LinkedIn is a rapidly growing social networking site with over 590 million professionals, as of 2019. It has more users than Twitter and has grown 14% since the end of 2018. But ever knew how influential Linkedin prospecting might be? LinkedIn is a powerful platform for both businesses and individuals to unlock career growth.
It’s not only a great platform to find jobs or candidates for open roles, but also another important activity for B2B companies: sales prospecting.
As one of the largest publicly available databases for professionals, the platform allows you to conduct research and reach out to key decision makers from various organizations.
The only catch? Your competitors are doing the same too. How do you stand out from a crowd of me-too sales pitches? How do you grab attention for your sales proposal?
In this article, we’ll look at a few proven LinkedIn hacks to help you stand out and make a compelling pitch to sales prospects.
Why should you be creative with LinkedIn messaging?
You know how important a tool LinkedIn can be for sales prospecting, but so do your competitors.
Each week, your prospects probably receive hundreds of sales pitches in their LinkedIn inbox.
Combine this with the ever-increasing noise in our digital life. Social media, blogs, video, podcasts, you’re practically competing with the internet for your prospect’s attention.
And if there’s any truth to the “human attention span is shorter than that of a goldfish” school of thought, you better make sure your sales prospecting emails are good. Because all you have to make a lasting impression is a mere 8 seconds!
Here is an example of what could go wrong with your linkedin message
This is why a simple, cut-and-paste templated approach to LinkedIn sales prospecting will almost always fail.
Don’t fret though. The sales hacks we discuss in the next section should help you crush your sales goals, without breaking a sweat.
5 Hacks for LinkedIn prospecting
Now you know why it’s important to be creative when conducting sales prospecting, let’s look at a few hacks to boost your sales efforts:
Make your profile pop
This is an important, yet often overlooked step on LinkedIn sales prospecting.
Your profile is the first thing a prospect may view, once they read your initial outreach email. As they say, first impressions are lasting impressions.
Make sure your profile is updated with a recent profile picture. This alone will make your profile 14 times more likely to be viewed, as per LinkedIn.
Next, be sure to add a compelling headline and bio for your profile. A good bio should convey your purpose as a professional, and also showcase your company or product and it’s capabilities.
Research Scientist | Ph.D. Candidate | Data Analytics, Biotech, Pharma
I’m a research scientist working to better understand how neural activity motivates and shapes human behavior. My expertise includes project design and management, data analysis and interpretation, and the development and implementation of research tools. I enjoy generating new ideas and devising feasible solutions to broadly relevant problems. My colleagues would describe me as a driven, resourceful individual who maintains a positive, proactive attitude when faced with adversity. Currently, I’m seeking opportunities that will allow me to develop and promote technologies that benefit human health. Specific fields of interest include data analytics, biotechnology, and pharmaceuticals.
It’s also a good idea to add a couple of case studies to your profile that demonstrates how your product has helped customers in the past. This will help inspire trust in prospects you reach out to.
Finally, be sure to link any other social handles you may have such as Twitter, Instagram, and your blog, so prospects know where else they can get in touch with you.
Personalize your pitch
What would you like to be treated as? A contact in a marketing database or the living breathing human being you are?
It comes as no surprise that 77% B2B sales and marketing professionals believe that personalization leads to stronger customer relationships, as per one survey. It’s also worth noting that 55% respondents of the survey confirmed that personalization led to greater sales conversions.
How can you personalize your sales prospecting? First off, be sure to research the prospect well. Which company do they work for? What are the responsibilities of the prospects? Do they use a software solution for the problem you solve? Have the prospects recently expressed frustration about being unable to solve a particular problem?
You may be able to get a clue to these questions from their social media interactions and the information prospects share publicly.
Then, use these answers to carefully tailor your initial outreach email and show them they’re not just a number to you. Show them you genuinely care about the problem they’re trying to solve and why you think your product or service may be a good fit for their needs.
Sometimes you can use creativity and a dash of humor when it comes to reaching out to people. You can use videos or GIFs for this purpose. Check the follow-up linkedin message below.
This extra effort you put into your outreach can instantly help you stand out from regular cookie-cutter sales emails.
Pique your prospect’s interest
The point of LinkedIn prospecting is not just to make contact with potential leads but also, get them interested enough to explore your product further.
How can you do this? Here are some ideas:
- Include case studies in your initial email (Want to know how X company saved Y hours using our software?)
- Talk about their problems (I know you’re looking for a way to solve X problem, want to know a great solution to eliminate X?)
- Give them a teaser of benefits (Want to know how you can do X 10 times better and improve your team?)
Don’t use the same questions for each prospect. Based on your initial research, you’ll know which prospect is most likely to find a specific value proposition interesting.
Do the groundwork
Remember the personalization hack we talked about? Yeah, that’s going to take more than a cursory look at your prospect’s profile.
If your prospect or decision-maker is active on LinkedIn, chances are clients are well-informed about the tools in the market and keep a close tab on the latest trends. Therefore, a templated pitch will hardly work on them.
Here are three tools that may help you research prospects better and tailor your pitch:
This tool makes it easy to find information and track a customer’s activity. It goes through your preferences and your account details and provides you with a list of companies that may be interested in your product.
This is a Chrome extension that helps you build stronger connections with prospects. How? By understanding their personality type. You can understand the best way to approach a prospect, based on their public online interactions.
This tool gives you a complete overview of a prospect, not just from their LinkedIn profile, but also from their other social profiles such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Armed with all of this information, you can be more confident when you approach prospects and tweak your pitch to suit their needs.
Stand out with video
You know the most effective sales hack that helps you pique interest, personalize your outreach, and show you’ve done your homework? It’s using video, of course.
There’s a wealth of research that supports the level of engagement videos drive. According to one Hubspot survey, 54% consumers said they preferred video content from brands they support, as opposed to reading an email newsletter or a blog post.
What’s more? videos play an important role in engaging C-suite decision-makers and influencers, as per a report from The Financial Times.
How can you effectively use video in LinkedIn prospecting? There are various types of videos you can create such as demo videos, personal introduction videos, and explanatory videos.
To begin with, create simple, personal introduction videos where you talk a little bit about your brand and the purpose of connecting. Be sure to keep this video short and to the point.
Once you’ve caught the eye of a prospect, use an explanatory video to further engage them with your brand. If they are interested in exploring further, you can invite them to a live demo or send a pre-recorded demo video to them.
Boost your sales today
While tools like LinkedIn are great for prospecting, it can be difficult to stand out if you’re doing the same things as your competitors.
Doing your research, personalizing your pitch, and using elements like video can help you make a memorable first impression on your prospects.
Do you have any other hacks you use for LinkedIn prospecting? Do share them with us!