How to use LinkedIn to win new business

Here are some proven ways to use LinkedIn as a tool to identify difficult to locate prospects that fall below the radar.

My sales team used it as one tool to successfully prospect for corporate cards.

  1. The primary benefit of LinkedIn is prospecting and networking. But… you’ve got to work it.
  2. Join groups where your prospects flock – not necessarily always the same where you or your peers flock.
  3. Search the group’s member list for prospects.
  4. My team copy/pasted prospects into a separate database (Salesforce) for follow-up – and used Hoover’s and D&B for additional insight to zero in on contact/prospect info
  5. “Premium” members can send “InMail” messages to prospects – something that responded better than ordinary emails.
  6. Invite high-value group members to visit you at trade shows, events, exclusive activities, et al.
  7. What is your “elevator speech”… we requested a brief telephone call to introduce how we can save fleet owners money on fuel expenses with exclusive discounts (a compelling offer when you own ½ the gas stations in town).
  8. Quit groups when it stops being productive – find/join new groups to find new prospects
  9. 3. Contribute original thought leadership to the conversation – but don’t over-contribute or recycle someone else’s content (unless it is Xerox content) or share trivial news.
  10. Always ask for referrals from every LinkedIn contact you talk to.
  11. Most important: A-B-C (always be closing)

Finally, I love an app called “CardMunch” – now owned by LinkedIn – the CardMunch app lets you take a picture of a business card and their team in India literally transcribes “by hand” it into an outlook-compatible file in less than an hour – virtually perfectly every time.

I would collect business cards at trade shows, scan them into CardMunch, then send a “thank you for visiting” email note later that afternoon.

Then, back at the office, download the file for future follow-up or invite to connect on LinkedIn. It is a cool way to manage all those business cards you collect at events.