Search for your prospects on LinkedIn
Use LinkedIn for business developmentFrom the sales director to the business development manager (BDM) if you are responsible for generating within the company that you work for or run, then it is a good idea to use LinkedIn for business development. Whilst cold calling and telesales still provide a return on investment, invariably you will spend more time trying to get past the gatekeeper (those pesky efficient secretaries and PAs who are under strict instructions not to put any sales calls through) than dealing with the decision maker or person responsible for procuring your product or service.
How to find your prospects on LinkedIn:
- If you have the name of the person who you need to contact, log into LinkedIn, and then in the top right corner, type the name of the person you wish to connect with.
- If you are looking for a name which is quite common, you will need to use the Advanced Search feature on LinkedIn.
- If you are already connected to someone who is connected to the person you want to reach, they will show as either a 2nd or 3rd level connection. If they are a 2nd level connection, you will be able to “add them to your network”
- Ensure that you personalise the connection request message – do not use the connection request to try to sell your products/services or to secure an appointment, this will lead to your prospect ignoring your connection request, and likely going out of their way to avoid engagement with you.
- If you are a 3rd level connection, you can either send an inmail (you must have a paid for LinkedIn account to be able to send inmail) or you can ask for an introduction from one of your existing connections (you can only ask for 5 introductions on a free LinkedIn account)
- Of course, if you ask for an introduction, it’s not guaranteed that your existing connection will feel comfortable with this. In this case, it’s worth checking to see if you have any groups in common with the person you’d like to connect to, and to interact with them there instead.
- If you don’t know the name of who to contact, try using the search facility on companies page, as once you’ve found the company, you can then see some individuals who work within the company, and follow that route to get to the decision maker