Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, especially seed to Series C founders.
LinkedIn initially was a great way to find your next job. It has evolved into one of the best social prospecting tools for finding your next customer. We recently reviewed “The Fundamentals of Linkedin” which is a primer on social prospecting for sales reps. It’s by The Bridge Group (bridgegroupinc.com), a SaaS sales consulting firm that we hold in very high regard. The presentation is well worth the read, and below I summarize some of the big take-aways.
It starts with your profile. Your profile should not be promoting yourself for your next job. It should be supporting “your assertion that you add significant value in your specific area of expertise. Your summary is your personal elevator pitch. Use it to articulate the value you bring to your customers.” Your photo needs to be a headshot of you in business attire. Your job title should be fancier than just “Inside Sales AE” or “Account Executive;” try something like “Enterprise Account Growth Specialist.”
Your experience. “Your experience should demonstrate how you add value to your clients. What experience did you accrue in each position that helped grow you as a potential trusted advisor? Tell your story, not the stories of the companies you worked for.
Connecting. Connect with your customers, so prospects can see who you’re working with or who you have worked with. When making a connection request, don’t use the default message. Don’t build bad connections or connect with people you do not know. Schedule time to grow your connections each week.
Groups. Join the groups that your customers and prospects belong to. “Also, look for industry-specific, role-specific and geospecific groups that may help you expand your reach.” Showcase groups that confirm your expertise (LI’s default is to list alphabetically). Participate actively in groups where you can add real value. Don’t spam the group with white papers, demos, webinars, etc. Look for groups where actual conversations are going on, not groups where sales reps are just spamming the group.
Search. Once you have found a prospect on LinkedIn, see who you share connections with so you can leverage an intro. “While you’re looking at a prospect’s profile, you should pay attention to “People also Viewed.” Think of it as having your own Amazon Recommendations for ideal prospects.”
Limit your time. “Limit the amount of time you spend looking for target contacts. Allocating calendar time to this activity will help keep you in check and prevent you from spending prime selling times performing searches. A good rule of thumb is 30 minutes on LinkedIn building a list should translate into at least 60 minutes of prospecting activity.”
The full report is well worth the read. Visit bridgegroupinc.com to get it.