How To Prospect for Leads Correctly on Linkedin

Written by Anthony Mussari

8 Min Read

It is safe to say that the world we live in is becoming more and more digital. In fact due to Covid over 90% of B2B Organizations have transitioned to a virtual sales model but yet despite this 76% of Sales reps have reported that virtual selling is less effective than face to face*. (*McKinsey & Co.)

The digital screen presents many challenges and obstacles that in person meetings don’t have when you consider that when engaged in a conversation less than 10% of the message conveyed is through your words. The other 90% of the message is achieved through a combination of vocal intonation and Facial/body language. Taking in all of these factors you may be asking yourself “How the heck am I supposed to sell in a space like LinkedIn?”

There hasn’t been a more game-changing platform for businesses since it came on the scene back in 2003. It has been and still is the only social platform specifically designated for professionals and businesses, besides of course Tik Tok.

Looking at this data and remembering the wise words of Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility”, that responsibility falls at the feet of the people and their accounts that utilize it. So in other words…Us. The issue that has become ever-apparent from the type of networking that does occur; especially in the Direct Messaging of the platform, is that most us don’t know how to do it correctly.

Forced connections are created in efforts to create a custom message that at the end of the day is just a sales pitch for a service, software, or job that finds itself mostly ignored with no further action taken. 

Why?

With the power of the internet we have direct access to anyone on the globe. Seriously, you can message anyone instantaneously yet the response rate that we get from prospects has plummeted from the days of old when leads were on physical cards and tied with a bow on top. The culprit to this crime certainly isn’t an access issue – Linkedin boasts over 800 million members in over 200 countries worldwide, but rather HOW we approach those individuals and the messaging tied to the 300 character limit on a connection note. 

I get it, 300 characters is barely more than a tweet, so HOW can you possibly explain who you are, where you work, why you have something worth showing, and when you can set up a call to chat all in one breath? 

Newsflash: You don’t!

This isn’t some massive design oversight- the character limit is supposed to be nothing more than a handshake or brief elevator chat. Unfortunately, this inbox has manifested itself into a creature that is stale, irrelevant, and overrun with copy and pasted messages just so recruiters can hit a quota for the day. Sure you can send over 500 messages instantly this way but how many actual leads are you going to end up with? 

A big goose egg and lots of “Thanks but no” courtesy responses.

It is time to change the narrative of these 300 characters because everyone has seen this movie and your message is just noise at this point. So how do you fix what you are currently doing?

Luckily for you, this is exactly what Braintrust specializes in. If you are interested in receiving a free copy of Braintrust’s NeuroSelling® framework that we use to help sales professionals worldwide,  click here to get this science backed methodology and a free training along with it. Taking the NeuroSelling® framework as a whole and implementing it into a digital format like Linkedin should just be treated as any other conversation you would have outside of your screen and for best results you should do the following three things…

 

1) Remember It’s Not About You

Humans are biologically wired to operate in Self-preservation orientation aka “ME FIRST”. Recognizing this is important, because when you connect with me and then talk all about YOU I am already ignoring the invite or message. Empathy is crucial in this first step and it is your job to create value for me by showing me you understand my world and my problems. I don’t have time to hear all about another product but if you flip the script to say “I know one of the biggest problems in your position is X..” and X is actually a problem I have, well then you’re in business.

2) Tell Me Who The Heck Are You

You found me and my profile somehow. I was on your list or recommended to you by someone, and at the risk of sounding paranoid… I want to know who you are before I ask you politely to get off my lawn. After my interest has been peaked (keyword AFTER) you have the opportunity to show me we are on some common ground and build your credibility to why I should listen. With the character limit of doom shrinking with each word, I recommend you to choose your introduction wisely. Building variations of your own personal connection story is something that the coaches and facilitators at Braintrust do exceptionally well (I am just the guy who makes things look pretty).  In that free training above, our CEO Jeff Bloomfield outlines some key “do’s and do not’s”. In this case, as with most digital interactions your personal connection story will want to be an abbreviated version.

3) Now What?

You have correctly identified my problem and I kinda like you at this point, so now what?  Well, now it’s time use whatever remaining characters you have to tell me all about your product and give me all of its features and specs right? 

Wrong. 

Is that how you communicate outside of a screen? All in one breath going from one point to another like a machine? God I hope not!

Now let your message breathe and allow ME to respond. If done correctly, I will want to know more about you and/or your offering without you having to tell me all about your product. If you are right, and you: 

  • Correctly identified a solution to a problem I probably have
  • Seem like a pretty trustworthy guy or gal 
  • Introduced insights to back the importance of fixing said problem

You have now put me in a position to tell you a little bit about myself and offer greater insights about the issue I am having. This information can and should be addressed in your product pitch, but not until the appropriate time.  If you mess this part up, you will see no change in your current situation.

Here is the good part.  You have access to LinkedIn, one of the most diverse, free platforms in the world at your fingertips so there is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to master this tool.  If you follow this path and you execute it correctly, it will allow for a 2x, 5x, or even 10x increase in your conversations with prospects TODAY. If you want assistance building this out or even practice this I encourage you to visit the free training link I mentioned earlier done by our CEO Jeff Bloomfield or feel free to connect and message with me on LinkedIn 😉