social proof is expected. Try to get as many recommendations as you can that back up what you state in your headline and profile. When you ask for a recommendation write a personal message and ask for 3 things.
For more great help and advice check out my post Great LinkedIn Profiles its packed with videos and tips for you to get yours in the top 1% of your industry.
Using LinkedIn for Prospecting tip#2 – Reconnect
If you want to successfully prospect on LinkedIn leverage your past relationships and reconnect with all your past business associates, ex clients and people you used to know – these are often the people that can give you a key introduction. A great place to start would be that drawer of business cards you have.
Another great place to find old contacts is your email inbox. Turn it upside down and scan your inbox right from the start – you will find and remember people and opportunities you had forgotten about completely
It is very important that you personalise each invite you send especially if you only met them briefly and/or a while ago, it’s the point of connection where you will also get the most engagement.
For more help and advice with reconnecting check out my post How to network on LinkedIn
Using LinkedIn for Prospecting tip#3 – Stop Pitching!
Stop pitching and start talking! LinkedIn is awash with people connecting and pitching their services. It’s just like real world networking – walking up to people and pitching at them doesn’t work! It won’t work on LinkedIn either. When you find a someone you want to connect with slow down take a step back (no one is on LinkedIn to buy) you’re in an interruption market.
If you can get an introduction that’s great if not, then you can send them a message via a group or last resort an “in mail” however you do it the key part of your first message should always include the following:
“Would you mind if I sent you an invitation to connect”
For more help with LinkedIn messages check out my post The Greatest Ever LinkedIn Sales Message
Asking their permission to send an invitation will make you stand out from everyone else. This really invites a positive response and gets the engagement process going. Once you have done that look at their profile and comment on what they have done or achieved and then draw a similarity to how you work great with people similar to them.
Humans love to talk about themselves so make the approach about them.
“Earn the right to sell first” – that’s good old fashion business advice!
The simple truth is LinkedIn is like everything else it can be a great tool when used properly and if you are willing to invest the time then you have at your fingertips a way to find, connect and engage just about anyone in business you want to – it really is like networking on steroids!