NCET helps you explore business and technology
By Jon James
The business landscape of 2019 is both highly competitive and rapidly evolving. Companies across all industries and at all stages of growth, from startup to Fortune 500, are being called to find new and creative ways to connect with prospects.
In decades past, lead nurturing – from start to finish – was all about facetime, but that is simply no longer the case. Today, sales professionals are faced with front desk gatekeepers, full voicemail boxes, and a vast array of other salespeople who are all competing for just a few minutes with busy leads who have very little time to commit to in-person meetings.
As a solution to those ever-growing challenges, sales teams are now turning to online networks to guide their prospects through the buyers’ journey. Specifically, they are leaning on LinkedIn for its powerful lead generation and nurturing capabilities.
Let’s take a look at a few strategies for using LinkedIn to nurture leads and generate sales.
- Lay the groundwork before you attempt to generate or nurture any lead on LinkedIn. That is, make sure that your profile has been optimized for sales. Check your spelling and grammar, and check that all of your profile entries are up to date. Most importantly, ensure that your profile is a positive representation of you and what you are trying to sell.
- Make LinkedIn part of a comprehensive lead nurturing initiative. There are a variety of ways this can be accomplished. For example, you may follow up by connecting with the same lead on other networks or add on an email marketing campaign to add more depth to the relationship you are trying to build. Email addresses and other pertinent information can be exported and used on your remarketing platform of choice.
- Take advantages of the CRM features offered by LinkedIn. For instance, the platform allows you to set reminders to follow up with your lead after a meeting, for birthdays, anniversaries, and more. You can also store notes for each of your contacts, which is incredibly useful for salespeople with a very large number of connections.
- Take your time and avoid hard selling. The days of the hard sell are over and reaching out with a direct pitch is going to put buyers off in a big way. Instead, business professionals are expected to demonstrate value long before a deal is ever made. One great way of doing this is by offering your expertise, such as through a free webinar or eBook, without any expectation for a return. This builds trust and makes your prospects feel more confident about investing in your product or service.
- Make it as personal as possible. Make every message you send unique to that lead, their challenges, and your relationship. It’s important to understand that in most cases, your competitors are also going to be reaching out to them. Between that and the endless stream of marketing automation that is happening in today’s social networking environments, they have probably heard it all before. So, make whatever you say stand out. Take the opportunity to show them that you are interested in meeting their unique needs.
On LinkedIn, like with any lead nurturing tool, you’re going to have to put forth the effort. In my experience, though, it is well worth the effort. LinkedIn is a powerful network with an incredible, global reach. Use it to your advantage with the five tips offered here.
Learn about growing your business using LinkedIn at NCET’s Biz Bite luncheon on August 28, 2019. NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology. Register for the event and get more info at NCETbite.org.
Jon James is a Forbes expert contributor and the Managing Partner at Ignited Results (ignitedresults.com), where he specializes in showing companies how to increase leads and generate sales using LinkedIn.