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.
- The primary benefit of LinkedIn is prospecting and networking. But… you’ve got to work it.
- Join groups where your prospects flock – not necessarily always the same where you or your peers flock.
- Search the group’s member list for prospects.
- 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
- “Premium” members can send “InMail” messages to prospects – something that responded better than ordinary emails.
- Invite high-value group members to visit you at trade shows, events, exclusive activities, et al.
- 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).
- Quit groups when it stops being productive – find/join new groups to find new prospects
- 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.
- Always ask for referrals from every LinkedIn contact you talk to.
- 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.