9 Proven ways to connect and close deals with LinkedIn Prospects
The world is increasingly becoming a place where people are connected. It is now easy to promote your products and services using social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and LinkedIn. LinkedIn is now one of the best ways to connect to promote products or services. However, your success depends on how you use it.
LinkedIn is a powerful social platform to help connect and close deals with prospects. The platform has over 750 million users, and 86% of executives use it to collaborate. It's no wonder that 91% of salespeople use it to source leads and connect with potential customers.
However, it can be difficult to navigate to get leads and sales. This is why you need this guide to help you ace your profile so you can connect with any prospect, find leads, and close sales with LinkedIn.
If you run a business and want to grow your sales, LinkedIn is the social network you need to connect and build relationships with prospects. It is an incredible platform for salespeople, business owners, and sales professionals to connect with others in their industry, build valuable relationships, and ultimately close sales.
Want to grow sales for your business in 2021? Check out these nine proven ways to use LinkedIn to build valuable relationships and close sales.
What is LinkedIn Prospecting?
LinkedIn prospecting is a strategic marketing technique that essentially means approaching your ideal prospects via LinkedIn.
It is the art of connecting with prospects, identifying potential buyers, and following up with them. At one point or another, you've probably been asked to give a "shout-out" on social media to gain exposure to a prospective client. This exposure is essential to connect with prospects, but it doesn't always translate into exposure for you. After all, one of the right messages sent to the right contacts "is all you need" to close a sale or a deal.
Should you connect with prospects on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn is not only for networking with business professionals but also for sales prospecting. Use the platform's search feature to find people in your geographic area, industry, skill level, title, company size, then connect with them. It is the best social network for sales prospecting because you gain direct access to decision-makers.
According to recent research, LinkedIn is the number one social network for B2B salespeople. 92% of them report having found a new prospect via LinkedIn. It makes sense because, unlike other social media platforms, LinkedIn is the hub for business professionals.
How to use LinkedIn for sales?
LinkedIn is a great platform for business networking. More and more B2B companies have a LinkedIn page to connect with potential customers. If you use a wide variety of services and sales automation tools to grow your business, a LinkedIn page is a great way to find a new customer.
Here's the 9 ways to close Linkedin leads
1. Personalize your LinkedIn connection requests
It is important to understand how to connect with a prospect on LinkedIn in a way that puts them at ease. When scrolling through your LinkedIn's list of "people you may know," do not simply click the "connect" button and send a generic request.
If you want to connect with someone, click on the individual's LinkedIn profile page and click the "connect" button there. That will bring up a box where you can add a personal note with your connection request, like, "It was great to meet you last week in New Jersey. Let's keep in touch."
If you're interested in connecting with a person you do not know, such as someone who works in a similar role at some other company, add a text by letting them know why you are messaging them. You might say, "I have seen your recent posts and noticed some of your work. I really appreciate your perspectives and would like to connect."
2. Follow up on in-person networking opportunities.
Building your LinkedIn network can still happen the good, old-fashioned way when you meet and interact with clients face to face. As we navigate back to a world of doing at least some business in person, possibilities to connect with customers are on the rise once again. So, try to make the most of them.
Maybe you met a person at a networking event or conference? Volunteer or serve on a board for a charity event? What about the business owner at some coffee shop, your yoga instructor, healthcare provider, classmates? It is easy to overlook connections you might come in contact with every day, so reach out and build a strong relationship. You might be surprised to learn about them on LinkedIn.
3. Break growth goals down into achievable chunks
Going from 100 connections to 500+ connections on LinkedIn can seem like an impossible task. But if you divide that number over a few weeks or months, it will not seem so tedious. For instance, instead of setting a goal of getting from 100 connections to 500+, try to make your goal to 175 connections within two weeks, then repeat.
Also, when you set goals, make sure they are realistic and time-bound.
And do not forget to know how to grow connections on LinkedIn. Regardless of your goals, it is vital to maintain proper etiquette and refrain from spamming people you do not know. Quality matters more than quantity. Sending random requests and spamming connections might get your profile blocked.
Do not expect all your connection requests to accept your LinkedIn invitations. Prospects may value the potential quality of connections and decide whether to accept requests.
Some of the things they may want to know when they receive a request:
- Do you share any industry insights I care about?
- Do I know you or have mutual connections?
- Am I familiar with your company?
- Are you in a geographic location where I do business?
If they can't find "yes" to at least one question or preferably more of these questions, chances are they will not accept your invitation to connect.
4. Explore LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn has over 200 different types of groups organized around topics ranging from career advice to hobbies. These groups provide an excellent opportunity to build relationships with other professionals in your industry. If you find yourself working with a group leader, ask if they could introduce you to others within their group. This is an excellent way to start building your professional network.
LinkedIn Groups provide topic-specific spaces where you can connect within your niche or build relationships, share information, insights, and expertise, and probe communities for advice. You can select relevant groups that reflect communities within your target audiences to demonstrate your knowledge and learn more about prospects and customers.
These groups are created and moderated by their own leaders and gatekeepers and have their own sets of rules. Make sure to review the rules and expectations before requesting to join.
5. Invite engagement by posting often
When one of your connections likes, comments, or shares your LinkedIn posts or status updates, the connections on their network are more likely to see your post in their feed. If the content seems relevant, those "2nd-degree" connections may reach out and send a connection request to connect with you.
Sharing content more often creates new opportunities for engagement, thus syndicating your content across various home page feeds. Do not be much concerned about annoying people by posting every day. Also, LinkedIn's algorithms are quite tricky. Your network is not likely to see all the posts unless you publish an article or share content natively using LinkedIn's article tool, which notifies your network.
6. Join relevant LinkedIn discussion boards
There are numerous online forums that are dedicated to specific industries. For example, there are more than 100,000 members in the Healthcare IT Professionals Group alone! Joining these communities allows you to share information and ideas with peers while also learning new things along the way.
7. Connect with influencers
Influencer marketing is becoming a big trend right now. Influencers are individuals whose opinions carry weight among their followers. They often use social media platforms to communicate directly with consumers. By reaching out to influential bloggers, journalists, authors, speakers, etc., you can gain exposure to potential customers without having to spend money advertising.
8. Grab attention with visual content
According to a study, LinkedIn profiles with photos get 21x more views and 36x more messages. When we talk about visual content, it is not just about your profile picture and banner image. The LinkedIn posts with images get twice as many views, and research suggests that posts with video content get re-shared 20 times more.
Adding relevant images to your social posts boosts engagements with people in your existing network and increases exposure to potential connections. So mix up the content. Do not always just share links; include visuals.
9. Write and publish articles.
It is common to share blog posts written by your company and others that you feel will resonate with your audience by sharing an update on LinkedIn with the URL. When those insights are your own, it is even more important to put them out in front of people. Publishing articles and relevant content on your LinkedIn profile is one of the excellent ways to establish your personal brand and share expertise in a given industry or niche.
The exceptional thing about native content is that your network is notified every time you create and publish an article. This increases your chances of engagement and brand awareness. It also points to the importance of not publishing articles regularly, or your followers may start to tune out.
While a simple call-to-action (CTA) to connect or check out additional valuable resources is usually acceptable at the end of the article, nothing might turn off readers quicker than an article that ends up being nothing more than clickbait or a sales pitch. So only write about topics that truly provide value to readers.
6 Steps to Attract Clients With LinkedIn
Here are some of the effective ways to attract more clients on LinkedIn.
1. Professional Profile
Before you start any activities that will put you in front of key decision-makers, you must first ensure that you have a professional, search-optimized profile and, most important of all, client-focused.
It is better not to meet these key decision-makers in sloppy or unprofessional attire. You must make sure that your profile presents you in a way that will help and not hinder your sales prospecting efforts.
2. Identify Prospects
If you want to generate leads on LinkedIn, you should clearly understand your target market. So start by using the search term like "job role" or other common titles your market would use to describe themselves. This will be a vital part of finding prospects to connect with online.
These titles relate to their job role. For instance, CEO, VP Sales, Accountant, HR Specialist, etc.
If you have a few titles that you want to target specifically, you can easily find them using two different methods,
- LinkedIn Advanced Search
- LinkedIn Groups
If you want to find the right prospects for your product, use the advanced search feature and use the right search terms to get the list of potential prospects. Use Boolean Search to find more targeted prospects.
3. Send a Thank You Message
If you get a notification that someone has accepted your connection request on LinkedIn, send a personalized "thank you" message. Do not sell your services or self-promote in any way other than just adding the URL to your website.
If possible, find some common things in their profile that you can use to engage in a conversation.
4. Send Relationship Building Messages
Set a weekly reminder to reach out to your new connection with a "Relationship Building" message. The main purpose of this message is to provide value to that person with no ulterior motive. Sending without the expectation of receiving a reply is a critical part of building authentic relationships with people.
Try to reach out with something relevant to their business goals. It shows that you understand their problems and can plant the seed for a future client when done right.
Some of the types of content you can share:
- Articles/Blog Posts
- Case studies
Ensure to use LinkedIn's Relationship Tab to keep your prospects organized when sending your relationship-building messages.
5. Engage With Them on Shared LinkedIn Groups
Identify the groups your prospects have joined. If you haven't joined the groups that your prospects are part of yet, start joining the most appropriate ones that fit the target audience you are looking for. Also, you can join up to 50 LinkedIn groups.
Not everyone is active in the groups, but when you find a prospect who is active in the groups, it is an excellent opportunity to get on their radar in a way that demonstrates your expertise and credibility.
6. Move Relationships Offline
This is the most important step where most people fall short. Without this step, your social selling won't give you any results. Once you have built a robust relationship and established your credibility, take the conversation to an offline channel.
It is offline that you should convert a prospect to a client. Do not try to sell anything without having a conversation and getting to know the problems your prospect is dealing with. You can offer a solution only if you find the problem.
If you have followed the above steps properly, your prospect should be open to the idea of speaking offline since you have demonstrated,
- Your ability to provide value
SmartWriter - The AI Automation Tool
It can be difficult to stay top of mind with potential clients in a highly competitive market. With SmartWriter, we provide the tools to create personalized messages that reach out to your potential clients with tailored content.
SmartWriter is a LinkedIn automation tool that helps you reach new clients and provides you with a 70% to 80% acceptance rate. LinkedIn has an active, professional network, so it can be hard to get noticed as a new business.
You need to create a hyper-personalized and high converting prospecting message that interests prospective customers to stand out. Email Personalization is the key for any marketing campaign. The tool lets you personalize each cold email message for better prospecting.
It is highly suitable for large teams as it allows third-party integration with Reply, Outreach, Lemlist, Mailshake, Woodpecker.
It also offers a unique feature called the "Smart Script." This is designed to help you automate your outreach process on all platforms. You can also decide the order and priority for the platforms you want to target first.
Watch this video about how Smart Script will improve your sales process.
How does SmartWriter help personalize your LinkedIn outreach?
To create unique and hyper-personalized connection requests, follow the steps as follow,
Step 1 - Sign in or Sign up with SmartWriter, and create a new project using the create project or select an existing project.
Step 2 - Select Compose Copy or Create Copy and look for - Personalised LinkedIn Outreach under Personalized outreach.
Step 3 - Then, configure your Personalisation settings and upload your email list via Google Sheets, CSV file, or enter the LinkedIn URL manually.
Step 4 - Click on the Generate Custom Message to create the desired outreach message output.
Step 5 - Select the most suitable prospecting message from the output generated to send a LinkedIn connection message with an acceptance rate of over 80% and above.
Step 6 - If you want a new set of templates, you can edit the details and create a new set of messages with the Edit Prompt & Try Again on the tool.
Let us take a look at the LinkedIn Personalized messages generated from the tool and why it is effective in outreach,
Based on the Prospect's Bio
A connection message that is generated based on the person's bio,
The LinkedIn message looks well personalized and includes the prospect's job role, achievements, responsibilities, company, business goals, and more. This will assure a guaranteed response from your prospect.
SmartWriter offers three plans:
- Basic Plan – $59/month.
- Grow – $149/month.
- Agency – $359/month.
It also offers a 7-day free trial on all the plans.
LinkedIn is a great tool for business that allows you to connect and network with like-minded people, but it can also be very problematic. The main reason businesses use LinkedIn is to find new clients and close those deals. Unfortunately, some people make mistakes and don't hit the mark with their connections and leads. This causes frustration and leads to a less than desirable experience on the site.
Following step by step the nine proven ways, you are able to build the desired LinkedIn profile, connect with anybody you want, make your prospects want to wait for your call, trigger the buy signal, get them to provide you with the decision-making power, and close new deals successfully.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I filter the LinkedIn newsfeed?
Most people ignore the LinkedIn newsfeed in favor of other parts of the website, but you can filter the newsfeed to show only the news from new connections.
What are the benefits of LinkedIn connections?
Simply looking at your connections can also give you competitive intelligence.
What is competitive intelligence?
If you see that someone in the same role as you at another company has connected with a person who looks like a good prospect for you, they might be pitching that person right now!
What is a great way to connect with prospects on LinkedIn?
This might be a good time to introduce yourself via InMail (or you might have another mutual connection who knows the prospect) and make sure the prospect knows about your services.
What is Advanced Search?
The Advanced Search lets you search for anyone on many criteria, even if you don't know them.
What are the filters you can use with LinkedIn Advanced People Search?
You might need to request an introduction or send an InMail (if there's cold-calling on LinkedIn, this is it).
What Are The Key Metrics?
- Look at the "People Also Viewed" Sidebar,
- Investigate Your Competitors' Networks,
- Scroll Through Skill Endorsements,
- Reach Out to Prospects in New Roles,
- Use Alumni Search,
- See Who's Commented On Your Prospects' Posts,
- Use Boolean Google Search,
- Create a search alert.
- Browse Users Who Have Interacted With Your LinkedIn Posts,
For most marketers, social selling on LinkedIn is a way of life.
What is LinkedIn for B2B Buyers?
A study said that 50% of B2B buyers use LinkedIn as a source for making purchase decisions. So, you should be spending time finding qualified prospects for your business on the professional platform.
How do I find prospects?
Apart from the most obvious 'search' feature, there are few other ways in which you can find prospects on LinkedIn.
What etiquette should you follow?
Try and get introduced to a mutually connected person from your network.
What do you want to see from your social media followers?
Engage with their posts before you expect them to engage with yours.