LinkedIn is the New Cold Call

Well…its not really, but let me tell you that it’s a nice way to compliment your current outbound efforts.  See, I believe that the cold call will never die.  However, I’m also a believer that you can take a cold call and effectively downsize the number of calls it takes to get to the decision maker.  LinkedIn is one of those techniques that you can use to complete this action.

To do so, you must first have an active account that is COMPLETED.  By completed I mean that you need to have a profile pic, past work experiences, list of organizations that you’re involved in, and give an overall picture of who you are.  If you can, get recommendations from past clients that you’ve helped.  You can complete a profile in only a couple of minutes, so there really aren’t any excuses on why you shouldn’t do this.

So, how exactly can LinkedIn shorten the process and help you sell?  Keep reading.

Save time researching the prospect:  Lots of sales people waste valuable time on the prospects website.  They doll around for hours looking for tidbits on how the company works, then make the cold call and get shut down.  What happened is that you wasted that time researching the wrong things.   You should research the prospect BEFORE the call and the company BEFORE the appointment.  Sales trainers always preach to find a connection between yourself and the prospect.  You can find that connect on LinkedIn in a few minutes.  This will allow you to call more people and make more sales.  Use your time efficiently.

Build a reputation:  Have you ever thought that your prospect might be researching you?  When a prospect is getting ready to purchase, they’re not only purchasing your product, they’re investing in you.  Do you think that they may google you to see who you are?  A LinkedIn profile is a great snapshot into who you are and what you’ve done.  Use your profile to boost your “Google juice” and be relevant when your prospect researches you.

Cut the email clutter:  LinkedIn connects back to an email address.  Mine goes to my personal email and comes with a special subject.  9 times out of 10, I’ll read an email that comes from an individual sent from LinkedIn because it sticks out in my inbox.  Once you have your account built, search for your prospects and ask to be linked with them.   Once you’re linked, you can send a personalized note to the prospect asking for an appointment.  **Side note** when you’re asking a prospect to link with you, don’t use the generic message that LinkedIn provides.  Use a creative and personal message.

Contact 7,000 people in one click:  Again, once you have a profile you can join groups.  I’m a member of several groups in the Charlotte area that have over 7,000 members each.  With one step, I can make a post that exposes those people to me and my product.  How long would it take you to make 7,000 phone calls?  You can do this in one step on LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is not the answer to hitting your sales quota, however, it can provide a valuable tool to get in front of prospects and shorten the sales life cyle.  Once you complete your LinkedIn profile, don’t forget to connect with me.

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