5 Tips for Engaging with Prospects Through LinkedIn
By: Jock Breitwieser, SocialSellinator
July 17, 2019
Whether you’re a B2B marketer aiming to drive sales through LinkedIn, or simply raising your brand profile on the platform, engaging effectively with prospects on LinkedIn is easy when you have a process in place. In the end, you always want to build relationships and emphasize the human aspect in social media interactions.
Study Your Prospect’s Profile
Knowing your targets seems obvious, but is a step frequently skipped when marketers want to move fast. Take some time to read your prospect’s profile. What do they say about themselves? Where did they go to school? Do you have hobbies in common? Do they attend the same conferences as you?
The more you know about someone, the better you can tailor your message and explain how you can address their needs. Accompany is a terrific complementary tool for this; syncing with your calendar, it provides quick profiles on individuals and gives you useful conversation-starters ahead of each meeting.
Look for Common Connections or Interests
Do either of you work in the same industry or with the same people? Do you know someone at a company with whom they may have a relationship? LinkedIn’s shared connections are a great starting place for finding this information.
Leverage any unique connections or interest that you might have in common.
Personalize All Messages and Be Specific
Automation is changing the way we do business. Artificial intelligence offers marketers the ability to integrate automation into social selling on LinkedIn. While automation can bring some benefits, don’t overdo it. If you genuinely want to engage, your personal touch will go a long way.
Reference things that are specific to prospects’ work history, company, products, business or industry. Make a point of including non-generic information to prove you aren’t sending automated messages. Perceived automation is a major hurdle for developing relationships through LinkedIn.
Keep Your Messages Short
Don’t send a 1,000-word opening introduction to a new prospect. Instead, keep things short and sweet. If you send them a message, keep the focus of the message on a single topic. Ask one question. Share one piece of content. Mention one connection that you have with them. This approach increases your likelihood of receiving a response.
Everyone likes talking about themselves. Ask your prospects questions about their work, company, product or industry. Start there; future opportunities to strengthen relationships will reveal themselves over time.
Bonus Tip: Get Away From LinkedIn
Once you know how to engage, it’s all about getting away from the LinkedIn messaging platform as quickly as possible.
The reason you want to move the conversation to email is easy: You can send them more detailed information; it’s better formatted; attachments look better and you have their email address. That’s key, because most people check their email multiple times per day, but are likely less diligent with their LinkedIn messages. If you have a CRM or lead generation tool, having the prospect’s email address allows for targeted and scheduled outreach.
In a nutshell: Once a prospect has expressed interest, ask them for their email address so that you can send them more information.
As much as LinkedIn is a fantastic platform for social selling, it’s crucial to identify your prospects and then engage with them appropriately. The tips outlined in this article should give you a good starting point for improving your social selling on LinkedIn and engaging with prospects in a meaningful way that leads to business.