Categories
LinkedIn

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.

Categories
LinkedIn

How much time does it take?

I get asked often, “How much time should someone spend on LinkedIn?” I don’t want to answer this question because it’s not focused on a goal.

I would prefer to answer this question, “How much time should someone put into using LinkedIn in order to create real business results?”

Sometimes I answer the question this way, “Consider reinvesting 10-15 minutes every day using LinkedIn to build your presence, your network, and your reputation. Look at the other related tasks you’re doing today that don’t create the greatest results and invest that time into using LinkedIn instead.” (Example – extended cold calling)

This is hard for people to do because they are comfortable with those other tactics, even if they are not creating real results.

This is hard for people to do because they are not sure yet of the right way to use LinkedIn. They have not experimented enough or been taught the proper use of LinkedIn.

The best answer is this, “I strongly recommend LinkedIn Members who want to create real business value need to integrate the use of LinkedIn into other relevant business processes.” (Example – I never cold call without first doing research on LinkedIn.)

There are lots of actions you can do using LinkedIn. Which ones are right for you is directly influenced by your goals. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you are recruiter you may need to invest more time doing research on candidate Profiles and less time on 1:1 engagement and content sharing.
  • If you work a captive book of business (i.e not hunting for new clients), you’re more likely going to spend time sharing and engaging on relevant content and less time using the LinkedIn Search tools.
  • If you are an inside salesperson focused on current clients, you may spend more time on 1:1 engagement and content sharing than you would on market/industry researching.
  • If you are in marketing you’re likely going to spend more time researching companies, relevant content and influencers and less time searching for people or engaging on content.

These are just a few of the diverse ways different people in different roles could be using LinkedIn.

Look at some of the different functions available within LinkedIn:

  • Refining/updating your LinkedIn Profile.
  • Commenting on and/or Liking Content.
  • Sending new LinkedIn Invites.
  • Managing LinkedIn Invites.
  • 1:1 messaging using text, images, documents, audio, and video, etc.
  • Sharing and engaging on content in LinkedIn Groups.
  • Research of LinkedIn Companies and Content.
  • Reading relevant and useful content.
  • Researching other LinkedIn Members
  • Analyzing your LinkedIn Insights (Profile views, Content activity,
  • Managing LinkedIn Notifications
  • Prospecting through LinkedIn Search
  • Sharing content in your LinkedIn Company Page
  • etc, etc, etc

I sometimes say LinkedIn is like a swiss army knife. Knowing what all the different blades are, helps you to determine which one to use when, and/or at all.

You don’t need to do everything all the time. You use specific areas of LinkedIn based on the specific task and/or goal.

Back to how much time should you spend using LinkedIn, and doing what?

Initially, I recommend investing a minimum of 15 minutes a day reviewing the different ‘knives’ and deciding what steps within LinkedIn could create the greatest initial value for you in your role. Then once you know how to use the tools, align your use of LinkedIn with other business processes while you continue to invest 15 minutes a day learning more about the tool and how you could again, integrate another LinkedIn activity into another business process.

Fact – if you don’t find a way to integrate the use of LinkedIn into other business processes, you will never completely adopt LinkedIn as a business tool in your role.

No one is truly successful using LinkedIn as a ‘stand-alone’ business tool

Categories
LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Should I subscribe to LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Watch the YouTube Video that answers this question, or read below:

Here is my written response to this question:

The quick answer is this:

If you are serious prospector who needs an application to do focused searches and track prospecting activities, you should consider LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

A Serious Prospector uses LinkedIn Search tools multiple times every week and wishes there were just a few more filters available and features available.

Hitting the Commercial Use Limit too early in the month is not a reason to use Sales Navigator. You could use Business Premium to overcome that limitation.

If you think you need Sales Navigator, I recommend committing to a two month evaluation of the application, subscribing month to month rather than for an annual plan. You’ll get the first month for free if you do a 30 day eval. Give yourself two months to validate your needs and that you will consistently use the application.

Then become highly familiar with the application.

Here are a few features you will want to experiment with to get the greatest value from LinkedIn Sales Navigator:

  1. Saved Accounts – If your prospecting focuses on businesses, save accounts and then focus on the people in the businesses you are tracking.
  2. Saved Leads – Research the people in accounts who are relevant to your prospecting. Save the ones you want to pay attention to in Sales Navigator.
  3. Build structured Tags – Do this up front. Having a tagging philosophy helps you manage your prospecting activities easier.
  4. Experiment with Sales Navigator navigation. It is somewhat different than LinkedIn and you will need to switch back and forth between the two. There are also cool functions hidden behind windows and the various three dot menus (…)
  5. Experiment with Sales Navigator Filters and the integration of Boolean Strings in appropriate filters. Building powerful search strings is one key value of LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  6. Experiment with Saved Searches in Sales Navigator and LinkedIn. You can have up to 3 saved searches in each interface. Create unique saved searches across both platforms. Use the search results.
  7. Experiment with Sales Navigator and LinkedIn messaging. They are currently still stand alone systems. Messages sent via SN do not show up in LI, and visa versa.
  8. Experiment with the Mobile Apps. You’ll want to be able to efficiently use these apps. Learn what you can and should do using them and what you should not use them for because of compressed functionality.
  9. Build the use of Sales Navigator into your sales processes. You should be using Sales Navigator and LinkedIn within all of your sales processes, including calling and emailing targets, prospects and/or clients.
  10. Pay Attention to your Social Selling Index. Yes, it’s primarily a sales tool to get you to subscribe to Sales Navigator, however your SSI Score and other LinkedIn KPIs are a good measure of your activities.

If you want to discuss the benefits of using Sales Navigator as a prospecting tool and how I could help your sales team create success using these tools, grab a slot on my calendar and let’s talk about your goals.

Teddy

Categories
LinkedIn

Are you Prospecting Efficiently and Effectively on LinkedIn

In my LinkedIn Professional Development programs I teach 4 very specific steps needed to create value using LinkedIn:

Categories
LinkedIn

LinkedIn Saved Searches

LinkedIn Saved Searches are a powerful business tool. If you have not experimented with them and if they are not part of your weekly business development process, you are missing out on the benefits.