How to Increase Sales Using LinkedIn

Wondering how to increase sales using LinkedIn?

Want to know how to use LinkedIn to its full potential without sending hundreds of cold emails?

Want to know a LinkedIn prospecting strategy that works universally for salespeople, sales managers, CEOs, and others?

I wondered the same things too, and was determined to figure it out. I wanted to know the most effective ways to use LinkedIn without sneaky connection request tactics involving cold call InMail messages. Here’s what I discovered.

How to Increase Sales Using LinkedIn

The first step to help you increase sales is to recognize that LinkedIn is not Facebook. It is not Twitter. It is not Instagram. It is not Pinterest. It’s LinkedIn. The purpose? To connect and keep in contact with business contacts: people you currently know or people you’ve met in the past. If your LinkedIn account is full of people you don’t know or have never met, you are doing yourself and others a disservice.

Why?

Let’s say you’d like to meet the Sales Manager at a particular company. Let’s say you identify this person on LinkedIn and they are a 2nd degree connection—meaning that you know someone that knows them.

You have two options:

  1. Try to connect to the Sales Manager on your own, at random, and see if they accept your connection.
  2. Look at the common connections and ask for an introduction.

Now, #1 is a gamble—you might get lucky and make the connection, but once you’ve made the connection, you have to rely on your cold call InMail message.

This brings us to option #2. If you are connected to people that you know, you can easily ask for an introduction. In fact, it’s a great reason to get back in touch and check in.

But, if your LinkedIn network is full of people that you’ve cold requested or have cold requested you—how comfortable will you feel asking them to introduce you to someone else? Even worse: if your connections’ networks are full of people that they don’t know either, asking for an introduction becomes even more difficult.

Here is an example:

I asked a business friend and networking buddy if they would be willing to introduce me to someone that she was connected to via LinkedIn. Her response? “Hi Rebecca, just saw your message. Do not know her.”

The point is: clean up your LinkedIn connections. LinkedIn is not about having the most connections possible—it’s about quality, not quantity. Once you’ve gotten this part sorted out, you are ready to move to the next step to increase sales using LinkedIn.

Increase Sales by Asking for Introductions

Here at CFS, we’ve developed two methods for prospecting and generating leads using LinkedIn to increase sales. If you’d like detailed instructions on the two methods, check out our free eBook.

Method #1: Begin with Your Current Connections’ Connections

Your next client isn’t as far away as you might think. In fact, it just might be on your best client’s list of connections, or your co-worker’s list of connections, or even your brother’s list of connections.

To avoid making this process a time consuming and daunting task for both parties involved (you + your referral partner), I recommend following the 3-Step process below. It will help you identify exactly who you want to meet, making introductions a breeze.

  1. Determine Your Target
  2. Scout LinkedIn & Create a List
  3. Ask for Introductions

Method #2: Use Sales Navigator to Identify Prospects

Method #2 is not a far departure from Method #1. With Method #2, you will still be asking for introductions from your connections; however, you will be creating your prospecting target list in a different way.

This method is a bit more time consuming and is more involved, but it will also allow you to begin some long-term targeting planning to begin building bridges to companies that you wish to align yourself with.

  1. Create a Prospecting Target List
    1. Open Excel
    2. Research & Add Criteria for Target Companies
    3. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator to Find Companies, Save Accounts, and Save Leads
    4. Find Employees at Target Companies with Common Connections & Add to Spreadsheet
  2. Ask for Introductions & Develop Script Templates
  3. Log the Process in Your CRM

Both methods will help you generate new leads, nurture existing relationships, and increase sales. The key? Proper planning and focus! You’ve got this!

Ready to put this process into practice? Download our free eBook on How to Generate Sales Leads Using LinkedIn the get started.

How to Generate Sales Leads Using LinkedIn
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By | 2016-10-17T16:31:42+00:00 February 16th, 2016|Sales Leaders, Sales Success|2 Comments

About the Author:

Rebecca Smith is the Director of Marketing at Criteria for Success. She writes about sales, sales leadership, social selling best practices, time management, and anything related to helping others discover success. Be sure to say hi on Twitter @RebeckerSmith.

2 Comments

  1. […] as it sounds. Politely ask your current connections for an introduction to your target customer. Criteria for Success explains this strategy in more detail and provides a free ebook on generating sales through […]

    • Rebecca Smith October 14, 2016 at 10:58 am - Reply

      Thank you for your comment!! Glad you enjoyed the article!

      -Rebecca

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