If you’ve ever tried to find new clients with LinkedIn, you must have realized how complicated it is. No matter how well you write your prospecting messages, very few people answer you …
And frankly, it’s not very surprising. Most professionals use LinkedIn to prospect directly. As a result, almost all of the private messages we receive are commercial messages.
LinkedIn is a great lever for finding new customers. Only if you misuse it, you will never get the results you hope for.
Maybe it’s time to relearn how to use LinkedIn ?
Why is prospecting on LinkedIn so bad?
To start with, I don’t recommend using LinkedIn’s private messaging to connect with your prospects. The same goes for InMails, which are sorely lacking in subtlety.
As a reminder, a InMail, sure LinkedIn, this is a sponsored message that you can send to people outside your network, according to different targeting criteria.
When your prospect receives an InMail, he finds your solicitation in his private mailbox, marked with the label “Sponsored”. In short, there is nothing better to say to your prospect, before he has even opened your message: “This is an advertisement. “
LinkedIn is already overwhelmed by prospecting
When I was business developer, I tested all kinds of techniques to get in touch with my prospects. I am formal on one point: going through LinkedIn’s private messaging unfortunately gives bad results. In my opinion, this should be your last resort.
On LinkedIn, the people you contact rarely feel compelled to reply to you. Besides, there is a good chance that you yourself have been canvassed, and I am sure that you rarely respond to all the requests you receive.
The lack of commitment even tends to worsen, and I explain that by a very simple fact. On LinkedIn, most of the messages we receive are advertisements or prospecting, so we pay little attention to them.
The winning strategy for finding new clients with LinkedIn
The best way to leverage LinkedIn to find new customersis to limit yourself to its most powerful functionality: his directory.
Fifty years ago, if you wanted to contact all the advertising agencies in a region to sell your services to them, the directory was your best friend.
Today, this directory is LinkedIn. And your strategy is canvassing by e-mail.
If your target customer is a digital minimum, the chances that he has a profile on this social network are quite high.
It’s perfect, because for prospect with LinkedIn, that’s all you need. The user doesn’t even have to be active regularly. It is enough that his profile is almost up to date.
The idea, for prospect effectivelyis collecting information on LinkedIn and then getting in touch by email.
Step 1: Identify your prospects
Imagine you were looking for marketing directors French companies specializing in the cosmetic sector. With LinkedIn’s search functions, you can very easily filter searches by dozens of criteria, so you can effectively target your prospects.
At that point, you end up with a very interesting list of potential customers.
And to be honest, there is only LinkedIn to offer such good quality information. Today, the majority of professionals have a profile on this platform, which makes it a gold mine to identify your prospects.
Step 2: Get contact information
I then identify three main ways to get in touch with your prospects :
- LinkedIn’s private messaging;
- The phone ;
- The e-mail.
The problem with the LinkedIn private messagingis that, as we have seen, it gives bad results. Between users who are not active, those who do not read their messages and those who do not reply, you might as well say that the probability of obtaining qualified appointments is quite low.
Canvass by phone could be an interesting solution. But there is a major obstacle: it is difficult to obtain the professional number of your prospect. Most people do not include this information on their profile.
So there’s the email. Admittedly, this method also has some disadvantages, such as the risk of falling into spam or going unnoticed. (Professionals receive dozens of emails every day.) But to be honest, these difficulties are much easier to overcome than the previous ones with the help of an email finder. These email finders can assist firms in connecting with people who are online and wish to support what various businesses are offering on social media networks.
And by the way, the results speak for themselves. With the equivalent message, experience has shown me that response rate is significantly higher by email than via LinkedIn messaging.
How do you get your prospect’s email address?
There are two ways to do this.
Once he has accepted you, you have access to his contact details. Often his E-mail is there.
Please note, however: canvass a professional by e-mail, you must contact him on his professional messaging. Generally, except freelancers and some freelancers who deal with a Gmail, Outlook or Orange address, professionals will have an email of the type: [email protected]
If this information is not entered on LinkedIn, that your prospect is no longer active, or that he has not yet accepted you in his contacts, you will have to find his professional email.
And often, it’s quite simple.
If you have already email-address of a person in society, observe their structure and repeat it. In 99% of cases, the structure is the same.
Some examples :
You can also use MailTester to check the existence of an email.
Otherwise, use Hunter.io or VoilaNorbert. You just need to fill in the name and first name of your prospect, as well as their company’s website.
These methods do not work 100%. But by combining them, you should be able to find the email addresses of most of your prospects. (I can’t even count the number of professionals I came into contact with thanks to these tools!).
Step 3: Get in touch by email
You have your prospect’s email. It only remains to write a message (personalized) and send it.
Some people sometimes wonder if the RGPD still authorizes the cold e-mailing (that is to say cold calling, by e-mail.)
The answer is yes.
However, the object of the solicitation must simply be related to the position of the person concerned. It makes sense: it helps prevent abuse.
Otherwise, cold e-mailing, which consists of canvassing someone who does not know you, is a practice exclusively reserved for professionals.
You therefore have no right to contact an individual on his personal e-mail address. This must first have given you its authorization, for example by subscribing to your newsletter. (Imagine how much spam you would otherwise receive!)
LinkedIn is a directory
To sum up, the best way to find clients with LinkedIn, is to use only its main function, that is to say his directory, while doing the canvassing by e-mail.
I know it sounds counterintuitive, not least because LinkedIn develops all kinds of additional functions.
You might also want to develop your profile, post regularly to increase your visibility, and thus get in touch with other professionals to expand your network.
But remember, networking and find new customers, It’s not the same thing.
It is not incompatible. On the other hand, these are two different objectives, which do not bring the same results. And that’s important to be aware of.
Talking to professionals is one thing. Getting in touch with professionals who are likely to be attracted to your products or services is another.
And that’s why canvassing remains a safe bet if you wish find new customers.