How To Use LinkedIn For Sales Prospecting
I often discuss the value of LinkedIn as a way of mapping and researching new areas of the account, and I continue to hear a common theme from many of our participants:
“I connect with people when I think of it, but I really should do more,” or
“yeah, I connect but then I’m not sure how to use this resource in my account management program.”
By connecting with one of these contacts, you now become part of their extended network and can use your rapport building skills to get one connection closer to your ultimate prospect.
What’s even more intriguing is that the largest grouping of connections that the Decision Makers had were contacts within their current company (20-40% in my small sample size, depending on size of account and how long they have been there).
So, assuming 20% of a prospect’s connections are within their current company – that means that each new connection nets you 70+ second-level connections within the account.
The value of LinkedIn is in the Second Level Connection. These are connections that you can now “see,” and potentially access through a phone call, email or LinkedIn message.
These new contacts may become your coach, decision maker or influencer on your next deal.
When you’re mapping an account trying to understand who the players are, what their level of influence is and who might be able to give us an introduction, you can no longer afford to overlook LinkedIn account management as a strategic tool for your program.
About Ray Makela
Ray Makela is the General Manager of the Sales Readiness Group, A Part of SBI. He oversees all client engagements as well as serves as a senior facilitator on sales management, coaching, negotiation, and sales training workshops. Ray has over 20 years of management, consulting, and sales experience and writes frequently on best practices for coaching and developing sales teams.
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