Lead Generation on LinkedIn | Using LinkedIn for Sales Lead Generation
Lead Generation on LinkedIn is one of the new hot topics for 2020. With business professionals from all industries flocking to this market oriented social platform, LinkedIn has started to show the world who it is becoming.
What started out as a way for job seekers and recruiters to mix, mingle and promote their skill sets, has now turned into the largest Business to Business Sales Platform in the world. With over 500 Million members worldwide and an average 260 million logins each month, LinkedIn has increased their daily usage numbers by almost 2.5x since 2016! (Source: FoundationInc.Co)
So when it comes to doing business, making sales, expanding your network of influence, LinkedIn seems like the prime place to plant your flag. In this short article, I will talk about using LinkedIn for Sales Lead Generation. I will outline some current strategies, show you what not to do and give you some tips on exactly how to turn your LinkedIn profile into a lead generation magnet.
What do people currently do?
It is no secret…if you have been on LinkedIn for some time you have had the people connect with you who have the profiles that are aligned directly with Sales and Lead Generation for your niche.
The moment you hit connect — Poof!
An instant email arrives in your inbox that is two pages long and tells you all the problems that the writer assumes you have and claims to have the exact solutions you need. Then they tell you how they have this great new proprietary strategy on Lead Generation and can get you qualified leads directly to your inbox. Some even claim they will work for free until they show you results, “just get on the phone and I will show you”.
Then after you get on the phone…they tell you how they use LinkedIn to generate massive amounts of leads for businesses just like yours and although they said it was free, there is a setup fee.
If you were like me many years ago. It is at this point you start scratching your head and asking yourself one simple question
How are they getting the leads from LinkedIn?
Then it hits you.
It is a numbers game…
They use LinkedIn’s search function to hyper-target certain niches, then they use an automated software to view your profile, connect with you and then begin the process of automated email marketing where they enter you into a drip campaign simply because you connected with them.
So this is how they get clients, but how do they get leads for you? Well, the same exact way. It is nothing more than a numbers game.
Which, for some is not a bad thing. I do not doubt that this process works. Although let’s think for a moment. What quality of leads would this process generate?
Or a better question… How many quality leads does this spamming process turn away?
Below is an email I received from someone on LinkedIn just the other day. Immediately this email caught my attention.
Because he claims to have viewed my profile and seen that I have an e-learning and online course background…. I don’t…
Also I have a Premium LinkedIn membership so I can see everyone who looks at my profile, he was not one of them.
Why is this concerning? For a few reasons…
Honesty and Integrity is a big part of rapport. The first part of the sales process is to build rapport with a prospect. His phishing email immediately discredited him. Whether his product or service is legit, high quality, or effective is irrelevant.
Don’t lie to your potential clients. Be honest and do your research.
Next, if he had looked at my profile he would have seen that I own a Digital Marketing company. The services he was offering were Digital Marketing. Not hard to see a problem with that logic.
But it is this last reason that really bugs me. If he is generating leads for a business and this is his methodology, then how many quality, high paying leads is he leaving on the table? I would assume that his conversion rate is less than 3%. Why? Because many years ago when I tried this same process, my conversion rate was less than 3%. We ran the numbers. We tested the methodologies.
This means that if we were to target highly qualified connections, then 3 out of every 100 would be a potential lead. I say potential because no sales have come from this yet. Just leads.
Now let’s think for a moment. If you are on this platform and are aware of this marketing practice, how many of these phishing for leads messages would you answer even if you needed the service?
Very little I suppose…
And right here is one of the main reasons why this methodology is toxic and bad for business. I would not want my name or business affiliated to any of these profiles or messages they are sending.
Also,they impede actual business owners who are on LinkedIn and trying to do business. This marketing methodology disassociates trust, neglects rapport and turns off the actual high quality client from wanting to do business on the platform.
So is there an actual Social Selling Process that works on LinkedIn and other Social Platforms for generating and converting high quality leads into clients?
As a Business Consultant and Mindset Coach one of the things I help my clients with is Social Selling or how to optimize their business within a Digital Landscape.
So let’s get started shall we!
1ST STEP: Build a Foundation of Value for Potential Clients
It used to be on LinkedIn that your profile was built to sell your skill-set to recruiters or head hunters. Even today people build their profiles as a Billboard of who they are.
If you are looking for a career change or seeking a new job this is probably a good idea. If you are on LinkedIn to Network and build business relationships…probably not the best idea.
So how do you optimize your LinkedIn profile for Business?
- Organize your profile with a Value Driven Orientation from a Top Down Approach.
- Don’t focus on yourself, instead imagine that you were the client viewing the profile and were in need of the services you offered. What would you want to see? What is the differentiation between you and your competition?
- Keyword optimize your profile (Headline, Title, Description, Work History, Skills, Recommendations, etc) for what a potential client might search for.
2ND STEP: Get Recommendations and send over a format in the request message.
- Create a LinkedIn Recommendation Template that includes — Your Name, Your Company and the Top 3 Keywords that you are targeting.
- Get a minimum of 3 Recommendations. This is so that the LinkedIn Algorithm will recognize you as a professional in that given field.
- Keep the recommendations to actual clients you have worked with. Personal recommendations are great when you are job hunting but really do not do you justice when you are trying to land a big contract.
3RD STEP: Content, Content, Content…
- Create high value content that drives the value that you and your business give.
- Do not be a salesman. Try to avoid posting promotions, sales, deals or anything related to selling. Just give value!
- Post at a minimum 3 posts a week. Try to include 1 article every month. A post should be engaging and relevant to your business and value you give.
If you want to automate your posts, which is a great idea, here is a good free platform to do so. (Visit Postfity Here)
4TH STEP: Quality of your Connections Matter
- Create a client avatar. This is model of the ideal client that you are wanting to attract. Then use LinkedIn search filter to identify potential clients. Only connect with people you have identified through this process.
- I would recommend not sending an introduction message when connecting within someone you do not know. There are a few reason for this but most importantly, human curiosity will always win. By not sending a connection message you are giving the opportunity to this potential client to view your optimized profile, of which is designed specifically to give them value. If they viewed your profile, connected with you, then you can move them up in up in your pipeline as a hot lead.
- Connect with the decision makers. It sometimes can be difficult to get through the gatekeeper, especially with managed profiles. A tip of advice is to focus on businesses that are less than 50 employees and connect only with the decision maker that is relevant to your product or service.
Client Engagement Tips
There are a ton of different LinkedIn Lead Generation Software's and Tools on the market that can make your Sales Experience highly automated and reduce the time drastically. These are great tools and should be used in a limited fashion in my opinion.
My recommendation is to never automate messages. Any communication with a potential client should be done by the account owner and the value exchanged should be relevant to the profile content.
When you are communicating with a potential client, do your research and find out a little about them. Find commonalities and things that you can both relate to. Strike up conversations based on these topics.
If they are posting to their feed….engage in their posts, like, comment, share. Pay attention and watch for potential business problems or recommendations they are looking for. Read their articles and check out their website and other social media.
By sticking to the process I have laid out here your content will attract the right clients and your direct message engagements will build the rapport. The objective is to be the subject matter expert in the eyes of your potential client.
That is the reason they connected with you.
If you are interested in LinkedIn Sales Training for yourself or your Business feel free to reach me here.
LinkedIn Sales Training and Consulting ← Visit Me Here
If you are interested in Mindset Coaching please follow the links below.
About the Author
Joshua is a Transformational Mindset Coach and Business Consultant. He has over 25 years of study, practice and teaching in Personal Development, Mind and Body Coherence, Leadership Cultivation and Optimal Mindset Development.
He has a unique approach to coaching where he is able to elaborate complex and integrative concepts into easy to understand models. Coaching is a long process and requires massive amounts of energy and commitment from the client and the coach.
Joshua brings an intense positive energy and awareness to each client as he develops trust based relationships and high levels of emotional and mental communication. He can quickly shift client paradigms and unmask mental and emotional obstructions. This removes the power from pain derived emotions that can shroud our mental state and impede our personal and professional development.
When it comes to self-growth, personal and professional improvement and shifting mindsets. Joshua has the unique ability to transcend the ordinary and bring about positive effective change within someones life.