Want more leads? More customers? Find new potential sales? Welcome to LinkedIn, the world’s largest business network with 300+ million members.
If you think that setting up your profile is all there is to using LinkedIn, think again. Once you’ve taken care of the basics of a good LinkedIn profile (make sure to google that), it’s time to get serious about using LinkedIn as a lead- and sales-generating tool. Here’s how I use LinkedIn like a boss to get more leads and online visibility by using lesser known or advanced LinkedIn features:
I use LinkedIn like a boss to get more leads and online visibility.
1. Use Premium Searches to find people that could use your products/services AND also have purchase authority (for example, I search for Director-level and above, with job titles that contain keywords like ‘SAP training’ or similar at large companies with 5000+ employees) – then connect to these people by using InMails (or you might direct connect if you know the person, the person is an open networker, or both of you belong to the same LinkedIn group). Once connected to these folks, resist the urge to pitch them your products (amateurs do this a lot).
2. Download your LinkedIn contacts into an Excel spreadsheet…names, emails and all. Then you can include them in your email marketing outreach campaigns and/or contact them directly. To download your contacts go to your Connections and click on the Settings icon in the upper right. On the following page you’ll find an Export LinkedIn Connections link on the right side.
3. Connect with your current customers (amazingly, many people forget to do this)…then give them a recommendation before asking for recommendations from them for your products/services. Give and get.
4. Write LinkedIn articles (just like this one) to establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry. Write about what you know but ‘ditch the pitch’ – nobody wants to be sold to. Be human, don’t sell – help solve problems instead.
5. Post status updates periodically – but do not self-promote! Share your own unique and valuable content. Also, don’t be lazy and just share other people’s stuff – take the time to identify an issue your potential customers have, then offer a solution. Rinse and repeat for a couple of months and you will build a nice following of people that want to hear what you have to say.
Your turn now. How do you use LinkedIn like a boss to generate more leads and sales opportunities? Share your insights below in the comments section – I read all of them!
Thomas Michael is the CEO of the Michael Management Corporation, the company that creates online SAP training that people actually enjoy taking. Tom lives in New York City, just returned from Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and is writing this article in Hamburg, Germany. Oh, and he enjoys traveling.