LinkedIn Lesson 7 - Finding Business Prospects

LinkedIn Lesson 7 - Finding Business Prospects

“LinkedIn is by far my most favoured of all social media tools when it comes to business. I use it daily, from reading helpful articles to managing my contacts. Last week, we discovered how effective LinkedIn can be when used to promote news and events. This week, the focus is on finding business prospects…
As Managing Director of a web-design agency, one question I frequently get asked is:

“How can LinkedIn help with sales?”
In previous LinkedIn Lessons, we highlighted the potential of the platform’s unbelievably powerful search facility and how this can be used to find mutual contacts and recruit new employees. Surprisingly, this highly versatile tool can also be incredibly effective when searching for new business prospects!
We would recommended following the three steps detailed below when using LinkedIn to get closer to potential prospects:

Step 1 - Evaluate your target audience

Knowing your target audience is one of the starting points to a successful Company or campaign, so always make sure to do solid research in order to define your typical or desired Customer Profile. If in doubt, take a look at this helpful blog post on creating an accurate customer profile from SumAll - an online tool which provides social media, commerce and web traffic analytics. When your desired target audience has been established, try exploring the Groups on LinkedIn to carry out further research and get closer to potential clients and prospects.

Step 2 - Target individuals

If you have an idea of who you’re targeting, use the powerful search facility to find an individual or key contacts from a relevant Company or Organisation. This may prove difficult if you haven’t previously worked with the person before and have no mutual contacts. A little caution must be taken in such cases as LinkedIn is based on trust and connecting with the people you know. As a result, users of the platform are sometimes wary of invitations to connect with unfamiliar people.

Step 3 - Build trust

As opposed to reaching out to a potential prospect immediately, try a warmer approach as it’s likely to build more trust and a better working relationship from the start. Take the time to search for any shared connections and make use of these – it’s not unheard of for people to ask others to personally introduce them to a mutual contact! If this approach isn’t possible, carry out further research on the prospect to discover their industry and any topics that may be of interest to them. Then, use this knowledge to create content that will catch their attention – we’d recommend using a blog to do this as it will highlight your expertise and knowledge. Try sending a link to the related blog post to your prospect in an introductory email, but remember to be professional and respectful at all times.”

-Claire Wozencroft
Managing Director

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