LinkedIn For Sales: The Basics

With the main purpose of networking as the goal of building a “network” of individuals that either have complimentary business skills/trades or those from within your industry/target market, why stop following up with them? Just because you met a person at an industry event or found them on LinkedIn and requested a connection, there’s no reason that you can’t send them a few attempts to have a further discussion around business?

You may expect your new connections, and your potential future clients outside of LinkedIn, to immediately respond to your 1st attempt, and take the approach that if they wanted to have further discussions they would respond.  If that is your viewpoint then you’re not alone, most (60%-75%) of sales people never follow up more than 2X. The professional sales person knows that the follow up/follow through is key to gaining new business, and most of the time you will be contacting someone between 5-10 times before you can get their attention and have further discussion scheduled.  So why should LinkedIn be any different?

Things to keep in mind about prospecting through LinkedIn:

  • Do your research about the person/company before you bombard them with messages. You should make sure that your services have a high likelihood of being a fit for them.  You won’t know truly until you go through the Prospecting Qualification Process, but you should have a good idea.
  • You may have to message someone multiple times before you get a response. Personally I’ll go up to 4 before I find another method. That’s right, 4 messages but don’t quit at that point…find another path if you truly believe the person could benefit from what you want to discuss with them. There are countless ways to follow up with someone, don’t just cold message on LinkedIn…get creative
  • A lot of people on LinkedIn used their personal email address when they signed up (if they adopted the platform back when it was first started I believe the only option was personal email).  Your message will get lost if they don’t go on LinkedIn often.  When was the last time you audited who has your personal email and unsubscribed from all of the 100’s of business that send you weekly sales/offers? Point being, if they aren’t on LinkedIn daily/weekly then your message will only be seen in their email inbox, surrounded by the Home Depot, Macy’s, Amazon, etc. ads that get sent to them every week. Don’t assume they saw your message and chose not to respond.
  • Keep your messages simple and to the point, don’t send long-winded value propositions explaining everything that you could offer them…just ask “to have a further conversation about XYZ to see if there’s a potential fit”.

I purposely make my new connections that reach out to me from a sales standpoint try more than once to get my attention. If they are “good”, they won’t give up with me not responding on the 1st attempt. Nothing worth having comes easy, so continue to put in the work and don’t give up on a lack of response.

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Kyle Milan

Kyle Milan is a well accomplished Industrial/Manufacturing sales and marketing professional with over 18 years of experience. He is the CEO of MFG Tribe and a Sales and Marketing Strategy & Social Media Marketing expert. He has published several articles at major news media outlets on various topics of; Inbound Marketing, Digital Marketing, Social Media Marketing & Advertising, Industrial Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, and Entrepreneurship.

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