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10 Ways Salespeople Can Use LinkedIn to Prospect More Effectively

Used strategically, LinkedIn can be a fantastic prospecting tool, but too often sales professionals neglect its potential. Some see prospecting as simply a numbers game, but it’s much more than that. To succeed in sales, you need to focus on building a reputation and establishing a bedrock network you can pull from in the future. That kind of strategy is exactly what LinkedIn is made for, if you know how to best use it.

Here are 10 ways for sales professionals to get the most out of LinkedIn.

Make Your Profile Memorable — Simply uploading a resume won’t cut it. Go above and beyond to show prospects you’re a trustworthy, valuable, interesting asset to their network. Make them want to connect with you.

Save Time…Save Searches! — Free and paid accounts alike offer the ability to save specified search perimeters to refine and target your best potential prospects. Keep tabs on those ideal prospects, rather than just anyone willing to listen.

Get Thyself in Groups — Don’t just join groups filled with colleagues and competitors. Focus on groups where your prospects spend their time.

Make It Personal — How many times have you received the generic LinkedIn connection request, “Hi, I’d like to add you to my professional network”? Well, your prospects are seeing it many more times than you. Make your request stand out by personalizing the message and giving a reason why the prospect should accept.

Start Building that Relationship — Once you’ve passed the connection hurdle, quickly send your new connection a thank you message. By making them feel appreciated, you’ll further personalize your connection with them.

Real Life Contacts are LinkedIn People, Too — When you meet a business contact in person and you aren’t already virtually connected, send a request to them on LinkedIn immediately while you’re fresh in their mind. LinkedIn contacts are like currency and you should never miss the opportunity to grow your network.

Check Out Those Checking You Out — Even unpaid accounts can take advantage of the “Who’s Viewed My Profile” feature on a limited basis. When someone shows interest, it’s an excellent opportunity to pursue a potentially valuable connection with them.

Active is Good, Spamming is Bad — Don’t be afraid to use LinkedIn regularly, but know where to draw the line. Disappearing for long periods of time won’t do anything to help build rapport with your network, but neither will pestering connections with constant updates.

Learn LinkedIn Etiquette — Just like socializing in person, interacting on LinkedIn provides plenty of opportunities to make gaffes, even accidentally. Take some time to research what works and what doesn’t when it comes to polite LinkedIn interactions.

Work Toward Taking the Conversation Offline — If contact with your prospects remains online only, it won’t get you anywhere. Look for opportunities to upgrade your LinkedIn connections by taking them from the virtual world to the real world.

Are you missing out on LinkedIn prospecting opportunities? At Sandler Training / Peak Sales Performance, we can help you get the most out of LinkedIn and other social networks. Call us today so we can help you maximize your online efforts.

 

Susan Powers

Partner & Certified Trainer

Susan.powers@sandler.com

Learn more about Sue at http://www.linkedin.com/in/susangpowers

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