LinkedIn continues to listen to its users, which is good news for improving your sales and marketing efforts on the platform.
If there’s one thing I’ve found in teaching others how to use LinkedIn to generate new sales leads, it is how important personalized, 1-on-1 marketing is with LinkedIn.
LinkedIn recently announced several new features (including some previous features that are being brought back from retirement), which make it even easier to scale up and speed up your B2B sales process — from finding your ideal prospects to closing deals.
Here’s how to leverage what’s new.
Personalize Your Pitch with Expandable Profiles
Reviewing someone’s profile before you connect with them is priority #1.
Good news is that LinkedIn is bringing back expandable profiles, which you can use to better connect with prospects.
With this feature, “you’ll be able to more easily view details of a member’s profile, including information on past and present positions, Groups joined, and recommendations,” noted LinkedIn.
In fact in starting out my own business, with a quick view of a profile and a little personalization, I got a more than $10,000 in business from a guy who’d never heard of me before.
Before I invited him to connect, I spent about 14 seconds looking over his LinkedIn profile. I noticed he went to the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in the 1980s. I’m a huge sports fan, and I remember the Pitt Panthers having a nice run in college hoops during the mid-to-late 1980s with Jerome Lane, Sean Miller, Charles Smith and others.
And of course, the seminal moment in Pitt Panthers basketball became “Send it in, Jerome!”
(You don’t see that happen every day.)
So when I reached out to this prospect on LinkedIn, I personalized my invite and played up the Pittsburgh sports angle. Keep in mind, I had NO IDEA if this guy was a sports fan or not – I just figured it was worth a shot trying to connect a passion of mine (sports) with a thread of his story (his time at Pitt).
By taking 14 seconds to scan this prospect’s profile and personalize my invitation, I got an instant response:
I was at that game! You can’t believe what it was like inside the arena! Hey, did you know Dan Marino was among the group of athletes at Pitt who recruited me to go there on a scholarship? Oh yeah, and what is it you do again? Debt Collection Agency Marketing? Hey, you know, we’re looking at doing a company video, and maybe some Facebook marketing. We should really talk!
A couple of phone calls later, I had $10,000 in business secured. My new client told me, “You know what really sold it? Send it in, Jerome!”
Just like in real life, selling on LinkedIn requires an authentic connection. You have an ability to break the ice and strike up a conversation around topics that the person is comfortable and familiar with, and you can do it without being sales-y, spammy or sleazy.
Take a quick scan of a potential prospect’s profile to find a touch point: Where they went to school, where they live, even their activities and hobbies.
(Related: How to win new clients on LinkedIn.)
Publishing + Engagement = Warm Prospects
Publishing your own content on LinkedIn is your currency to buy the time and attention of potential customers on LinkedIn.
If someone is reading content you created, and then liking, sharing or commenting on it, that person immediately becomes a warm sales lead!
They are already getting to Know, Like and Trust you via your content, and now, when you reach out to that person to connect or talk via LinkedIn message, they have a frame of reference for who you are and what you’re good at.
In the past, you could see the individual names and faces of everyone who liked, shared or commented on your LinkedIn articles. However, much of that functionality disappeared once LinkedIn rolled out its redesigned desktop and mobile app.
Thankfully, LinkedIn has shared they will be bringing back certain features in Publishing that offer much more depth in terms of who is reading and engaging with your articles.
I believe we’ll see a return to that “individual level” of data, meaning you can individually see and talk to the specific individuals who are liking, sharing and commenting on your content.
Think about that, and how valuable it is from a lead generation perspective!
Even better, you now have context for a conversation, with the article you published as the jumping off point to build a 1-on-1, personalized relationship on LinkedIn.
Best of all, you can do this in real-time, getting notifications on people liking, sharing or commenting on your post, and then immediately reaching out to each person with an invite or message based on the article you posted.
Easier and More Efficient
The time has never been better to sell on LinkedIn. With over 500 million users on such a highly-visible and trusted platform for business professionals, you immediately have easy access to a pool of prospects to scale up your sales process and generate more warm leads in less time.
By publishing your own content you can demonstrate your expertise and value, and use it in combination with a personalized, 1-on-1 approach that looks for a context to build conversations around.
When you take this approach on LinkedIn, you will build that instant likability, credibility and trust that’s critical to making a sale.