5 Ways to Prospect for New Business on LinkedIn


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While many social media marketers concentrate on Twitter and Facebook, a lot of Business-to-Business (B2B) Business Development professionals already know that LinkedIn is the preferred place to prospect for new business in social media. With an executive from every Fortune 500 company represented and an average household income of over $100,000, LinkedIn is a perfect place to prospect for decision makers in the industries you want to sell into as well as a prime destination to make alliances with other businesses and professionals that can help grow your business.

I recently had a conversation with a good friend who was having some challenges prospecting in social media, and this is the advice I gave him in using LinkedIn to prospect for new business. Note: LinkedIn is a social networking platform of trusted relationships that can work against you if you just use it to look up people and simply cold-call them. Engaging with the community as I suggest below will give you better mileage and start the cycle of inbound marketing bringing leads to you.1) Grow Your LinkedIn Connections

LinkedIn is a database and you need to makes sure that your connections are sufficient enough to keep you to be able to find and be found by others. Watch my video for advice on how many LinkedIn connections you should have if you are not sure you have enough.

As a professional, your network is your greatest asset and just through the art of connecting you may find new business. This success story video eloquently illustrates the potential of finding $1 million of new business in 15 minutes on LinkedIn:

The more connections you have, the easier it will be for you to not only directly message others but also reach out for referrals. Don’t be shy…connect!

2) Communicate and Network with Your Connections

Your network is built into your LinkedIn connectivity. Are you utilizing your pre-existing network to help you with your prospecting? Are you following Network Updates of your connections looking for data points to keep in touch with your network and see if they might be able to help you with your prospecting? You have a network and LinkedIn provides you with the infrastructure. There is no reason why you should not be reaching out to your network to both help them and ask for help from them. Social networking 101 LinkedIn style.

3) Engage in Groups

Sure, Groups allow you the potential to directly message someone in the same group regardless of your connection status. But it’s not about being a member of Groups: It is about actually engaging with others in Discussions, posting News that show off your expertise, and reading industry-specific News that you find that add to your business intelligence. Posting News helps your inbound marketing, Discussions may help you find prospecting opportunities as well as help you get found by others looking for your products or services.

4) Provide Expertise in Answers

You are able to field any question that your customer asks you about your product, company, technology, or industry. Are you listening to what your business prospects are asking on Answers? Tune in, or you’re missing out on potential opportunities. And should you start contributing answers, it will only help establish your company’s and your brand as an expert, which should naturally bring more leads your way. Who wouldn’t want to contact an industry expert for a consultation?

5) Events for Business Intelligence & Prospecting Opportunities

I continue to evangelize Events as a prime source for business intelligence. If you are going away on a business trip, you should not miss the chance to prospect by creating a LinkedIn Event. But if you are looking for local networking opportunities or events in which your business prospects may be attending, all of that information is potentially within the Events database. All you need to do is search and discover.

There are many other creative things you can do to find and grow your business on LinkedIn, but the above represents 5 ways to get started prospecting for new business. Any others that you would add to the list? Please share!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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