Basic LinkedIn Prospecting Processes – 2020

Prospecting on LinkedIn is the process of finding the right LinkedIn Members to consider moving to LinkedIn Connections and then into conversations relevant to your business or career goals.

Prospecting is not just for salespeople. There are lots of different roles in all industries where prospecting could be beneficial. Possibly for future clients, employees, business partners, resources, mentors, friends from the past, and peers to learn from.

Basic LinkedIn Prospecting is a set of practices I use to grow my LinkedIn Network and build some level of a professional relationship with my growing LinkedIn Network. These basic prospecting tasks can be used by any LinkedIn Member focused on growing their business or achieving their career goals.

Here are the six primary steps you should consider when doing Basic LinkedIn Prospecting:

Step 1 – Before starting to prospect on LinkedIn, I recommend you make sure your LinkedIn Profile is written well, telling the viewer who you are today and what you do in your role. A clear LinkedIn profile can help the people you are prospecting for to be more informed of your relevance to them and your business.

Step 2 – Additionally, building a strong LinkedIn Network with people you know, can help you discover even more people you may want to know.  This is synonymous with the 6 Degrees from Kevin Bacon story. However, it works even better. The more 1st level connections you have, the more 2nd level LinkedIn Members you can get to. Furthermore, the more relevant 2nd level LinkedIn Members you turn into 1st level connections, the more 3rd level LinkedIn Members become 2nd level LinkedIn Members. This amplifies the ability for you to connect with even more relevant LinkedIn Members.  I recommend consistently working to connect with LinkedIn Members you know. Use your ‘Rolodex’ or client list, peers, friends, neighbors, association membership lists, etc to determine who these people are.

Step 3 – Research companies relevant to your prospecting and business goals. Begin building a list of the companies, and even individuals that you need/wish to connect with. This list of companies and individuals should be a living list. You’ll remove names from the list as you disqualify them and add new names to the list as you discover new companies and individuals relevant to your business goals. You may have multiple lists based on different business and/or career goals.

Step 4 – Find relationships between your existing LinkedIn connections and the companies / LinkedIn members you want to connect with. Where possible, reach out to people you know and ask them to introduce you to the right people at your target companies, or with specific LinkedIn Members you wish to get into a conversation with and ultimately connect with on LinkedIn. I recommend asking for these introductions via either email or telephone, not via LinkedIn message.

Step 5 – Create a consistent LinkedIn Engagement routine. With a Strong LinkedIn profile and a growing list of LinkedIn Connections, engaging on LinkedIn will significantly increase the opportunity of being seen, being trusted & respected, and possibly contacted for business/career conversations.

Step 6 – Continue researching, connecting, and engaging on LinkedIn. Find opportunities to help your LinkedIn connections and to get into relevant and mutually beneficial conversations with them.

Practicing these Basic LinkedIn Prospecting tactics can help you to become more efficient with the individual activities and to be able to grow your LinkedIn Network focused on your goals.


Commit to the work, reap the rewards using LinkedIn – 2020

Using LinkedIn requires a commitment to regular activities. Yes, this requires an investment of time. It does not however have to overwhelm you.

The best way to get meaningful value from your use of LinkedIn is to commit time every day using this business tool.

Years ago I developed an activity template to help me pay attention to what I should do on a regular basis. I based this activity on approximately 15 minutes per day.

If you were to invest 15 minutes a day using LinkedIn as a business tool, could you create enough value to justify the cost?

I have proven for myself that the value is significantly greater than the cost, for me. 

However, I know that a big part of this ROI is that I invested time to become efficient using LinkedIn. I had to practice the activities to be able to execute them in the least amount of time possible.

This practice, although an upfront investment, will pay off in the long term use of LinkedIn. Don’t forego this activity.

The activity template I developed may not match exactly with what you want to do, based on your goals using LinkedIn as a business tool. 

However, the template is a good example of something you may want to work from.

I have also updated this template based on the current version of LinkedIn  Here is my 2020 LinkedIn Investment Template:

LinkedIn Investment Guidance

(Adjust as you need for your own purpose & goals)

Monday (15 Minutes)

  • Review your Feed – Don’t spend too much time here, however look at your network’s activity, paying close attention to content from or about your target audience.
  • Comment on posts that are relevant to who you are and what you do. Strive to Comment rather than Like.
  • Share posts that are clearly relevant to who you are and what you do. Always tell your network why you are sharing the content.
  • Review new LinkedIn Invites from your My Network page. Accept relevant invites and Message or Call them back and thank them for the connection.

Tuesday (15 Minutes)

  • Review new content from #Hashtags or Companies you are following.
  • Comment on relevant discussions.
  • Share a simple post that may elicit an engaging conversation from your LinkedIn Network. Make sure the post is relevant to your target audience, and not about you or your business.
  • Say hello to a few LinkedIn Members that may be relevant to what you do or who have shared new content. Use LinkedIn Messaging or better yet phone or email.
  • Review your Notifications for content and/or actions of interest/relevance to you.

Wednesday (15 Minutes)

  • Request a focused recommendation from someone you did work with.
  • Share a Celebratory or Kudos Post about a LinkedIn Member who you engaged with last week and appreciate.
  • Share a link to a book or other website articles that you enjoyed and/or benefited from. Tell you network why.
  • Review the Who Has Viewed your Profile Page to see if anyone relevant to your business/career showed up. Consider sending them an invite.

Thursday (15 Minutes)

  • Give a trusted LinkedIn Member a Recommendation. Make sure it’s meaningful and relevant.
  • Use LinkedIn Search to find other LinkedIn Members who are of interest and relevant to you. Send an invite with a personal note.
  • Invite your target audience or their influencers to a coffee or lunch meeting. Be specific and focused, don’t look for your friends, rather, look for new potential clients and/or business partners.
  • Send private messages to direct contacts and group contacts and engage in relevant conversations. Make the conversation all about them until they give you permission to make it about yourself or your business.
  • Introduce your target audience and their influencers to others on LinkedIn – This is a powerful give feature. (FYI – I routinely include their LinkedIn Public Profile URLs in my emails to my contacts when introducing them to other contacts who are on LinkedIn.)

Friday (15 Minutes)

  • Peruse New Connections and reach out to those you have not said hello to yet.
  • Check out competitor LinkedIn Company Pages and Individual Profiles.
  • Learn something new about your target audience and influencers.
  • Build a list of companies, industries, markets, etc for your Monday research.
  • Read a few of my LinkedIn articles.
  • Write a new LinkedIn article of your own, focused on your target audience, and relevant to you & your business.

If you want even more help using LinkedIn as a business tool, consider joining our
Private LinkedIn Support/Training/Coaching Group


2020 Top 10 Tips using LinkedIn as a business tool

As I prepare for our January LinkedIn Mastermind Group, (more on this later) I also just wrapped up my 2020 Top 10 Tips using LinkedIn as a business tool.

As you have grown to expect, I share this information with my followers first.

Here are the youTube video and the LinkedIn Slideshare regarding these 2020 Top 10 Tips using LinkedIn as a business tool.

YouTube Video (13:20 minutes)

Slideshare PowerPoint (14 slides)

I’m preparing right now (12/08/19) for our end of January 2020 LinkedIn Mastermind Group. It will be bigger and better than all previous Mastermind groups.

We’ll have lots of great content including over 3-hours of live webinars.

If you want to consider an early entry option to this 6-week program, contact me.



Social Selling vs Social Networking

Earlier today I responded to a LinkedIn post where the author basically said this:

“Yeah, I get the unspoken LinkedIn rule.
‘No selling too soon on LinkedIn via DM.’
But why? This is a business site.
It’s like we’re all at a singles bar trying to pretend we’re here only for the conversation.
Yeah, sure we are.
Do you want to sell me something? Go ahead. give it a shot!
You can even do it in the first DM you send me!
(By the way, I haven’t tried to sell anything on LinkedIn. Yet.)”

From a LinkedIn Post

Some of those who jumped into the conversation responded with “Yes, we should get to the sales messaging as quickly as possible.”

Some responded with “No, LinkedIn is not where you sell.”

My response went like this:

I think I understand your post, Steve.

Your idea may work for some who play the numbers game of connecting/selling, ie LinkedIn Cold-Calling, however, it doesn’t appeal to me.

For me, LinkedIn is primarily a research, branding & communications site.  Once I have done enough research and I am ready, I’ll call, email or LinkedIn message the right people & ask the right question(s). 

Maybe that question is “who should I send the invoice to?” or Maybe that question is, “when & where do you want to meet?”

It all depends on the results of the research, prior engagement and other activities that have occurred outside of LinkedIn.

I’m in this for the long journey. I don’t want to become ‘another guy who cold calls on LinkedIn.’

Again, this works for me, maybe not for others. Regarding your post, maybe LinkedIn cold calling works for others, it does not appeal to me.

Thanks for sparking an interesting conversation, even the bar scene tips others threw in here. (lol)

My comment to the post on LinkedIn

Now, I know that my ideas, philosophies, and tactics are not for everyone. However, I know that my processes work well for me.

This is why I teach my style, my tactics, steps, and best practices across the globe. I’m actually preparing to kick off my January 2020 LinkedIn Mastermind Group where I’ll share my philosophies, tactics, tips, tricks, hacks and many of my processes with others. Maybe you’ll want to join in. More info to come soon.

I like to refer to my use of LinkedIn as Social Networking, not Social Selling. For me, Social Networking is the foundation of Relationship Selling.

The phrase Social Selling is so twisted and misunderstood by so many people.

Do you prefer to do LinkedIn Cold-Calling? I’m still not a fan of any flavor of cold calling.

Or, do you prefer relationship sales? Yes, it’s a much longer journey, but this works for me.

Please share your thoughts in the comments.



LinkedIn Messaging

Messaging on LinkedIn, now in some cases called Chat, is just one way to communicate and/or engage with your LinkedIn Network.

Before I share the features available to you, I need to alert you to this fact.

Not every LinkedIn Member is on LinkedIn enough to see or engage with you through your LinkedIn message. I generally look for the Green Circle (they are on LinkedIn now) or the green ring (they have LinkedIn Mobile Notifications enabled), before I consider sending a LinkedIn Message of any type. Understanding this can help you manage your LinkedIn messaging expectations.

OK, now I’ll share information about the messaging features and functions on the Desktop and Mobile Application:

Desktop Access – LinkedIn Messaging can be accessed from the following locations on the Desktop Browser application:

LinkedIn Newsfeed – Hover over a 1st Level LinkedIn Member name/profile picture in the LinkedIn Newsfeed and click on Message or Chat

You Connections List – accessed from My Network on the top-level menu bar, and then Connections, you can do a search for first, last or full name, or just scroll the list and then use the Message or Chat option on the right of a LinkedIn Member in the list.

Teddy Burriss - LinkedIn Training and Coaching Image - Message from LinkedIn Network with Name Search

LinkedIn Groups – From the Member list of any LinkedIn Group you are in, you can send any member a message, even if you are not a 1st level connection. You can send up to 15 messages a month to any Group member, across all of your LinkedIn groups.

Teddy Burriss - LinkedIn Training and Coaching  Image - Message from LinkedIn Network Page

LinkedIn Company Pages – Viewing 1st Level LinkedIn Members from a LinkedIn Company Page, by clicking on the line xxx connections work here:

Teddy Burriss - LinkedIn Training and Coaching  Image - Message access Company 1st Level Connections

shows up in LinkedIn Search using the Company and Connection filters. You can send a message to your 1st level connections from any Search Result window.

Teddy Burriss - LinkedIn Training and Coaching  Image - Message Company Page 1st Level Search Results

LinkedIn Profile – You can send a message to your 1st level connection from their LinkedIn Profile.

Teddy Burriss - LinkedIn Training and Coaching  Image - Message from LinkedIn Profile

Your Network Invites – You can reply to and send a new message to anyone who sends you an original LinkedIn Invite. (I use the word original because there is a problem messaging people who send an invite after you previously ignored another invite.) You do this from the Invitation Manager accessed from your My Network page.

Click on the See All xxx on the top right of the My Network page opens the Invitation Manager page where you can reply and/or send a new message to your invites.

LinkedIn Messages page – Access the full LinkedIn Message page from the top menu bar. This will open a standard Chat Manager where you can read, reply and create new LinkedIn messages

Teddy Burriss - LinkedIn Training and Coaching  Image - LinkedIn Messages Page

LinkedIn Message Bar – This is on the lower right corner of most LinkedIn pages viewed in a web browser.

When clicked on this message bar, it opens upwards so you can access all of your LinkedIn Messages by scrolling or searching by keywords or names. Creating a new message will open up a message box on the lower area of the LinkedIn page.

Mobiles Access – LinkedIn Messaging can be accessed from the same locations in the LinkedIn Mobile Application, except there is no Message bar in the mobile app. The Full Message Page icon is only accessible from the upper right corner of the LinkedIn Home page.

Additionally, from the LinkedIn Mobile App, you can not send a message to LinkedIn Members who send you a LinkedIn invite. You can reply to LinkedIn invites that include a personal message.

Message Formats – The message formats between Mobile and Desktop are similar with a few exceptions.

Desktop Formats

From either the Message Bar or from the Full Message Page, the options are similar.

You can send a message to a single connection or to a group of LinkedIn Connections.

You can use text, include URLs to online content (the first URL will resolve to display) and include the URL to other LinkedIn Members by @Mentioning the LinkedIn Member (it will not notify the other LinkedIn Member).

You can attach an image, a file, a GIF or an emoticon image.

Mobile Formats

On the mobile application messaging has more features.

Teddy Burriss - LinkedIn Training and Coaching  Image - LinkedIn Mobile Message Options

Beyond the options available on the desktop interface, in the Mobile Application, you have lots more options available.

You can include an image or video from your device Camera.

You can include a Location if you allow the LinkedIn app to access your Device Location.

You can select available times through Availability if you allow the LinkedIn app to access your device calendar.
You can also include an audio recording in a LinkedIn Message.

There are lots of interesting options in the LinkedIn Mobile App messaging function

I encourage all LinkedIn Members to experience using the mobile application. Besides taking the LinkedIn environment with you as you are ‘out and about’, the messaging features are worth experimenting with.