Since its boom in popularity in the late 2000s, LinkedIn has been used by millions of professionals for over a decade to connect with colleagues, network with potential employers, and recruit new candidates.
According to 99firms, LinkedIn is now used by over 90 million high-ranking influencers and 63 million decision-makers. With all of these people in one place, it’s a breeding ground for salespeople.
But there’s a problem with how sales pitches are conducted: taking the connection, receiving a generic sales pitch … Does this sound familiar to you?
As a CMO, I’m more than happy to get in touch with someone who sends me a request, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I’ll buy from you. This is not how decision makers buy; You rely on tactful marketing and recommendations from trusted colleagues. Sending a message with your pitch right away is the fastest way for me to dodge your business as it shows that your connection has been disingenuous and selfish from the start.
However, there’s no denying that LinkedIn is a fantastic sales tool. In a world where everyone else is sending insincere InMail, it is imperative that sales reps create unique, valuable messages that clean up the clutter and make a real impression.
Here are four recommendations to help you rise above real sales and be more personal on LinkedIn.
1. Teach me something
I asked a salesperson to record himself while they were reviewing my company’s website. The result was 30 minutes long. He shared lots of great tips and opportunities for improvement that I hadn’t thought of on my own. Meeting accepted.
Another seller shared certain conversion metrics based on their best estimate of the size of our business and comparisons with other B2B technology companies. Meeting accepted.
I’m sure your company has great hits and clients, but I care about mine. Tell me exactly how you will expand our bookings. If you can, the meeting will be accepted.
2. Demonstrate your worth by sharing content
Of the 610 million members on LinkedIn, only 3 million LinkedIn users share content each week, according to 99firms. That’s shocking.
Everyone, regardless of their role or function, should share industry content that is relevant to their potential customers. This increases their credibility on the platform. Include non-personalized information about how well your business is doing in your feed, not in people’s inboxes. Although it is latent, it is more natural to “post” it instead of immediately connecting to a spam message.
By consistently sharing content on your own profile that reflects the interests and needs of your prospects, you can be better positioned when it comes time to send an InMail. This is a reason for me to accept the connection when you contact us.
3. Make yourself visible
If you are serious about being real, follow your prospects on LinkedIn. I encourage sales reps to comment on or interact with the results of a prospect as long as they have something insightful to say. By adding to the conversation your prospects have on LinkedIn, you become visible and later lay the foundation for real interaction.
When salespeople can put so little extra effort into describing a particular contribution as something they have in common, I’m more likely to accept their connection request if I haven’t already – or even have a conversation.
4. Personalize your communication
Building on the previous point, sales reps need to make sure that their communications are about me and my company, not them. I can’t tell you how many InMails I get are clearly just a copy and paste from the same script vendors that everyone is locked out with.
Instead, check out what I shared about my industry or company. Check out where I went to school, my interests, my preferences. It’s all out there and ripe for sellers to refer to when they get in touch.
However, if I don’t use LinkedIn enough to mine my page for common ground, an InMail is probably not the best place to go for your cold.