Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you should go about nuturing LinkedIn leads.
1 – Start a conversation
Always think about starting a conversation. Your goal with this is not to close a deal or make a sale or pitch to someone on LinkedIn. Your goal really is to peak their interest and then move them to a conversation or to a phone call or a meeting. If you’re stuck, ask them a question. People love talking about themselves, just ask them about them, talk about them, and people will engage with you and converse with you and eventually then you can push that around toward a business conversation.
2 – Research them before you respond
Whenever somebody seems interested and engages with you, it’s handy to know a bit about them so you can tailor the conversation to suit their interests. Click on their profile, and try to learn a bit more about them. Look at the company they belong to and look at what position they have, maybe look at a bit more on just their background. Click into the company, and see how many employees they have etc.
After a quick search you should have some context on the prospect: is this person working solo? Is this a person that runs a 100 or 200 person company? You can even look into the other people that work at the company to determine if they have an internal marketing team or a technology team. You can get a ton of information before you ever even respond to the prospect.
3 – Don’t waste time: qualify LinkedIn leads quickly
Tips 1 and 2 will hopefully help you to qualify new connections, but then you also want to find out if they have a need or an interest for your service. Probe with a question that’s not overly salesy, but is going to give you the information you need to know if they’re a qualified prospect or not. For example, one of the questions that I constantly ask is, “What tactics do you use to drive traffic to your website?” I can tell instantly from their answer if I can help them or not. If they answer “I’m not sure” or “Our marketing agency does that”, I know they’re probably someone I can help, so I can dig a little deeper. Ask them a question that you know the best answer to. Be the expert.
4 – What to do when someone asks for your pitch
Maybe something like “We work with companies such as X to do/accomplish Y.” Keep the response short and sweet, and then probe and I asked a question to help qualify them. That’s the general framework, to keep your pitch short. I would say two to three sentences max, and then ask them questions and use that question to qualify them, but, again, you don’t want to write a novel. You want to keep your pitch short, sweet, to the point, peak their interest, and then ask them a question to keep the conversation going.
5 – What to do when someone starts a non-business conversation
You’ll have some people that just go off totally unrelated to business. They might say something along the lines of “Oh, hey, what part of Surrey do you live in” or something similar. This is not a bad thing necessarily, but your task is to then nurture and steer back around to business and qualify them pretty quickly.
6 – What to do when someone isn’t your ideal customer
Whenever someone comes through that’s unqualified, basically move them out of your organisation or system for everything, and then just don’t respond or even disconnect with them if you’re really not interested or if they start trying to pitch to you.
7 – Follow up
Often you’ll talk to people that may actually drop off or they may accidentally just not even check their LinkedIn inbox that regularly; you might have to follow them up every now and then. If you are in conversation with someone and you don’t hear back for a period of time, send them a simple nudge that says, “Hey, I never heard back from you on this. Let me know if you’re interested in talking more.” This simple approach can really drive and create more engagement. I recommend trying this out on a pretty regular basis. Typically a timeline of about one to two weeks after someone goes cold is a good time to nudge them with something like that.
8 – Use tools to your advantage
On a few of your prospects profiles you may not find an email address. This allows you to get their email in a way that doesn’t feel weird or unethical or would creep them out. Sometimes, that back and forth scheduling that you can pull off on email, is definitely not ideal on LinkedIn (see tip 7). If you get a tool like Calendly or YouCanBookMe (or any of those other booking widget tools out there) you can arrange a phone call or meeting easily and it also means you obtain their email address out of it for future interactions.
Another tool that you can use is a text expander. It allows you to accelerate your typing by replacing abbreviations with frequently used phrases. This is ideal for an ongoing manual task such as LinkedIn outreach. It’s not to say that you are going to send everyone templated stuff, but most responses at times are pretty standard. A text expander can help speed up your workflow.
9 – Be patient
You’ve got to remember while reaching out on LinkedIn that not everyone is going to be ready to buy right now. Some people might be interested in your value proposition or what you’re doing, but they might not be ready to buy.
For anyone who hasn’t done any form of outbound, it’s a little different where if you get someone that buys right away, that’s pretty awesome, but that’s lucky, and sometimes people need a little bit more time. Again, you just have to be prepared that with outbound, sometimes the sale cycles are a little longer than with a hot inbound lead who’s needing something tomorrow. With outbound, you’re showing up on their doorstep, but they might be not as far along in the buying process. But at least you’ve made a connection and who knows, maybe they’ll get back to you in the future.
We have a couple of other blogs on LinkedIn, specifically on your LinkedIn profile. We cover how to make your profile stand out and how to get it in front of more people:
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