Have you been wasting a lot of time and energy trying to get in touch with decision makers in your target market?
Do you struggle with figuring out who is the right person to reach out to in a company that could facilitate an introduction to the decision maker?
If you are like many entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals, you may be struggling to find and connect with those all important decision makers that are essential to your ability to make a sale.
The good news is that LinkedIn provides an effective way to bypass gatekeepers and find and connect with your prospects. Yet many people still don’t take advantage of this either because they lack the knowledge or believe that it will be too time-consuming or difficult to learn or use.
I will provide you with seven essential tactics that you can start to use today that will help you get on the radar of the decision makers and connect with them.
1. Have A Complete & Professional LinkedIn Profile
Before you begin any activities that will put you in front of key decision makers, you must first ensure that you have a profile that is professional, search-optimized and most important of all, is client-focused.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Just as you would not meet these key decision makers in sloppy or unprofessional attire, so you must ensure that you do nothing to get on their radar until your profile represents you in a way that will help and not hinder your efforts.
I have created a handy LinkedIn profile checklist below which will help you accomplish this.
LinkedIn Profile Checklist
2. Connect With Other Employees
Before you reach out to connect with a key decision maker, there can be a great benefit to making an effort to connect with several other employees that belong to the same company, especially if they are in the same department.
This can pay off when they see that you are connected to others in their company and will increase your chances of them accepting your connect request.
As many employees are often connected to the key decision makers in their company on LinkedIn, this also gives you the chance to get your content in front of your prospect before you even connect. For example, if you share a status update or LinkedIn Publisher post and one of those employees likes what they have read and then shares or interacts with it, the update or post will also end up in the stream of the decision maker. This gives the decision maker the opportunity to be introduced to you through the content you curate or create and help establish you as a credible expert.
There is also the possibility that the employee will decide to directly share your content with the decision maker, which will have an even greater impact and level of social proof.
Go to the company page and in the top right corner, click See all under How You’re Connected to see the search results with the employees of the company.
From here you can filter your results (Relationship, Location, etc.) to find the people you want to connect with.
3. Use LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups provide another excellent way to access your prospects. Here you can further establish your expertise in addition to the ability to message a prospect without being connected first. It is can also be a great place to find other potential prospects.
To begin, visit the profile of your prospect and check out which groups they belong to. Join one or more of the groups.
Try to choose groups that have regular, active conversations going on. Make sure you take the time to read and listen to the conversations in the group before jumping in. Once you have a feel for the group, begin participating in conversations by reading posts and comments and then replying in a positive and helpful way.
After you have participated in existing conversations you can begin posting articles (either curated or that you have written) that are both appropriate and helpful for the group (no more than once a week). Make sure when you craft your post that you create it in a way that encourages conversation and discussion as well as follows the group’s rules for posting.
4. Send A Personalized Connection Request
This is a very important step in your sales funnel process with your prospect. Always remember that relationships on LinkedIn are no different than relationships in real life.
With this in mind, you must ALWAYS personalize each and every connection request you send, whether they are a decision maker or not. Why should your prospect take the time to accept your request if you don’t take the time to include a short personal note that explains why it would be of benefit to them to connect with you?
Keep in mind that you only have 300 characters in which to convince them. Your message should include:
- Personalization with his/her first name
- Why he/she would benefit from connecting with you (be concise and compelling)
- Your first name
You can use the Advanced Search and LinkedIn Groups to help you find the decision makers you are looking for.
5. Post On LinkedIn Publisher
There are many good reasons to post on LinkedIn Publisher as it is a fantastic way to offer your prospects value by helping them to overcome a problem or solving a pain point. This can further your efforts to establish your credibility as an expert and help to build reciprocity with your readers (when you do something nice for someone, they often feel the need to return the favor).
When posting on this platform, make sure you are creating your own content. It is a good idea to keep the best practices for the platform in mind to increase the reach of your post.
6. Add Daily Status Updates
Post a daily status update with valuable content or a thought provoking statement that resonates with your prospects. This is an easy way to stay top of mind. It is also a good idea to like, comment and share other people’s status updates (especially of connections you share with the key decision makers) as this can help you get you on the radar of your prospects.
7. Think Outside The Box
A great way to help you stand out from the crowd and get on the radar of a prospect is to do something uncommon, which they will get value from.
One great example is to physically mail your prospects a copy of a book, white paper or case study you have written along with a personalized letter explaining who you are, what you are sending them and why they will get benefit from reading it.
Once you have emailed the content to them, you should reach out and send a connection request if you haven’t already. In the connection request, be sure to include a postscript (PS) that lets them know to expect whatever you are sending to them in the mail.
If you have not heard back from them in a week or two, it is a good idea to follow up with a LinkedIn message to check if they received it (if they have not accepted your connection request, you can send them a message if you share a group or you can send an InMail message if you are a Premium Member).
It is a good idea to send a final message to anyone who has not replied two weeks after your first follow-up message. Make sure each message includes something of value such as a link to a helpful article or an interesting stat.
Become The Resource
By consistently providing value and establishing yourself as an expert, you will be able to get in front of the key decision-makers you need to connect within your target market. This is a long-term strategy that requires you to commit to consistency and quality, to see results. You may also need to start creating your own content, if you aren’t already, to have the greatest success.
Are you connecting with the decision makers in your market? What strategies work for you? Please share with us know in the comments below.
MELONIE DODARO is the author of the international #1 bestseller The LinkedIn Code. She is also the Founder of Top Dog Social Media, a social media agency that helps brands and sales teams use social selling to boost their visibility, attract new customers and increase their revenue.
Social Media Examiner recognizes her blog as one of Top 10 Social Media Blogs of 2014. On top of that, the media calls her Canada’s #1 LinkedIn expert and social media strategist. Melonie provides LinkedIn training to corporate sales teams and speaks worldwide at both industry and corporate events and conferences.