Learn
Learn
Close

They Ask, You Answer

A revolutionary approach to inbound sales, content marketing, and today’s digital consumer.

Learn MoreLearn More

Free Courses in IMPACT+

Dozens of sales, marketing, and content courses inside IMPACT+. Start learning now.

See all coursesSee all courses
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Coaching & Implementation Services
Coaching & Implementation Services
Close

Services Overview

See how you can dramatically increase your inbound leads and sales.

Services Overview

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Fast track your team’s success with IMPACT's most popular service.

Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery

Web Design

Launch a beautiful website that consistently generates leads and revenue.

Web Design

Virtual Sales Training

Equip your sales team with comprehensive training designed to help them close more deals in today's virtual-first world.

Virtual Sales Training

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Train your company to take ownership of HubSpot and get the most out of your investment.

HubSpot Training & Implementation

Case Studies

See dozens of examples of companies succeeding with Digital Sales and Marketing Mastery and They Ask, You Answer.

Case Studies
Become a Coach
Become a Coach
Close

LinkedIn Prospecting: The Only 2 Things You Really Need to Know

LinkedIn Prospecting: The Only 2 Things You Really Need to Know Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

May 4th, 2015 min read

linkedin-prospecting-featured-image.jpgIn movies and TV shows, there’s this thing called a “meet-cute.”

Simply put, a meet-cute is the fateful moment in a story where romantic interests meet for the first time in an endearing, funny, or overall memorable way and hit it off.

Unfortunately, in the business world (and in real life for that matter), professional meet-cutes are rare and far in between. More commonly, marketers and salesmen need to take it upon themselves to go out and find and evaluate the perfect prospects for their organization.

One of the most powerful and effective arenas for doing this is LinkedIn, but surprisingly, most companies are not sure how to go about doing it the right way.

To help you get started, let's go through the two main things you really need to know about successful LinkedIn Prospecting: How to Find the Right People and How to Start the Conversation.  

How to Find the Right People

The key to successful LinkedIn Prospecting is knowing how and where to find the right people for your organization a.k.a. people who fit your buyer persona.

Once you have your persona(s) and ideal client criteria defined (i.e. Industry, Job Title, Geographic Location, Company Size, etc.), you can use these four LinkedIn features to begin your hunt.

1. Advanced Search

LinkedIn-Prospecting-Advanced-Search.png

Most users don’t realize how powerful LinkedIn’s Advanced Search really is. Beyond the little search bar at the top of your screen is a comprehensive search engine where you can refine your hunt specifically to your keywords or ideal client criteria such as:

  • Title
  • Company
  • School
  • Location
  • Profile Language
  • Nonprofit interests
  • Groups

If you have a LinkedIn Premium Account (Specifically Sales Navigator Professional or Recruiter Lite), you can narrow your results further to their interests, company size, function, and even years of experience.

Overall, the network’s Advanced Search provides a unique prospecting opportunity to find and qualify individuals without even picking up a phone.

2. “People Also Viewed…”

We’ve all seen this box on the sidebar of public profiles. Though slightly intrusive, this field can offer valuable insight into your prospect’s network and their company’s corporate structure.

For example, take a look at the field from IMPACT Marketing Director, John Bonini’s LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn-Prospecting-Also-Viewed.pngLinkedIn-Prospecting-Also-Viewed2.png

If you were unfamiliar with IMPACT prior to finding John, this box reveals a wealth of prospecting information about our company, including the names of both the CEO and COO, as well as a number of past and current employees. Details like this not only add color to the overall portrait of the company, but they also reveal a chain of command and direct access to decision makers.

3. Industry Groups

LinkedIn Industry Groups are designed to be a forum for individuals from similar professional backgrounds to meet and discuss current events, common problems, ideas, and overall, connect over their shared interests.

While the group discussions alone provide valuable insight into your buyer persona’s concerns and thought processes, their membership rosters also give you access to an exclusive list of people who are actively listening and may be interested in your service or product.

LinkedIn-Prospecting-IndustryGroups.png

LinkedIn-Prospecting-IndustryGroups2.png

By monitoring and belonging to Industry Groups, you are granted access to view more profile details of these members than you would by just viewing their individual public profiles. These details let you further qualify or disqualify the member as a potential prospect, and your shared group membership acts as a friendly icebreaker for future conversations and outreach attempts.

4. Company Page

For B2B organizations, LinkedIn Company Pages are a great resource for gathering important information about the state of your prospect straight from the source. This may include, but is not limited to:

  • Current Employees
  • Past Employees
  • Company Size
  • Company History
  • Current Services/Products
  • Positions Available
  • Client Recommendations

Information like this can help you further determine if the company is a suitable prospect and also gives you a clearer understanding of what you could be getting into.

It provides you with an inside look at what your prospect’s current concerns and initiatives are so that you can provide more context and relevance to your product or service when you contact them.

How to Start the Conversation

So you’ve found your prospects and done your research into their companies, but how do you break the ice? How do you get the conversation started?

LinkedIn can be a bit tricky when it comes to directly contacting people. While some may provide their email address, phone number, or even Twitter handle on their profiles, others may appear to be just out of reach behind LinkedIn’s iron gates (a.k.a. privacy settings.) Fortunately, despite these obstacles, the platform does provide you with several unique, native options to reach out.

Get “Introduced”

Unlike many other social networks, LinkedIn allows you to introduce your connections to each other from within the platform.

For example, if you are a 1st connection with a person (as I am with John Bonini, Bob Ruffolo, etc.), and they are connected to someone you’d like to be connected to (in this case, HubSpot’s Dharmesh Shah), you can request that they send a message introducing the two of you.

LinkedIn-Prospecting-GetIntroduced-1.png  LinkedIn-Prospecting-GetIntroduced-2.png

This message helps lay the foundation for your conversation. Instead of being just another connection request in their inbox, you will be the request with a back story. This will not only help you stand out from the crowd, but also provide memorable context to your future relationship. (Like any good meet-cute should.)

Send an InMail Message

If you do not have any shared connections with your prospect (and you have a Premium LinkedIn account) you may consider sending an InMail Message.

An InMail message is a private message sent to the LinkedIn Inbox of a person you are not connected to and are supposedly 30x more likely to get a response than a traditional cold call.

Depending on the level of your premium account, you only get a certain number of InMail credits each month, so use this feature sparingly and strategically. With this in mind, you may want to consider reserving InMail for reaching:

  • Decision Makers
  • Executives
  • Decision Influencers

Approach InMail as you would any volatile email marketing campaign. You want to have an enticing subject line, convey as much value and purpose in your message as possible in as few words possible, and elicit a follow-up action (in this case, a response or connection request.)

The more successful your InMail email, the more messages you will be able to send so guess keep track of your successes and failures and make adjustments accordingly.

Key Takeaway

When reaching out for the first time your end-all, be-all goal sould be to be relevant to your prospect’s situation.

Whether its a cold call or an InMail, no one wants to receive unsolicited messages from strangers or organizations trying to talk to them about things they don’t care about; they want to communicate with caring individuals who understand where they’re coming from and can offer value.

Knowing this, use your research from your prospect’s LinkedIn profiles, groups, and company pages to provide as much context to your message as possible. If your message can connect and resonate with your prospect personally, they are more likely to respond.

Want to learn more about digital sales and marketing?

Master digital sales and marketing when you join IMPACT+ for FREE. Gain instant access to exclusive courses and keynotes taught by Marcus Sheridan, Brian Halligan, Liz Moorehead, Ann Handley, David Cancel, Carina Duffy, Zach Basner, and more.

Sign up for free
Take a peek

Access hundreds of FREE courses and keynotes

Free Course
Digital Sales & Marketing Framework for Today’s Buyers
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
A New Way to Compete & Win
By: Brian Halligan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
How To Genuinely Feel Confident, Be Likable, And Build Trust On Camera
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Future of Marketing is Conversational​
By: David Cancel
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
HubSpot On a Budget: Getting Started with HubSpot Starter Hubs
By: Courtney Caldwell
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Assignment Selling: Content is Your Greatest Sales Tool
By: Marcus Sheridan
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Big, Bold, Brave New World of Marketing​
By: Ann Handley
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Investing in Incredible Digital Sales and Marketing Results
By: Chris Duprey
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
How To Show Your Content Makes Money With HubSpot Marketing and Sales Hubs
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
The Visual Sale
By: Marcus Sheridan & Tyler Lessard
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Marketing Tech: What’s Now, What’s Near and What’s Not Anytime Soon?​
By: Dharmesh Shah
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Inbound Lead Generation & Conversion Optimization
By: Carina Duffy
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Virtual Keynote
Fundamentals of Videography: You Can Be a Great Videographer Too
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
The Ultimate Customer Service Toolkit for Any Budget
By: Andriti Gulati
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
6 Topics Subject Matter Experts Need to Address
By: Kevin Phillips
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
Fanocracy: The Power of Making Business Personal​
By: David Meerman Scott
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
The Power of Pillar Content
By: Liz Moorehead
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Keynote
SEO for the Future
By: Franco Valentino
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Fundamentals of Social Media Marketing
By: Stephanie Baiocchi
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Deep Dive
A Practical Guide To Video Graphics
By: Colton Trcic
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Session
How To Get Your Community To Know, Like, And Trust You With Video
By: Marki Lemons Rhyal
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Free Course
Video Sales and Marketing Strategy
By: Zach Basner
View Course Preview View Course Preview
Here Are Some Related Articles You May Find Interesting

Want to Contribute Content to impactplus.com? Click Here.

IMPACT+ Sign Up
A FREE online learning community with on-demand courses, hundreds of expert-led sessions, thousands of your peers ready to support you, and much more.
Check it out
Hundreds of courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE
Check it out
Access hundreds of digital sales and marketing courses and recorded keynotes, completely FREE