Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.
Da Vinci said it best. It's never the tools, it's how we use them. Excellence is determined by the way in which we execute. I've found that with some subtle tweaks, LinkedIn can be exponentially effective as a prospecting, networking, engagement and CLOSING platform. The last is highly contested and debated as everyone is looking to tie metrics to it. I have closed business leveraging LinkedIn. Here are some advanced techniques and combinations that I haven't seen much written about. What advanced techniques do you utilize on here?
- Start your own LinkedIn Group, invite all your connections into it and then every time you post a provocative question based on debatable insights in your vertical, push that question link out to Twitter.
- Leverage Rapportive to reverse lookup a key email address of your prospect and then add them via the "other" radial with a customized message pertaining to their profile.
- Mystery messages are messages with an unexpected subject line, colloquial tone, short and cause a click. You need to put yourself in the prospect's shoes, they're receiving umpteen brilliantly constructed templates in their LinkedIn inbox. The unexpected will get opened, something that is natural and screams "not written by a robot" will get opened. Leverage the power of mystery.
- Advanced searches can be leveraged to show a few result pages of CXOs. This will allow you to aim high. If you can find people who used to work in that position, message them asking for the best way back into that account.
- Use all InMails - The majority of people do not use all 25 InMails in a premium account per month. Do you? It's a golden opportunity. Each one is like making 10 to 20 cold calls. Lead with value and compelling insight.
- Publish everyday. Most sales people wouldn't dream of writing every day or even twice a day on here. Do you know only 40,000 Publish posts come out each week when 345MM professionals are on LinkedIn? There is a huge opportunity cost if you are not publishing daily.
- Watch who follows your Publish and views you everyday. Send invites to all of those that are pertinent with a personalized message.
- Reach out to add people or message people through LinkedIn groups.
- Amp up your participation in groups with provocative questioning. Max out your groups to 50 and be disciplined in posting different questions in 3 to 5 groups every day. Go into a group thread and speak your mind, answer all the questions. This will bring more views, LinkedIn invites and warm leads.
- Follow industry thought leaders. In sales KiteDesk, InsideSales.com, Onalytica and countless others compile lists of the top social selling thought leaders, marketing thought leaders, you name it! Thought leaders are very open to connecting. Via their networks you'll get even bigger relevant networks.
- Subscribe to all the thought leader blogs on Feed.ly as well as following them on LinkedIn. Don't just hit the like button. Share the articles from their blog and write a unique comment. Link your LinkedIn updates to Twitter so they kick back there and then link Twitter to push to Facebook. One update and you hit 3 social networks. For expediency's sake as a busy executive, this is mission critical.
- When you perform due diligence on key prospects in accounts always analyze the lower right section called "People Also Viewed."A great way to go is to start with CEO and look at people also viewed. Sometime this area is hidden. But there is no faster way to triangulate the C-Suite and power base most closely connected to it then with this strategy.
- Never ever contact a prospect by personal email even if it's listed contact me @gmail on their LinkedIn contact area. They probably just don't realize that's listed. Go reverse lookup a valid open B2B publicly listed address and reach out there. Cross reference this with Data.com so that you can call their switch, EA or direct line. Often prospects do list their cell phone numbers. I'm not opposed to calling cell to cell but have a hyper-valid, trigger-event based reason. Start with the why in the first 5 seconds. Be confident and have gravitas.
- Rewire your entire social selling strategy as a real world appointment setting engine.
- Be real-time responsive, always on, via mobile devices.
- Use the Connected App by LinkedIn to acknowledge birthdays, work anniversaries or triggers to strike up conversations.
- Invest the money in a Premium Account. As an enterprise, get LinkedIn Sales Navigator and work to make it an organizational competency. Build incentives that tie back to KPIs like the Social Selling Index - SSI - (Klout-like LinkedIn score/mechanism that shows the level of engagement of top users.)
- Get training not just on the basics but in advanced "strategic" social selling to bring the old methods together with the new channels.
Now it's your turn: What are the most sophisticated LinkedIn strategies that you leverage? It's OK if it's a basic technique but you've found a way to turn it up. Jack Kosakowski came up with a whole series of LinkedIn based trigger events when a connection does something that is grounds for a personal LinkedIn email or InMail outreach. I thought that was brilliant. This was one of the best posts of all 2014!
What features do you think LinkedIn is missing? How do you get results in here daily? What specifically is helping you open, close and accelerate pipeline?
If you valued this article, please hit the ‘like' and ‘share’ buttons below. This article was originally published in LinkedIn here where you can comment. Also follow the award winning LinkedIn blog here or visit Tony’s leadership blog at his keynote speaker website: www.TonyHughes.com.au.
Main image photo by Flickr: Pic Basement