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Effective Prospecting on LinkedIn: How to Turn a Connection into a Client Identify your ideal clients and start building authentic relationships with them.

By Melanie Goodman

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If you are interested in prospecting for sales or planning to run an outreach program, LinkedIn can prove to be extremely profitable for you. The platform can be used to look up prospective clients' profiles before emailing or messaging them.

This can seem quite hard initially, given the vastness of this platform. However, I can help in making this easy for you. This article will tell you everything you need to know about LinkedIn Prospecting, covering everything from creating an effective LinkedIn prospecting strategy to actual templates and tips for getting the best results. Let's dive in.

What is LinkedIn prospecting?

LinkedIn prospecting aims to identify your ideal clients so that authentic relationships can be built with them. LinkedIn prospecting is done by sifting through the platform for uncovering sales leads, which can then be converted into clients. To explain it simply, LinkedIn prospecting is pretty much like cold calling, only more effective and less intrusive. A general LinkedIn prospecting process will involve the following steps:

1. Creating personas of the buyers and identifying their main pain points.

2. Find leads that would match the created personas. Since there are millions of users on LinkedIn, leads can be found with the help of advanced filters.

3. Structuring the outreach campaign, where the messages and the follow-up rate are decided.

Since LinkedIn is a professional network for nurturing relationships, it can prove to be a great platform for forging connections with key decision-makers across various industries. It allows you to communicate with a large audience and makes finding the exact buyer personas you are looking for easier.

Besides, LinkedIn can also be used to analyse the customer base of a competitor and their prospecting strategy.

Optimise your LinkedIn profile for prospecting.

When you reach out to any prospective client, the first thing they will be looking at is your LinkedIn profile. If they do not know you personally or professionally, you can expect that they will carry out due diligence. After they have determined why you reached out to them, they might decide to respond to you. This makes optimising your profile a necessity rather than an optional step!

When optimising your profile, the best way to go about it is by thinking from the perspective of the target audience. Consider what kind of solutions they might be looking for, and then come up with keywords to capture their attention. Use these in your headline and mention them in your profile video if you are adding one.

LinkedIn connection request.

Sending out messages after narrowing down a prospect can be quite tricky. The person you are sending the connection request to most likely does not know you, and they are not aware of the solution you are providing. Something that can benefit in reaching out to a prospect is a mutual connection. You can mention the name of the mutual connection in the outreach message. If there is no mutual connection, you can look for other commonalities with the prospect to make your outreach message more personalised.

What messages actually work? Those that aren't sales. Following are some ideas that garner acceptance:

Hi Name

LinkedIn has suggested your profile a few times to me this week - probably as I am working closely with a number of other {titles} {based in location}

Best regards/thanks in advance, Your name


Hi Name

I'm looking to connect with a small number of {titles} and, having read your profile, I'd love to connect if you're similarly open to it.

Best regards/thanks in advance, Your name

One step at a time, of course. You're only looking to get your connection request accepted. The conversation starters come next.

LinkedIn welcome.

Offer to introduce them to someone in your network or send them a resource. For example:

Hi Name,

Thanks, appreciate the connection, lovely to meet you. I've just been circulating a copy of XYZ to my clients this week, and it may be of similar interest to you - would you like a copy?


Hi Name,

Lovely to meet you. I have a pretty substantial network of ……..If ever you would like an intro, let me know.

Best, Your name

First follow up.

Hi Name

As a new connection, I thought I'd initiate some conversation if you have a few mins! What's your biggest gripe/challenge with XYZ at the moment?

You might consider recording a short, one-minute welcome video using Loom on desktop or send a voice message straight from the LinkedIn mobile app.

Follow up # 2 (sent a good few weeks later).

Hi Name

What sort of clients do you work with? I'd love to learn more about your business as I try and send referrals to people in my network. Would you be interested in having a 10min chat next Tuesday (name the day, it feels less like you have sent it to 50 people)


Hi Name

I'm just putting the final flourishes to a resource called XYZ - would you like a copy once it's done?

People like to be asked, offered something or united but not sold to

Use softening phrases such as "I thought this may appeal but no issue if it doesn't…) or "no need to reply if you're swamped at the moment.

Follow up # 3: The 'Yes, that's me' message.

Here are some examples:

I've been working with accounting partners to raise their visibility without spending hours on social media - would you like some help with this?

I help asset managers leverage LinkedIn to ut them a step ahead vis-a-vis their competitors - would you like some support with this?

I'm looking to teach the 4 components of a successful LinkedIn strategy to a handful of senior XYZs who want to leverage LinkedIn in 2022, would you like to know more?

Lastly, create/post useful content.

This will allow you to strengthen your presence on the platform, which will make it easier to reach out to your target audience. Think about creating long-form, industry-related content. You can also post presentations and videos, and join groups to get involved in the discussions.

With this, we have covered everything there is to know to start effectively prospecting on LinkedIn. Using these tips, you will be able to carry out an excellent outreach campaign and generate better leads and identify your ideal client on the platform.

Melanie Goodman

Owner and Founder of Trevisan

Melanie Goodman is owner and founder of Trevisan. Melanie specialises in providing CPD-accredited LinkedIn marketing and LinkedIn training services to the professional services sector in Europe, drawing on her comprehensive knowledge of and experience in finance and law. Her company assists businesses to achieve their goals by providing bespoke LinkedIn growth and visibility strategies.

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