Written by: Alex Pirouz
For decades, sales professionals and business owners have been playing the numbers game when making cold calls.
They have picked up the phone, called hundreds of people, and depending on their skill set converted a percentage of their conversations into leads, and those leads into sales.
Now enter the age of social media and the Internet. The prospecting world has changed. Customers are doing more research and are not as responsive to cold calls as they were in the past.
In fact, studies show that in 2007 it took only 3.68 call attempts to reach a prospect and in 2015 it takes 8 attempts.
In addition, 2% of cold calls result in an appointment and in large deals, there are typically 7 decision-makers involved in the process.
Seems like a costly and time-consuming way to acquire new business.
Businesses who are successful in their lead generation efforts are adopting Internet marketing strategies and leveraging the social media.
They are focusing on inbound marketing and utilizing other platforms to generate leads for their business.
Since a majority of LinkedIn users are professionals and 49% of them are key decision makers, it makes sense to turn to LinkedIn first for new lead prospecting.
During our FREE LinkedIn training sessions, clients are constantly asking me how they can use LinkedIn as a lead generation tool. There has never been a better time than now to learn how!
So Could LinkedIn be the platform to Replace Cold Calling?
We think so. Not only is LinkedIn the go-to platform for professionals, the site has also ramped up their platform to support lead generation activities that fit sales professionals, business owners and marketing managers.
What if you could use LinkedIn for your inbound lead generation? And forget cold calling altogether? Below are the top LinkedIn tools that can help you do exactly that.
1) Advanced Search
The advanced search tool is the best way to find names of potential prospects in companies that you are targeting.
For years, companies have been paying thousands of dollars a month to have inside access to contact information, that now you can access for the cost of your LinkedIn membership.
- Company names
- Job titles
And other factors depending upon your subscription. Simply type in the information you are seeking, press submit, and LinkedIn will generate a comprehensive list of profiles you can start connecting too.
2) Direct Messaging
Instead of email, direct messaging your contacts gives you a greater chance of your message being read and responded to. Clients and customers receive tons of email per day, but only a few LinkedIn messages.
It is very easy to stand out from the crowd using this feature. Next time you are tempted to send a prospecting email, try direct messaging through LinkedIn instead.
Please note, this feature is only available if you are a connection of theirs.
If you would like to know how to use this feature, jump on our upcoming FREE LinkedIn Training Session where you will learn the 4-step email marketing process we use to turn connections into meaningful relationships.
Another great way to attract potential clients and customers is to provide engaging and educational content. LinkedIn has designed their entire platform to support the sharing of value-added resources that can benefit the end-user.
With newly integrated analytic features, you can now view every person who has shared or commented on your article. What better way to capture a warm lead than reach out to someone who has just received value from information you posted?
And finally, if you have a premium subscription, you can view every single person who has viewed your profile! What better way to identify potential prospects than seeing who has checked out your profile?
Once you have looked at their profile, if they seem like a good contact, write a simple message to strike up a business conversation on the phone or a coffee in person. You never know, it may book you some solid business!
Adopting New Practices
The way we do business has changed. Customers are more educated on the services they need, there are more influencers and decision-makers than ever before, and cold calling is becoming less and less effective. Somewhat dead in my opinion!!!
To survive in today’s marketplace it’s essential for you to adopt new practices and embrace the new world of social media.
Using LinkedIn tools such as Advanced Search, Direct Messaging, the LinkedIn publishing feature, and Who’s Viewed your Profile tool, you could turn your approach from a “push” sales method to an inbound selling approach.
This way, you can say goodbye to Cold Calling and hello to LinkedIn as a way to warm up your leads into valuable, offline conversations.
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