Time to read: 3.5 minutes. Why are so many reps and dealers failing to generate leads on LinkedIn—using profiles, InMail and Groups? We’re not moving customers’ needles. We are not using LinkedIn to give prospects ‘results in advance’ of their purchase. That’s why I created a FREE LinkedIn training for sales video tutorial. No time for training? Here’s what you can do—right now—to create more sales leads using LinkedIn in 3 steps.
Here’s the process in a nutshell. I’ll explain the details below.
Struggling to get leads on LinkedIn? You’re probably focusing on the message of what you publish on LinkedIn—rather than the structure of your message. To fix this, use words that:
Right now, you probably publish content on LinkedIn—to look like an expert thought leader, gain attention and influence prospects. You might apply this approach to InMail too. In particular if you’re applying Challenger selling.
It’s ok. I did too. Mostly because “the experts” have told us these are the goals. But successful social sellers have a different goal for content and InMails.
They publish content on LinkedIn to prove themselves to buyers.
Success is all about placing blogs, videos, white papers, ebooks, tips-and-tricks and shortcuts on LinkedIn in ways that change the success rate of customers in exchange for a lead.
Your success with LinkedIn depends on one thing: Changing your mindset when publishing on LinkedIn.
Old habits are hard to break. That’s why this better way-of-thinking will help you start structuring everything you publish to solve problems, give-away samples of unique experiences and (in return) get more response and capture more leads.
Start applying the content you’re placing on LinkedIn in ways that ‘move the needle’ for prospects—in ways that prove to prospects you’re worth responding to. This is how to effectively use LinkedIn Groups for lead generation.
Getting responded to is as easy as creating a craving for more of something you know customers are already hungry for. Here’s what I mean. Your goal must be to spark customers’ interest in you—by feeding their natural hunger for answers to perplexing questions or short-cuts to goals.
Can you solve a problem? Can you give buyers a life-altering experience or bring them closer to reaching a goal? Don’t think only in terms of what you’re selling—consider anything your prospects need help with right now, at the moment.
Think of one thing right now—a skill you could teach them, a hidden risk they should avoid, a way to avoid getting ripped-off by someone selling your same product, a short-cut or a better way to get what they want. Got one in your head?
Now, picture yourself on LinkedIn letting a prospect know you’ve got a sample of it waiting for them.
All they need to do is respond—to your InMail perhaps.
Politely tease them a little. Dangle a carrot. Let’s say you’re writing your Profile, an InMail message or publishing comments in a LinkedIn Group. The object is to encourage prospects to think, “I wonder what, exactly, he/she means by that… this sounds really important for me to fully understand.” Or, “How can I get access to more of that kind of thinking!”
This part is tricky but critical to your success. I say tricky because you’ve got to credible AND provocative. You’ve got to be respectable and mysterious.
Trust me, you’ll get more response when presenting yourself as a “pain reliever” to someone who just expressed a pain. Just be sure to say just enough about your remedy to provoke curiosity in your prospect.
To do this be sure your promise (to solve a problem, scratch an itch, give-away a sample of an experience) is believable.
Start presenting yourself as a “vehicle to opportunity” by creating a sense of intrigue, curiosity. Make them say, “this person did their homework, knows about my pain… I wonder if they can actually help me… hmmm… I wonder….”
That’s the spark of curiosity you’re going for (and how to go about getting it). Want to get started doing this? Not just learning but DOING it? Here’s a FREE LinkedIn training for sales professionals video tutorial.
Want more response from prospects inside LinkedIn Groups? How about getting immediate access to the true potential of the prospect you’re sending an email to? Invite them to say “yes” or “no.” Tell them, “the choice is yours.” Set the expectation for them to respond and then help them to.
Believe it or not, you’ll get more response from prospects using InMail by affirming their right to choose having a discussion with you.
One day I tried this on a whim. WOW. It works. Not only using email but also in LinkedIn Groups.
Why and how can you do this?
First of all, hardly anyone does it. High performing sales people know: Telling a prospect, “I know I’m interrupting you” or “I know you’ve got options here that don’t include me” is gets their immediate, honest response.
Think about how you use email—how you respond most often to short, compelling messages that ask you to!
That’s why it works.
Here’s how you can apply it in LinkedIn Groups:
Think about WHEN you choose to click links—in LinkedIn groups or anywhere on the Web—when someone tells you, “click here and read some of my wisdom.”
Decades of psychological research proves: Affirming buyers’ right to choose gives them freedom. It emotionally and intellectually disarms them from “being pitched something” they don’t want.
So make your calls-to-action in a way that re-affirms your prospects’ freedom to choose. Doing this indirectly says to them: “I am not threatening your right to say no. You have free choice.”
Here’s how you can apply it in an email:
“In the interest of your time, I would like to decide if there’s a relevant conversation for us to have—or not…”
Let them off the hook right in the email. (the “or not” part) Why? Because it works. They’ll respond!
Remember: A negative response is GOOD. This lets you move on … invest time in better prospects.
This tactic increases response rate tremendously. It’s an old cold calling tactic of mine. By inviting the prospect to say “no” you’ll get immediate access to the true potential of closing the prospect. In the case of earning opt-in email sign-ups to your list, you’ll have a more valuable (higher converting) leads list.
The words you’ll use are not terribly important. Phrases like, “But obviously do not feel obliged,” worked just as well as “but you are free to decide.” I like to use, “this free training is not for everyone… but…”
Good luck! These 3 steps (and my LinkedIn Training for Sales Professionals tutorial) will help you start getting more response and lead action!
Photo credit: Rebecca Anne
Jeff Molander is the authority on starting sales conversations online. He teaches a proven, effective and repeatable communications process to spark buyers curiosity about what you're selling. He's a sought-after sales prospecting trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe.
Jeff also serves as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.