LinkedIn has become so much more than a place to find a new job! It’s now a great place to turn prospects into sales. According to Hootsuite, LinkedIn now has 15 times more content impressions than job postings. Additionally, 4 out of 5 LinkedIn users drive business decisions. What does that mean? LinkedIn is now the most productive place online to drive more sales for your business! So, how exactly can you drive more sales via LinkedIn? Here are 3 keys to turn potential prospects into sales:
- Identify your key target connection
The first step to drive more sales on LinkedIn is to identify what type of prospect you want to target. Once you know what type of connection you are targeting, you can use the LinkedIn search function to find potential prospects.
Let’s assume that your key target is sales managers at technology companies. You can use the search function to identify potential prospects by location, current or past companies, industry, job title, and even past schools or other keywords. Once you enter your search criteria, LinkedIn will pull up all of the contacts that fit your search that are either 1st or 2nd degree connections of yours. If you want to be able to search everyone on LinkedIn, you can upgrade to the paid Sales Navigator which will allow you to do so.
- Reach out and connect
Once you’ve identified someone that you want to connect with, the best way to connect with them is to click on the connect button on their profile. Pretty simple, huh? Not so fast. Most people make the mistake of simply hitting the connect button and leaving it at that. This very rarely works, as that person probably has no idea who you are. In order to maximize the likelihood that they’ll agree to connect with you, you need to send them a quick note as well.
When you hit the connect button, you’ll need to click on the ‘add note’ button as well. I recommend that you add a simple message that tells the person who you are, why you are reaching out, and what you want them to do. Here’s an example:
I’m reaching out because I see that you are the sales manager for XYZ company. I work with a lot of sales managers and think we might both benefit from knowing each other. I’m looking forward to connecting and getting to know you!
You have to keep your message to under 300 characters, so you’ll have to be concise in your message. This simple step will massively increase your connection rates, so don’t skip this!
- Quickly segue to a prospecting conversation
Once the person has accepted your connection request, the best thing that you can do is drop them a quick note thanking them for connecting with you, and requesting a quick phone call to get to know each other. During that call, you can get to know each other and explore how you might be able to help each other. The key here is to focus on three things – building rapport, identifying a challenge that you might be able to assist them with, and adding some value.
Keep in mind that your goal here is not necessarily to make a sale on that call. It’s to start a relationship and identify if they might have a challenge you can help them with. Once you’ve done that, you can continue building the relationship and ultimately turning it into a sale, or at least a strong networking connection.