How to Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting + Outreach

linkedin-sales-prospecting-outreachWe realize that we aren’t sharing any groundbreaking secrets here…but we love using LinkedIn for sales prospecting and outreach. 

Alongside other efforts like outbound email and cold-calling, LinkedIn maximizes the effectiveness of your campaigns and increases your exposure.

But we have a few “rules of thumb” and tips for going about it in the right way…

(Make sure to check out the bottom of this post for a free desk resource!)

Think Outside the Box

LinkedIn is super target-rich — most (if not all) of your highest value prospects are on LinkedIn, making it really easy to find and connect with them if you play your cards right.

Our number one rule of thumb with LinkedIn is to think outside the box. LinkedIn is a busy place where a lot of other salespeople are trying to accomplish the same things you are — if you don’t set yourself apart, you’ll drown in the noise.

Data is readily available on LinkedIn — like where the prospect went to school (and which teams they probably cheer for or against), what causes they care about, where their company is based (if it’s close enough, offer to buy them a coffee!), awards they’ve won, articles they’ve written, etc.

Use this data to your advantage to personalize your prospecting efforts and your outreach.

Incorporating LinkedIn Into Your Sales Flows

LinkedIn is a great compliment to phone and email outreach — it increases your chances of getting in front of your highest value prospects through cross-channel visibility, and it’s really easy to add LinkedIn outreach as a step in your Sales Flow.

We like to mix things up with our sales messaging, and we try to do the same with LinkedIn outreach by using a different approach on each touch.

Here are a few of the ways we incorporate LinkedIn touches in our Sales Flows…

  1. A quick profile view — This prompts an email notification to the prospect where they’ll see that you’ve viewed their profile. This action usually doesn’t elicit a response, but it will increase awareness of your brand/product.
  2. Send a connection request — This is especially beneficial if you and the prospect have any common connections that you can reference. It helps build credibility with the prospect.
  3. Tag the prospect in a post you’ve written/read — As long as it’s relevant to the prospect, this is a great way to draw attention to your name/brand and to elicit curiosity.
  4. Comment on a post written by the prospect — Try to add value to a discussion with the prospect. And if your product can help solve a problem they’ve written about, even better!
  5. Send a direct message — We don’t send every prospect a direct message, but if we’re getting towards the end of the Flow and we haven’t gotten any response, we’ll send a friendly message via LinkedIn before we stop our outreach.  

We thought it might be helpful to have a “cheat sheet,” so we made this one-pager that can be used as a desk resource for LinkedIn prospecting & outreach! Or, give us a shout if you want to streamline your process.