In their book No B.S. Guide to Direct Response Social Media Marketing, business coach and consultant Dan S. Kennedy and marketing strategist Kim Walsh-Phillips show you how to use direct response marketing principles on a variety of social media platforms to drive real results and profit. In this edited excerpt, the authors offer tips on using LinkedIn to boost sales.
LinkedIn is the one network we're asked about most often. Some business professionals are more comfortable in that space because it appears to be, well, more professional. The problem is, LinkedIn’s users aren't nearly as conditioned to click on ads on LinkedIn, making mass marketing more difficult. But all is not lost.
Yes, it's a powerful tool. Several of our business's accounts came through our LinkedIn profiles, and our clients receive messages on the network with valuable opportunities. But we haven't found it to be effective beyond one-to-one sales and hence, not scaleable.
That said, LinkedIn can be very effective for authority positioning and for making one-to-one sales, so we do recommend using LinkedIn’s free tools to help grow your sales.
Repeat after me: “Free qualified leads are good.” The following five easy tactics can help you use LinkedIn to draw in prospects and land sales.
1. Get introductions.
To quickly build your prospect list, utilize your network tree by leveraging LinkedIn Recommendations. These ensure that your client or customer really knows the person you're asking for an introduction to. Here’s how:
- Make a list of your top customers and/or clients.
- Go to their LinkedIn profiles.
- Check to see if they have any recommendations.
- Make a list of those who recommended them to see if any of them would be worth having a sales conversation with.
- Write an email to your customer and/or client asking for a simple introduction to this other person.
Here’s a sample of the email you could send:
I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to say thanks again for being such a great client. We enjoyed working with you on ______________ (project) and were glad to see (successful outcome).
I was hoping you might be able to help me. I know how busy you are, so if you're too busy, I certainly understand.
But I saw _____________ (name) recommended you on your LinkedIn profile. Great recommendation by the way. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind doing an email intro? I'm looking to increase my knowledge of this industry’s needs and contacts, and I'm just looking for a quick intro so I can connect.
If you're agreeable, here’s email copy you can cut and paste for the email intro:
I wanted to offer a quick intro to our ______________ (name of service and your title), (your full name). (Your first name) and her team have worked with us to (write what you've done for the client). (Your first name) asked me for an introduction to someone else in the (x industry) so I'm connecting the two of you. She's researching our industry’s needs and building out her network of contacts.
I encourage the two of you to set up a time to talk.
If not, no problem. Thank you again for your business, and I look forward to working with you on (future project).
Of course, if you get the introduction, be sure to say thank you!
2. Start a conversation.
Scroll through your newsfeed for postings about job title changes, career moves, and work anniversaries. Post a positive comment publicly to these people, then dive into a private conversation using LinkedIn messaging. Ask additional questions about the change, what the person’s role is, and what the plans are for the future. Start this first email just talking about them. As the person responds, work to identify opportunities where you might fulfill needs. Do not sell in LinkedIn though. Instead, request to have a conversation offline and begin your sales dialogue there.
3. Use "People You May Know" to find more prospects.
Scroll through the list of “People You May Know” suggested connections, and as you're adding to your network, jot down those you’d like to be in your sales pipeline. Each day, message five of these new contacts to thank them for their connection and ask about their position and role at their firm. Again, do not sell on LinkedIn, but instead, request to have a conversation offline. LinkedIn’s built-in CRM is a powerful tool for managing this process.
4. Have a posting frenzy.
Take advantage of LinkedIn’s Long Form Posts to promote your authority to your entire network. Do this quickly, so you can focus on selling and not writing. Simply breathe life into old content. Start by writing an introduction to a blog post or article, and post the introduction as the "Long Form Post."
We repost our blogs in the LinkedIn Long Form Post and include links in the articles to opt-in to our mailing lists. This has moved LinkedIn up into our top ten source of mailing list opt-ins.
5. If you want to try advertising, sponsor an update.
Using “Sponsored Updates” from LinkedIn’s advertising platform can get your messaging in front of key contacts quickly. These updates are run from your company page. You can focus your target market based on geographic location, industry, title, and keywords, just to name a few. To see if this is worth ongoing investment for you, start small and analyze your results before spending a lot. With the analytics report, you'll receive metrics for: Impressions, Clicks, Interactions, Followers Acquired, and Engagement.