Nearly every security salesperson dreams of an unlimited supply of qualified prospects. However, there is a wide gap between “dreams” and “reality” that many salespeople never seem to cross.
If you want an unlimited supply of qualified prospects, you need to know where and how to find them. The where is the easy part. LinkedIn is the world’s largest network of business professionals and it contains a treasure chest full of unlimited prospects for both residential and commercial security salespeople.
The how can be a little bit tricky. Most salespeople aren’t aware that they can search LinkedIn’s 400 million users to find the right sales prospects. In this month’s edition of Sales Stars, I’ll share my four favorite ways to use LinkedIn to develop new, highly targeted prospects.
1. Use Advanced Search
LinkedIn has a search box at the top of every page that allows you to search for people, jobs, companies, groups and more.
Just to the right of the search box, the “Advanced” search takes you to additional search features where you can search for people by job title, industry, location, company size and other parameters. Using the advanced search feature allows you to develop highly targeted prospect lists in a matter of seconds.
Let’s say you want to sell camera systems to restaurant owners in Orlando. Simply use the advanced search feature and enter the relevant prospect details. In the blink of an eye you’ll have a complete list of restaurant owners on LinkedIn in the Orlando area. In addition to their names, you can view their LinkedIn profile for nuggets of other valuable information including, in many instances, contact details.
The key to using this search feature successfully is having a keen understanding of your prospects. The more you know about the people that make the decisions to buy, the better you’ll be able to refine your searches for optimum results.
LinkedIn uses Boolean search principles. Boolean searches allow the use of modifiers to help you find prospects more closely related to those you need to find. Learn more about this at http://bit.ly/1AxeBa9.
2. Leverage the Connections Feature
Most of your first-degree connections on LinkedIn have a “Connections” feature towards the bottom of the profile. You can use the information within this section to generate referrals and introductions.
Within the heading for this section you’ll see a search icon to the right of the section title. Click on that icon and a search bar will appear. Enter keywords (I like to use job titles or locations) and a list will appear of that person’s connections meeting your search criteria.
Here’s how you might use this feature. Let’s say you just sold a high-end residential security system to someone that belongs to the local Rotary Club. You can connect with them on LinkedIn, search their connections for other Rotary Club members, and then ask them for an introduction.
3. Contact Profile & Update Viewers
Make it a priority to reach out to people who have viewed your profile and your updates. After all, they looked at your profile or update for a reason. Give a little nudge to find out if you can help them.
To find out who has viewed your profile or content, go to the drop-down menu under the “Profile” tab in the top of page navigation.
4. Be Active in Relevant LinkedIn Groups
LinkedIn Groups are online forums where professionals with similar interests share content, find answers, make contacts, and establish themselves as experts. It’s important that security sales professionals participate in groups on LinkedIn. There are many community, vertical market and topical interest groups that contain your prospects.
The most effective way you can generate prospects using groups is by sharing valuable content with the group that demonstrates your insight and expertise. Valuable content helps a customer solve a need or concern. It is not an ad for you or your company.
Sharing valuable content drums up business. When someone in the group reads your helpful content, they become inclined to contact you to find out how they can work with you.