This is a guest post from Adam Weber, Director of Business Development at SpinWeb. SpinWeb is a digital agency specializing in corporate web design and digital marketing. You can learn more about SpinWeb at www.spinweb.net.
I hear lots of sales “gurus” talk about how selling through social media is the new cold call. What I rarely hear is practical advice on how to prospect through a social network. Here are my practical tips on actively seeking out potential clients using LinkedIn.
First: Tell your current LinkedIn connections what you do.
Do your current LinkedIn connections actually know what you do, what you sell, and what the first step in working with your company looks like? Start there. You already have built a network of people that trust and respect you. Many of them would be more than willing to help, but you aren’t top of mind and they don’t know what you do and how you can help them. Many of my connections aren’t the exact person I am looking for at the company, so I explain my first meeting and then ask them if they can help connect me to the right person in their company.
Second: Send InMail to targeted potential clients.
Buy an upgraded LinkedIn account so you can send messages (LinkedIn calls it InMail) to people that aren’t your contacts. You can use this to follow up a voicemail or if you can’t find their email address on the website. Also if there is a company you think would be a particularly good fit, find the person in the position you are looking to talk to and send them a message. My response rates on InMail are MUCH higher than email and voicemail.
Third: Build a Lead List.
If you have an upgraded LinkedIn account you have the ability to create a lead list (sort by location, job title, company size, industry, etc). What makes LinkedIn’s lead list so great is that you have the ability to see if you have any connections to people on your lead list.
Fourth: Be awesome.
Finally, there is a delicate balance to proactively growing a business through social media and being someone that people want to avoid. When you do get ahold of someone through LinkedIn (and as you are reaching out to them) exceed their expectations with your kindness, expertise, and willingness to help.
I hope you find these tips helpful. Go grow your business!