Faster than a speeding bullet…Capturing prospects in a single bound – It’s LinkedIn!
Yes, LinkedIn—today’s best friend and rainmaker in media sales. With its plethora of users and information, it’s the best prospecting tool we have for reaching new and hidden decision-makers, shortening the sales process, lifting the quality of the sales conversation, and increasing closing ratios.
And check out the statistics:
58.5 million US users (44% in companies with over 10,000 employees)
Forget cold calling. Prospects in LinkedIn want to be found and by using proper “netiquette” you can reach out to them. Moreover, LinkedIn equalizes the hierarchical playing field by giving direct access to higher-level decision-makers. And, since LinkedIn clues you in to a prospect’s marketing needs, you can more easily move the conversation into a profitable off-line connection.
So, faster than you can gas up the car, you can learn a few simple steps to size up your LinkedIn prospect:
1. Search for the company profile. You’ll get a birds-eye-view of the company’s positioning and perhaps a peek at the organizational chart.
2. Check the online portrait. Here’s an easy one. A friendly, smiling face signals an approachable prospect
3. Review the contact’s professional status. What does this person actually do—and is it something your best prospects also do? How does this prospect present himself? What does he want people to know about him?
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4. Find out if you have shared interests. Thanks to her LinkedIn information, a recent prospect and I bonded over our Civil War reading.
5. See if you share acquaintances. A recent client called a mutual friend and heard about the high quality of my work. Thanks, LinkedIn!
6. Check for affiliations. Contacting someone who’s a member of one of your LinkedIn groups makes you a friend among equals.
7. Read group conversations. Does their point of view match yours? Can you jump into the ongoing chat—perhaps as a knowledgeable expert?
8. Look for updates. Because LinkedIn alerts you to profile updates, you can follow contacts from company to company. You may even gain entrée to a new client that had previously locked its doors.
9. See who else has viewed the profile. Who is your prospect doing business with? Any leads here? Do you know who they know?
10. Invite prospects to join your professional network. They’re now your captive audience.
11. Ask someone for introductions. Use your established LinkedIn relationships to expand your contact base.t to know who your friends know!
How do you use LinkedIn to sell media? Drop us a line in the comments below.