Since it was founded in 2003, LinkedIn has skyrocketed to more than 150 million users worldwide, presenting a massive prospecting resource for knowledgeable sales people to tap into. Getting the most out of LinkedIn can pay huge dividends for your business if you're willing to put in the time investment to position yourself for success.
Look in the mirror
The most important thing to do before attempting to make connections is to ensure your own profile is thorough, informative and professional. Include clear links to your company's website and social media pages as well as a professional photo of yourself to put a face to your name.
With so much information available, you never have to make a cold-call to a LinkedIn member. Between profile updates, recent connections, or even a common alma mater, you should have something that can help connect you to potential prospects, making the first call a much more engaging experience.
Plus, if you're a LinkedIn paid member you can see more detailed profile information that increases your chances of discovering a relevant ice breaker.
InMail as the new email
Senior decision makers often protect their accounts to avoid an overwhelming amount of inquiries and requests. But, LinkedIn gives you a chance to get to know them through InMail. In order to send InMails, you'll need to be a paying member with at least an entry-level business account which provides 3 InMails per month. The more you pay, the more InMails you can send which could end up being a worthy investment if you're able to land a big client.
By building your network and using thoughtful, timely communications, LinkedIn can provide an exciting boost to your prospecting efforts. Let us know if you've had success using LinkedIn for prospecting in our comments section below.