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The highest and best use of Linkedin is as a proactive B2B prospecting tool.

I can defend this statement with evidence that if used smartly, Linkedin, in and of itself can provide everything necessary to meet for coffee with 2 out of every 3 people you select.

I’m pretty sure Linkedin is great at other tasks, but in the world of new business prospecting, meeting AT LEAST 66% of the people you target is extraordinary. Whatever else you might be using Linkedin for, you might want to compare it to its value as a producer of face to face meetings with new potential customers.

Successful prospecting with Linkedin is built on an understanding of these 4 concepts:

[1] An interesting and non-threatening profile

[2] A prospect-friendly approach to your requests to connect and meet for coffee.

[3] Knowing how to use the Linkedin search engine

[4] Facilitating a great 1st meeting

An interesting and non-threatening profile is one that is very non-salesy. People on Linkedin are interested in meeting people, interesting people, not sales people.

Stranger is the word to describe someone we have not yet met. And your mother, like mine told us not to talk to strangers. And the first time we are meeting with a new prospect, we are strangers. Before any realistic sales-purchase conversation can or should take place is after we have passed our mother’s warnings.

The 1st meeting is hugely important in building rapport and trust. This meeting needs to be facilitated smoothly. He who asked for the meeting is in charge of the meeting and has the responsibility of making our guest feel welcome. We want them to be pleased that they came and we want them to leave wishing us well.

The goal of the 1st meeting with any new prospect is “goodwill”. We want everyone we meet to think well of us and be open to meeting us again and again. Everyone we meet is now a part of our network and its our network from which everything happens.

 

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