Prospecting on LinkedIn: 6 actions to get started

Prospecting on LinkedIn may seem simpler than prospecting by phone. But behind this simplistic appearance are some subtleties. The commercial approach on LinkedIn is specific. Discover here the 6 key actions to take.

Is LinkedIn suitable for the target audience?

Before you start prospecting on LinkedIn, check that your target audience is well represented on this network. Here are a few things that characterise LinkedIn users:

  • The 30-49 age group is predominantly represented
  • Many of them are executives or company managers.

The social network LinkedIn is a professional network, so it is obvious that prospecting on Linkedin is mainly BtoB. At least, this is the most relevant target for users.

1. Maintain your LinkedIn profile

Work well on the "top of the profile

Creating an attractive LinkedIn profile is the foundation you can't escape if you want to be credible with potential contacts. More than having an attractive profile, you need to catch the eye.
Your LinkedIn profile should of course be updated to reflect your past and present situation.

The visual basis of your profile is your profile picture and your cover picture, which must be be professional. It is the first thing that is seen by the person viewing your profile, so you have no room for error. Prospecting on LinkedIn works like any other business approach and is summed up by the phrase, "You only get one chance to make a good impression."
Depending on the photo you choose, the feeling you give off can be quite different.

Prospecting on LinkedIn starts with an optimized profile and respect for LinkedIn's rules of good practice
- Lead Agency

Add an engaging summary

Only the first few lines of your summary are visible on your profile. To see the whole of your summary, the user has to click to find out more. It is therefore important that the first few lines are carefully written and have enough impact to encourage the user to read on.

Write your summary according to the people you want to reach. The summary of someone looking for a job (recruiter-oriented), for example, is not at all the same as that of someone looking for new clients.

Also remember not to turn your summary into a CV, as users will be able to see your background further down your profile. However, use your summary to place keywords that will allow you to be placed in searches that Internet users might make and thus make you more visible.

Add skills and get recommendations

Two very important elements when prospecting on LinkedIn that allow you toincrease your credibility to users who don't know you. Indeed, many potential buyers will see these two elements on LinkedIn after being convinced by the summary. It's a way to reassure, at least if it's positive.

To do this, you need to mention your skills. It is highly recommended that you limit the number of skills. You need to focus on the main ones and make sure they are relevant to your target audience and/or your field of activity. By doing this, you can more easily be seen as an expert in your field.

Also ask for recommendations from colleagues, former clients and active clients to support your expertise and highlight your strengths in your work. The figures for recommendations are extremely telling: "Consumers trust recommendations from friends seven times more than conventional advertising". So, even if in this case they are not always friends, all studies show that a potential customer is more likely to contact a company for a product or service if it has positive reviews.

2. Define prospecting objectives on LinkedIn

Before you start prospecting on LinkedIn, it is important to determine what you are looking for and therefore the goals you want to achieve. Here are some examples of objectives:

  • be visible
  • to be recognised as a professional in a sector of activity
  • identify and find new prospects
  • retain existing customers

Obviously, these are very broad concepts, but it already gives you the direction.

Once you have defined your needs, it is necessary to set interim targets and more operational KPIs (performance indicators). This makes it easier for you to implement concrete actions that enable you to achieve your objectives.

Here are some examples of intermediate goals you can set for yourself:

  • Send 10 invitations (targeted) per day to increase the size of your network
  • Publish 1 short post per day
  • Write 1 publication long or 1 article per month
  • Interact liking, sharing, commenting, in short at least once a day
  • Trigger 2-3 private discussions per day with LinkedIn messaging

Even if your ultimate goal is to get appointments to convert new customers, setting up this type of follow-up will allow you to evaluate a a more global increase in your sales performance.

3. Send private messages

Structuring your sales approach by message on Linkedin involves process creation.
To do this you need to define :

  • a roadmap : a framework that gives the chronological order of each daily action, its progress with possible outcomes and a summary of the daily intermediate objectives
  • models of action : a precise description of each action, its purpose, its context, its means, its language, and its objective in figures

A scenario is starting from a point A to arrive at a point B (an appointment for example) which anticipates the different possible paths.
Prospects may react quite differently from each other and you need to be aware of this prepared in advance. This is why it is important to establish a series of logical actions to achieve a final goal.

Here too, it is possible to have several end goals, such as obtaining an email address or a telephone appointment.

The simplest and most effective way in the long run is to build scenarios according to the type of structure and decision-maker. This means that if you have several targets, you should build several prospecting scenarios.

4. Effectively distribute news to improve prospecting on LinkedIn

Let's be honest, it's not the most direct way to generate new customers, but it's certainly one of the most interesting on in the long term. The problem with creating news or more substantial content on LinkedIn is that it is not very operational and it is not always easy to evaluate the results (return on investment).

To optimise your approach, you need to propose useful contents to your prospect because your prospect needs to learn and educate himself before he can even know how to pinpoint his problem.
Answering the issues and questions of the decision makers you want to reach is the key to getting them to contact you and therefore improving your prospecting on LinkedIn.

How do you know? The answer lies with sales people, the ones who are in contact with customers every day and who hear questions from customers all day long. If you start by asking your sales people to compile answers to questions asked by their prospects (from the most general to the most specific), this will provide content to publish.
Part of prospecting on LinkedIn is answering questions that other future prospects are sure to have, providing a solution and arousing their curiosity about your company.

5. Leave a comment on publications

Studies show that to have the best chance of engaging a recruiter or potential client, you should respond within 24 hours. So it's not just about being active on LinkedIn, it's about be responsive !

Make comments that bring value to your contacts and target audience to show your expertise and let them know that you are the right person. This is a great way to get yourself recommended or contacted. It is important to do this regularly and over time to really get yourself noticed and become a reference in your field. Prospecting on LinkedIn is a long-term process that needs to be maintained every day.

6. Interacting in LinkedIn Groups

Ask to join groups where your target audience is and where your presence can add value. Do some keyword research to find groups of interest to you or ask, for example, your current customers which groups they are in.

When you are a member of a group, you become really effective by being active:

  • Participate in discussions
  • Interact with members
  • Publish relevant content that will drive traffic to your website

Don't just do the so-called wildcard LinkedIn prospecting. Participate, interact, publish and you'll see that it will eventually fall.

For your information, the great advantage of LinkedIn groups is that you can send messages to members even if they are not in your contacts.

Pierre van Steenberghe

Pierre van Steenberghe

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