LinkedIn, if used correctly, can definitely be one of the greatest things since sliced bread. Here’s a couple of examples that delivered 15 new prospects a week to one of my clients.
Getting 15 New Prospects a Week from LinkedIn
One of my clients, a $40M company up in Chicago had hired me to help them develop their marketing plan. Once that was done, they liked it so well they asked me to implement it for them.
Normally, I’d rather be a coach, helping them learn how to succeed, rather than implementing it for them, but, this time, because I was also becoming hyped over what this thing could do I agreed to help them become national and eventually international, moving from just the Chicago area.
They were a company with an IT product they were selling to local city governments. So, I would do a search on LinkedIn for IT companies in each of several target metropolitan areas. I’d have a list, and actually a common interest that would allow me to make a call to those IT companies.
First, keep in mind that most small business owners make the mistakes, when they call a potential client, of trying to talk about themselves. Marketing is ALWAYS about the prospect and not about you. So, if you start off by doing anything about you then you are starting off on the wrong foot.
A call that starts off with, “I’m John from dah dah dah, and I’d like to introduce myself and what we do” will get the door slammed in your face, probably before you get to the “I’d like to introduce myself”.
Starting your call off about them will immediately perk their interest, and even get them begging for you. It’s all a matter of perspective.
So, start your call off about them.
In this case I started the call this way:
“Hi John. I found your IT company on LinkedIn. I’ve been looking for an IT company in ________ [name the city].
“Do you know how hard it is to find an IT company that I can rely on? [let them talk if they have a response]
“Can you tell me about your company? [let them talk, and talk, and talk. They are now in their sales mode and trying to convince you that you should talk to them further]
After they wind down:
“I represent a $40M Chicago company that is looking for help from an IT company in your area. We are looking for ____________ [I gave them specs of the skills we needed to support our work there.]
You get the idea. We were actually looking for a company that would resell products and services in that city, and needed some IT experience to sell, and install the products, but they’d be buying our products and services for resale.
As long as you keep the focus on THEM and what THEY WANT you will literally get that phone answered almost 100% of the time, and the same for getting an appointment 100% of the time.
I delivered consistently 15+ new prospects a week, and I was sometimes quite surprised who I met, everything from companies that had 95% of the banks in several South American countries (and who introduced my client to them as well), to one that had the largest distribution network in Asia and the top government officials in some of those countries. That all came from LinkedIn.
What are those on LinkedIn Looking for?
Those on LinkedIn are looking for
- A networking experience, someone to connect with that can refer them, or increase their sales.
- Increasing their sales
- Strategic partners for two-way improving of each other sales and referrals.
So, help them get that with your call. They will literally be jumping up and down trying to further this conversation when you call if you make it clear that you want to help them do those things.
Other Ways to Use LinkedIN
I use a similar approach to increase connections in other networking. For instance, I’m in a BNI (Business Networking International) group who is always looking for new visitors each and every week. Recognizing that there are between 250 and 500 new people every day joining LinkedIn with my metropolitan area, and that every one of them is looking to extend his network, and find people to help him get referrals and sell his products, and that BNI provides all of those things to it’s members and visitors, I can call any of those 250 to 500 people, keeping the focus on THEM and get them coming as a visitor to our next meeting.
The reason I do this so freely is that 50% of those that show up at BNI become my clients, and I get 75% of those I call from LinkedIn show up, it’s a fantastic call to client ratio, at least 30+%.
And yet another way to use LinkedIn — I once created a Top CEO’s of Top Businesses in Kansas City networking group. It was an informal luncheon meeting of the top CEO’s in this city. I’d find them on LinkedIn and call. Since I was offering something they wanted most of them actually took the call. (And how hard has it been for you to call a CEO, let alone a TOP CEO?).
We had a very small group, typically 4-8 for lunch every week or so, all just wanting to meet other top CEOs of the city for lunch. it worked!