Is your pipeline full? It should be. There are 255 people born every minute, so you could have over 1,275 new leads by the time you finish this blog. The problem is qualifying them adequately. If you want to become a Social Selling rock star, you've got to qualify as you search. In the days before LinkedIn, you had to be lucky or charming. Now, you just have to be smart. It all starts with this magic 8-ball of clever ways to locate your best leads on LinkedIn.
1. Help them find you
You don't have to spend all your time looking if you have the kind of LinkedIn profile that brings prospects to you. Craft your profile with highly searched keywords in your title and summary. This will take a bit of research and change over time. There's an art to crafting a profile, so take the time to get it right in terms of motivational text, images and video.
2. Shorten your elevator pitch
Check your profile to see what it looks like for your connections and the public. The biggest difference is that connections see your Summary, while the public only sees your Headline. Like a tweet, the Headline gives you just 120 characters to be intriguing. Make them want to connect. For your Summary, imagine you're writing a commercial. Treat LinkedIn like a permanent networking event and remember that brevity equals impact.
3. Leverage Advanced Search
Take a look at what your best customers have in common. Build a persona that outlines who you are looking for in terms of company position, years in the industry, biggest challenges and motivations. Find out what forces are shaping their industry today. Then you can use LinkedIn to search for prospects that match your ideal industry, company size and job title.
4. Reuse your most profitable searches
People are more mobile than ever, both geographically and in terms of their careers. The same Advanced Search you used a few months ago will bring up brand new prospects now so save your searches and keep the ones that delivered good prospects. They will do the same in the future.
5. Locate the top businesses districts in any city
In every city, there's a business district where every company wants to locate their headquarters. Those who have made it tend to cluster where rent is high. Combine LinkedIn's search categories like keyword and zip code to find companies in the right industry who can afford prime real estate.
6. Stay on top of potential prospects using LinkedIn features
LinkedIn can offer you various features like Tags, Notes and Reminders to keep you updated on each prospect and remind you to stay on track.
7. Build alliances with influencers
Social Selling is all about connecting with those who can amplify your message. Search for presenters at industry conferences and popular bloggers. Connect with them and gain their endorsements to boost your online reputation. You'll be able to join and learn from the top Social Selling influencers at the Social Selling Summit on Sept. 1, with leaders like Grant Cardone, Jill Konrath, Jeffrey Gitomer and more.
8. Maintain visibility with content
Prepare and share a steady stream of blogs, videos and content with practical advice that your prospects can use. LinkedIn Pulse is both a platform for posting your ideas and a resource for finding out what your prospects value. You want to stay near the top of prospective buyer's news feeds.
9. Connect strategically
Many of your connections may turn out to be people you never meet offline. As you build your network beyond 500 connections, be professional in choosing who you would like to connection with. Don't clog up your LinkedIn with everyone you bump into - that's what Facebook is for. Learn to connect strategically.
10. Spark relevant conversations in Groups
Groups can be use full for introductions, but it is also a place where you can zero in on prospects and answer their questions. This demonstrates how your expertise can be a resource to them with tons of relevant industry knowledge.
11. Explore your 2nd degree connections
Pay close attention to Newsfeed updates that announce when your Connections add new Connections. That puts you one step away from a new prospect. Do a bit of research and decide if it would be worth asking for an introduction. Another fast lead generation tool is leveraging LinkedIn job change alerts. Advanced LinkedIn searching allows you to monitor anyone who has worked for that customer and has now moved on to another company. These former employees of your customer are a great place to begin your lead generation efforts.
12. Practice "incremental iteration"
Don't burn yourself out on LinkedIn spending hours on one day and none for weeks – you need to be consistent. "Incremental iteration" means doing a little bit on a regular basis. Even 20 minutes a day can be enough, once you get into the groove. Starting out, you'll need to spend more time perfecting your profile and trying out new search techniques. Be the tortoise not the hare. Slow and steady keeps the pipeline moving.
Getting $5 back for every $1 you spend
That last point has applications for all of your social selling challenges. Make social selling part of your daily routine. Many problems tend to solve themselves as you establish your online presence and reputation. You can also fastback your learning with our free online sessions. Discover how you can pocket a $5 in ROI for every $1 you put into social selling, just as more than 50,000 sales reps have already done. Starting now, your prospects are looking up.