Do you ever wonder how these seemingly successful sales reps always seem to be interacting with new prospects and closing more deals, raking in commissions, earning bonuses, and prizes?
They prospect, prospect, and then prospect some more. They prospect like there is no tomorrow. They make sales prospecting their mantra. They prospect like fanatics.
Prospecting day in and day out ensures that your sales pipeline does not stagnate. It ensures that there is a steady stream of prospects for your sales team. They can then potentially convert them into revenue-generating customers. Prospecting also gives you a predictable income to work with.
The real secret to sustained success for a sales rep is, as abundantly clear, continuous prospecting. Though many sales professionals despise prospecting, it is one of the most important parts of sales. Unfortunately, the majority of reps today use ineffective and outdated sales prospecting techniques. There are numerous techniques more effective and there are abundant resources that could lead to a higher volume of well-qualified leads. One of the most underrated resources for prospecting today is LinkedIn.
WHY PROSPECT ON LINKEDIN?
When it was founded back in the year 2002, LinkedIn’s primary goal and function were to be a professional social networking website. Today, the company – which has reportedly more than 660 million active members – provides more many functionalities than just networking and job-seeking. It has slowly transformed into a platform for recruiting, personal branding, and the topic of this blog post: sales prospecting.
If you are looking for business-to-business (B2B) prospects, LinkedIn is the best place on the planet because it has the market cornered right now. No other B2B network in existence has as much reach and members as LinkedIn does. In addition to a large number of members in 200 different countries, two new members join the platform every second of the day. LinkedIn is a behemoth and one of the most visible websites in the world.
Looking for prospects on LinkedIn is effective because it can easily work as a search engine for professionals. For all its members, LinkedIn has categorized, analyzed, sorted, tagged, and saved every little bit of data. By leveraging all that data, LinkedIn can help you find your prospects.
For example, within 3 seconds, you can find a list of CEOs in San Diego who work in the health care industry and have a company with more than 10 employees.
If you know what to say to people and have the knack to communicate well, LinkedIn is like the world’s biggest professional coffee shop. You can have one-on-one, real-time personal engagement with people via the LinkedIn message box, status updates, as well as articles. Professionals worldwide check in every day. If you are perceptive and pay attention, you can leverage LinkedIn for marketing like no other social media platform.
HOW TO FIND PROSPECTS ON LINKEDIN
LinkedIn has an internal search engine that is incredible for finding prospects. Whether you’re on the LinkedIn mobile app or the desktop version, start by typing the job title of the person you want to reach in the search box. On the search results page, filters with checkboxes help you narrow your search results to your exact ideal customer. You can further filter results to match your geographical location. For even more nuance, you can add more filters to find people in your specific niche.
While LinkedIn free can work just fine, we recommend upgrading to a paid premium account because you will get more data and search filters. You also have more access to the people you are looking for and who look at your profile. Think of a premium account as paying for more access to the search engine.
Make it a point to engage with people whose posts show up in your home newsfeed. Visit some of your targeted LinkedIn groups to engage in discussions that are relevant to you, your clients, and your prospects. Show your knowledge and share insights. Follow your prospects, see what they post, and make a comment with the intention to add value. This is a great strategy for getting back on a prospect’s radar when they have gone dark.
Prospecting does not have to be any harder than it already is. Don’t just stick to the same old sales prospecting techniques and go by the book because it’s what you’ve always done. Practice different and modern techniques until you find the right mix of modern and traditional sales techniques that effectively support your prospecting and sales goals. Embrace LinkedIn to get access to millions of businesses and people from all around the globe. You never know who could be your next prospect.