We got a great response to our call for submissions from our “Manage Your Leads” LinkedIn Group. Many of you responded with your ideas on how to use LinkedIn for lead generation, how to get a foot in the door at a prospect’s company, and how to get past “gatekeepers” to decision makers by enlisting the support of allies within the prospect’s company.
Some of the best responses came from three of our LinkedIn Group Members: Joel Bash, Thomas Clifford, and Monika D’Agostino.
What are some successful ways of using LinkedIn for lead generation? How have you used LinkedIn to get through to prospects? What real-life success stories or lessons would you like to share?
Here are a few of the success stories and LinkedIn lead generation tips from our special “panel of experts.”
Joel Bash – First, find your true target market
“Business Development is akin to building a muscle in the body. If the muscle is being worked out on a consistent basis with enough force, it will build up to a desired mass of beauty and strength. The same goes for Business Development. What I’ve seen in my 28 years of doing Business Development is that most people don’t focus on the muscle that they want to build up. They just build up any muscle that they can get to and hope for the best.
“In other words, people do not meet their exact target market on a regular basis – and yet they wonder why they are not achieving the desired results. They go to networking groups, events, etc. and come back with a mound of business cards, only to find out that 90% of these people do not have the ability to help them even if they want to – and the remaining 10% don’t get sufficient follow-up. So there you have it.
“LinkedIn or any other bastion of referrals can only be helpful if the target market prospect is being sought. Just ask people in general, how many prospects they meet in a week and then ask them, how many are actual targets? Many people haven’t properly identified their target market.
“It is very prudent to duplicate one’s past successes. Once you know your target market, it is relatively easy to find an abundance of sales leads through your friends, contacts, LinkedIn, etc. It just requires the same discipline as building a muscle.”
Joel Bash is President at Joel Bash & Company, Business Introductions Connector and Business Development Consultant.
Thomas Clifford: Using LinkedIn Advanced Search to find the perfect fit with prospects
“I use LinkedIn’s Advanced Search tool exclusively as a successful lead generating tool. For instance, I recently did a search for content marketing firms where I wanted to get my foot in the door.
“After narrowing down the results to just a handful of companies I wanted to target, I chose one firm to target.
“I then researched the firm further and learned more about their target market. I knew the fit was perfect. I then wrote a one-page, conversational, non-salesy letter (yes, the old-fashioned type of letter!), signed it and mailed it to the Founder and CEO.
“The response was amazing. I received an enthusiastic email from the Founder and CEO saying how thrilled she was to be reading a ‘real’ letter—she never sees them anymore. She then passed my letter on to her head recruiter, and I am now considered a copywriting resource for the firm.”
Thomas Clifford is a B2B Content Marketing Copywriter.
Monika D’Agostino: Research, research, research.
“I use LinkedIn to generate leads and qualify prospects all the time. It’s a great way to find out if people actually are still with a company. Way too often you will find names on lists but they have already moved on, so LinkedIn validates them as a professional and also provides insight on the groups that they are part of.
“LinkedIn can also be an effective way to get your foot in the door with a prospect’s company. Use LinkedIn and other tools to research the company and the prospect. The more you know about your prospect, the better equipped you are to have an intelligent conversation.
“Prospecting is about finding a fit and the more you research, the better qualified your prospecting will be.”
Monika D’Agostino is the Chief Consultative Sales Officer with Consultative Sales Academy.
Thanks again to everyone who submitted ideas. We would love to hear from you about other sales lead generation, prospecting and marketing topics in the future.