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4 Ways to Ignite Your Prospecting Strategy on LinkedIn

LinkedIn has evolved into an excellent prospecting tool, a place where common connections turn into lead generation. Many sales reps prefer the platform to cold emails and other forms of social media, but it’s important to ask yourself, are you squeezing every bit of potential out of your LinkedIn account?
Matt Millen
Co-Founder & President

Many of us know that LinkedIn prospecting works. You’ve either experienced it yourself or heard about it from seasoned colleagues on your sales team.

But prospecting shouldn’t feel like a leap in the dark. There are strategies that lead to success, and most importantly, sales.

In this article you will learn about the four ways to turn your prospecting into conversions and, most importantly, what not to do when engaging on LinkedIn. Let’s break them down.

1. Stay Top of Mind by Clicking “Like”

It starts with the posts you “like.” Think of all your engagement on LinkedIn as an extension of your brand. Aside from the fact that LinkedIn’s algorithm is designed to show you more of the content that’s relevant and exciting to you, the posts you like and engage with can showcase your professionalism and expertise. Engaging, in general, opens up a world of possibilities for prospects who are looking for someone just like you.

Engaging with blog posts or articles also helps keep you top-of-mind with your leads and connections. Associate your name and profile picture with high-quality posts and begin the process of turning what would have been a cold reach into the groundwork for future rapport.

Tip: Joining LinkedIn groups not only makes your likes go further, it also creates opportunities to make those key connections. You’ll maybe even land the personal email address of decision makers. Regardless, LinkedIn groups can enhance your network overall.

The Like Feature- What NOT To Do

  • Don’t be frivolous. Make sure the content you’re clicking “like” on is high-quality and a reflection of your professionalism. Save your more laissez-faire likes for socials like Instagram and Facebook.
  • Don’t spam a prospect’s page with likes. When you’re using the like feature as a part of your prospecting strategy, only like the most recent posts.

2. Discover and Engage by Following

“Following” leads will do the same. The more you can get your name in their head, the better. So work your LinkedIn search. You’re not at the point of reaching out personally, yet, but following leads’ LinkedIn profiles and engaging with their content works in your favor.

A follow also means the opportunity to get a feel for how your lead conducts themself. Are they interested in small-talk? Are they curious about an up-and-coming industry? Do they use humor, or are they straight to the point?

Understanding how a person operates could be the difference between getting in front of them and sitting unopened in their inbox.

And there’s more information to gain. Once you’ve followed someone, LinkedIn has a “People You Might Know” tab that highlights people who might be of interest to your lead. Find out who they’re interacting with.

Not only will this create a more dimensional understanding of your prospect, but it can point you in the direction of other leads. LinkedIn has a wealth of information and it’s up to you to find the gold.

3.Sending an InMail the Right Way

Now you’re ready for LinkedIn InMail (also called Message Ads). The premium service allows you to reach out to high-profile leads directly, without a connection. InMail has high open and click-through rates and reaches your lead with a guaranteed deliverability. It’s completely customizable, letting you choose the audience, message, subject line, time frame, and more.

Email vs Linkedin Reply Rates

Tip: LinkedIn Sales Navigator gives users access to InMail, custom lists and an advanced search.

InMail cuts through barriers, but it won’t make up for sloppily constructed messages. This is where your research is valuable. You’ve reviewed the lead’s profile; now you need to use the insights highlighted at the bottom of your InMail’s composition box.

The message must be personalized, reflecting your personality and common ground between you and your prospect. If you’re struggling to find common ground, this is when you fall back on your engagement with the prospect’s profile. Have they made a post about anything you can congratulate them on? Anything you found interesting?

You’ve already laid the groundwork of liking and engaging with their posts, so put it to use in your InMail message.

The technique is to make this message about them. If you’ve identified a problem you might be the solution to (and you have, why else are you reaching out?), this is the time to highlight that. Your call to action centers around meeting to discuss the solution. Include your contact information and calendar to make the message actionable.

This is a balancing act because the message should also be brief, 100 words or less, with a compelling subject line that includes a business topic plus a personal touch. Using bulleted lists in your message will help keep it short and to the point while still communicating value.

InMails require a certain finesse, but it’s worth learning how to master. Engaging in these pre-connect touchpoints translates to higher connection acceptance rates, and that translates to more sales.

LinkedIn InMail- What NOT To Do

  • Don’t use InMail for a mass campaign. The recipient needs to be a well-defined and high-touch target to get your time and money’s worth.
  • Don’t underestimate the importance of personalizing the message. Using stock copy is a guaranteed way to get ignored by the prospect.
  • Don’t let your subject line sound spammy. You’re catching your lead’s attention with this line. Keep it brief, to the point, and personal.
  • Don’t include more than one CTA, for clarity purposes.

For help writing engaging LinkedIn InMails, request a demo of regie for sales.

4.The Connection Request

Now it’s time to go for the all-powerful connection request. Too often, InMail is contrasted with LinkedIn connecting, but ideally, the two work in tandem. Use InMail first, to make your connection request more attractive. There are a few jumping-off points to consider:

Your InMail Is Declined

It happens. LinkedIn claims InMails have a 50 percent open rate, but the rest is up to you.

Pull up that message and find its weak spots. Did you use “I” too much? Did you ramble? Were you not as up-to-date as you should have been?

Make adjustments and implement them in your connection request.

This is also an opportune time to do a mini meta-analysis of all your InMails, to pinpoint what has worked for you, and what hasn’t. If you can find some commonality between your successes or failures, abide by what the data tells you.

Also, note that if your prospect responds to you with a custom reply, you’ll still be able to continue the conversation. Do so, and send the connection request.

Your InMail is Pending

In this case, don’t rush your connection request. Wait until you’ve received either an accept or decline to your InMail. To be preemptive about wait time, refer to LinkedIn’s active status feature, so you send your message at the optimal time.

Your InMail is Accepted

Best case scenario. But don’t hurry off to the connection request just yet. Keep fostering the conversation you started on InMail. Answer any questions your prospect might have, elaborate on your own work experience, whatever is required.

Even if your prospect has taken action, respond with a thank you and a confirmation. Then draft the connection request to expand your network and potential leads.

Connection Requests- What NOT To Do

  • Don’t sell in your connection request. This is a sure-fire way for the request to be declined. The connotation of selling in your request is that you’re requiring something of them, when you want the subtext to be the opposite.
  • Don’t copy and paste your InMail text. Both your connection request and your InMail need to convey the time you’ve taken to craft them.
  • Don’t forego sending a message altogether. Every request needs to have a personalized message from you. Although it should be brief, it needs to be there.

These strategies are simple and often slip through the cracks when prospecting. The process of Linkedin for sales prospecting doesn’t need to be overcomplicated. Use LinkedIn’s features, maintain decorum and keep track of what has worked for you. If you’re looking into your prospecting strategy, you’re already well on your way to success.

To learn more about regie.ai and how we can supplement your prospecting, click here.

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