As a business owner, you need proper systems in place to prospect, track your leads and follow up on tasks. You need processes in place to prompt reminders at the appropriate times in order to make sure you do not miss any follow up opportunities.
With hundreds of systems in place, how do you choose the right one?
Our clients are constantly asking us how they can better utilize LinkedIn as a business tool. Believe it or not, LinkedIn has features within their platform (for free) that can help you prospect, track your network and follow up with potential leads and clients.
For business owners that simply need a prospecting and tracking system, LinkedIn can serve as a helpful Customer Relationship Management system.
One of the most important activities besides closing new business is prospecting. As a business owner, you need to fill your sales funnel with new leads so that business continues to flow. Below are a few ways on how you can do that!
1) Saved Searches
LinkedIn has an excellent prospecting tool within its Advanced Search function, you can find this feature at the top of your LinkedIn account in the middle. The first step in the process is to conduct a highly targeted Advanced Search.
With a free account, you can search for prospects using keywords, filtering your relationship level, identifying your prospect’s location and choosing up to one group.
With a paid account you can drill down deeper into company size, seniority level and much more. These are located to the left of the image below next to the LinkedIn gold icons.
Use this opportunity to drill down your ideal customers as much as you can. Your goal is to find the people whom you are most likely to do business with you (target market). Once you type in your parameters, you can generate a search by selecting the search icon at the bottom.
After you identify your most target market, develop a search using elements such as keywords, location, job title or other significant factors. Once a search has been generated, your next step is to SAVE that search result.
This will enable you to receive weekly emails from LinkedIn on any new members that meet your search criteria. You can save up to 3 searches on a basic account and 7 searches on a premium account.
The added benefit is that now LinkedIn is doing your prospecting for you. You do the work once, and receive a weekly list. Pretty cool right?
The save feature can be found at the top right hand corner of the search result. The good news is that you can always go back and tweak your keywords and search parameters.
So, if you have saved a search that simply is not generating the results you need, then you can keep trying until you find a search combination that is a winner.
Also, in order to save a specific search, you have to click on the green arrow that appears next to the drop-down box. Once you click on the green arrow, a pencil will appear and you will then be able to edit your searches from the saved searches screen going forward.
2) Saving Contacts
Another way to build your contact list is through the ‘Save Contacts’ feature. This feature is particularly handy if there is a person or target demographic you would like to start building relationships with but you’re not quite ready to invite them to connect with you.
This is a great way to keep a running list of who you want to follow up without sending a connection invite. To do this simply go to their profile and select save contacts next to the relationship tab.
When you save a potential connection, they will show up in your list of connections with a grey LinkedIn icon next to their name. In addition, you will have access to features such as saving notes about that person, setting reminders and making a note on how you met them.
3) Creating Tags
The 3rd and final feature we’ve found really effective in building your sales pipeline on LinkedIn is the ability to create tags and group contacts within those folders. This basically means when you come across a connection or specific target market, you can group those individuals into various folders.
This will enable you to find and communicate with a particular list of people without you having to go through your entire list of connections. This is by far our favorite feature on LinkedIn.
In today’s marketing world, it is more important than ever to reach out effectively to your customer. To do so, the keyword to focus here is on “relevance”. It’s no longer just about having the best product or services. It’s also a lot about giving YOUR customer what he/she WANTS.
For example, a person in an executive role requires a different piece of content than someone in an intern role. What resonates with one audience doesn’t necessarily resonate with another.
Customer segmentation is critical as it helps you provide a better user experience and definitely a better conversion rate, because you are reaching out to a targeted audience.
If you haven’t already segmented your contacts, below is a step-by-step guide you can follow. Simply login to your LinkedIn profile:
1) Hover over the Connections Tab
2) Select Contacts
3) Sort by: First Name
4) Filter by: All Contacts
LinkedIn will then give you a list of all your contacts. Simply go through each one and at the bottom of your connection’s name listing you will see an option called “tag.” Click on it, give the connection a tag and you are set. It’s fast, easy and highly effective.
The key to growing your businesses is developing strong relationships with your network or clients, leads and prospects. Many business owners believe that if they spoke to a potential client once and sent a quote, that their job is done.
Studies show it takes at least 7 touches before a prospect is ready to buy. Why do you think that is?
It takes time to nurture and develop a relationship.
Most people will reach out to someone two or three times- not receive a response and give up. Or, they will get busy and forget to reach out again. With LinkedIn’s reminder feature, you can set a note to follow up on a conversation with a connection.
You can set your reminder to pop up within a day, a week, a month, or set weekly recurring reminders. The benefit? Never missing a call, email, or opportunity to reach out and connect.
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