3 Easy Ways To Prospect For Clients Using LinkedIn
Prospecting on LinkedIn isn’t anything like the smiling and dialing of yesteryear. It’s a LOT more fun! On LinkedIn, it’s all about relationship development, which is why you got into sales in the first place, right?
Whether you’re just starting to use LinkedIn to drum up new clients or you’re an experienced “Linkhead” who needs some fresh ideas, these prospecting methods should jump start your efforts.
1. Add A Video
Remember the concept of the “Elevator Pitch”? You know, where you’re on an elevator with one of your top prospects and you have the length of your ride to sell yourself to them. Well, translate that into the digital world and it becomes a 30 second video pitch that immediately differentiates yourself from your competition. Slap that puppy on your LinkedIn Profile and you’re in business!
Here’s why I love this idea:
- It only takes 30 seconds to record, and you can use your smart phone to film it.
- Everyone who visits your LinkedIn Profile will see it (if you place it towards the top).
- Just having a video on your profile will set you apart from your competition.
How this has worked for me…
My drive these days has been to hire quality talent. So I recently took this elevator pitch concept and made a (slightly longer) recruiting video for our agency that I put at the top of my LinkedIn Profile (see below). That was two months ago. I have since seen a spike in applications like no other, and I have had the good fortune to hire two people in that timeframe for positions I’ve been trying to fill for a while now.
2. Join A Few Groups
Think about it. In the real world, you’d go to chamber of commerce meetings or affinity group meetings to schmooze with people in your target niche markets. In the digital world, that’s exactly why LinkedIn groups exist! They’re the “Ballroom A” or “Joe’s Dive Bar” of the online marketing world.
Here’s some tips to get you started:
- Join 2 or 3 groups in your target niche.
- Start discussions.
- Leave comments that offer solutions or new ways of looking at the subject in question.
- Be relevant.
- DON’T sell!! Focus on offering help and developing relationships.
Remember, LinkedIn and other social media sites aren’t meant to be used as a substitution for building quality relationships with clients and prospects. On the contrary, they serve to ENHANCE those relationships. If you’re interested in digging deeper into this subject, check out these 5 ways to build client rapport using social media.
3. Give Unsolicited Recommendations
Notice I didn’t say GET recommendations. As the 90’s band New Radicals said…
“You only get what you give.”
Now, I’ll admit this recommendations thing is a new concept for me, too. LinkedIn Recommendations are different from the often overused Endorsements which LinkedIn makes way too easy to shower upon its users. I must get 30 endorsements a week from people I barely know for skills I know they can’t confirm I possess.
In contrast, Recommendations are harder to come by and therefore hold more weight for most viewers of your profile. They tell a first-hand story about the calibre professional you really are. Turns out that’s EXACTLY the kind of thing your prospects are trying to uncover before making the decision to do business with you. Go figure.
If you’ve never heard of LinkedIn or you still don’t see the power it possesses to help you prospect for new customers…just go back to sleep. But if you want to take your new client development to the next level, give somese things a try. You couldn’t pay me enough to “dial for dollars” the old fashioned way for a living.
I challenge you to spend 15 minutes or less a day for a month putting forth much less (but more meaningful) effort to develop relationships using LinkedIn. Then come back here and gloat in the comments section about the new clients you’re bringing on board.