We all know, really really know, that nothing is more irritating then getting a phone call from a stranger and they proceed to ask your name and your role at your current company. They go on to tell you the reason why they have called and then realizing that you are not the right person, you either disengage or need to transfer them to the correct person.
It’s bad for the caller and the person answering. Just bad. Breaking a leg, bad.
LinkedIn changes this. Dramatically. Let’s show you how.
Sales with a new prospect follows three steps. That of knowing your prospect, connecting with them at a human level and then knowing/solving their pain-point.
LinkedIn helps you find the right person at a target company using a mix of the key word search bar at the top of LinkedIn and using the filters on the left for company, title or seniority. The Advanced Search allows even finer targeting found at the top left of the filter bar. Once identified, then get to know them.
There are 5 simple steps before making a call to a candidate, always starting with LinkedIn:
1.Look at their current LinkedIn profile, what they have experience in, what they are interested in, who they are connected to and who the common connections are. Link pro even surfaces common areas of whether they are a golfer or a cyclist. Look at their interests at the bottom of their profile. Prospects are human too.
2.Get a sense of whether they open to being contacted. Their LinkedIn profile will indicate if they an open networker, whether they have invested in connecting (LinkedIn Premium banner) and with eLink Pro’s algorithms it calculates the likelihood of them engaging based on picture, number of connections and other parameters. The more effort they have put into their profile, the more likely they are engage over LinkedIn.
3.Get a sense of their interests. Have a look at the groups that they are joined to, this will give you a general idea of the kind of things they are interested in and how they engage with their peers. See what kind of influencers and companies they are following.
4.Review the kind of posts they have on Pulse and what comments they have made on other people’s posts. Generally I will also comment on their current post, just to start make the warm initial touch at a human level. eLink Pro takes this a step further by favoriting the last tweet for you. Now they know about you and feel good.
5.Once you feel like you have adequate background on the prospect and you feel like it is a good fit, I would then send them an InMail through LinkedIn with a brief proposal and ask if they have 5 minutes to explain what I would like to offer.
The benefit of InMail is you can now send a message directly to the prospect, no more need for cold calling. You go directly to the top of their list, at very least the email is delivered by someone they trust, that is, LinkedIn. The downside is it costs.
It is important for the sales person to get the right point of contact and to show you have an understanding of both them and their company before they message them through LinkedIn. If it is not personalized and authentic, it is simply expensive spam. In one sentence LinkedIn helps you understand the role, skills, and interests of the person you are looking to engage.
LinkedIn is a very useful tool as it gives you deep insight about the specific person. It show what groups they are a part of, which influencers they are following, the companies that the prospects are interested in and how they engage in comments, updates and their peers in a professional community. Knowing as much as possible positions you to see before-hand to match your product and/or service to their world view.
Once the prospect has accepted and you have made a time to call, it is now beyond a “cold caller” as you have points of initial commonality (which groups, interests and hobbies or common connections and friends) that establishes the human connection. It tells me you care enough about me, and professional enough to have searched, to warrant the time to engage with you and not the hundreds of other compering distractions for my attention. You now have something “warm” to lead the conversation. By doing your research it helps to break the ice and that this is definitely not just a random outbound sales call. To move it to HOT, find a common connection to reference. The friend of my friend is more likely to be trusted as there is an implicit endorsement of character and standing. Second connections on LinkedIn is as powerful as your first connection network.
If you are in any type of business, whether it be B2B, B2C, software, recruiting or professional services you will absolutely need a great and filled out LinkedIn profile showing your skill set (www.FreeLinkedInTraining.com), your employment history. You never know who is looking at you (in fact you do on the Who Viewed Me screen, but that is a later blog). Regularly post updates and your thoughts and spend time expanding your network. Like your health, spending time on nurturing this professional network is a guarantee of time well spent.
In my next post I will review Sales Navigator and show you how you can use www.elink-pro.com to maximize sales without the effort whether you a novice or a seasoned sales professional.