LinkedIn For Sales: How to Improve Your LinkedIn Results

The number one challenge that salespeople we work with share is finding and converting qualified leads – people who need and will pay for their service.

Let me ask, how often can you call or walk into a prospect’s office and actually talk to them? Rare isn’t it? And let’s face it – Do you ever take a cold call? Do you respond to direct mail from your mailbox?

Here’s what we know:

  • 1% of cold calls result in an appointment
  • And only .3% of cold call appointments result in a sale

Some will tell me they don’t make a lot of cold calls these days; their business runs off of referrals. Music to my ears as a trainer! But even though referrals are better than cold calls, it is still heavily reliant on the prospect’s willingness to give you their time and attention even though they don’t know who you are or why you’re calling. It might help to have a name to reference, but that only moves the bar so much.

So how can we improve our likelihood of success? How do we get out of the cold-calling business? How can we improve the outcome of the referrals that we get? It requires building and utilizing our digital network, specifically for Today’s conversation: LinkedIn.

I assume that at this point most selling professionals have and utilize a LinkedIn account. The people I coach spend most of their time sending out connection invites and joining groups that relate to the business they’re in or a space their customers are engaged and interacting in. And it’s great to be active, to send out requests, post articles, join groups- no doubt. But is that taking full advantage of a platform that now houses over 930,000,000 users?

How You Can Leverage LinkedIn for Sales

We find the best way to utilize LinkedIn is through connections- yours, your friends, families, coworkers, and the connections of your connections. It is a great way to curate a list of individuals you may not know but want to connect with. Everyone knows someone. So whether it’s a coworker or someone you currently do business with, utilizing the connections they have via LinkedIn is a great place to go to build your ideal prospect call sheet.

But let’s take it one step further. Once you have the list of individuals you want to call or speak to, it’s now time to utilize the common factor- the person who is connected with both you and the person you wish to meet with. We’ve talked about referrals. But we want to shift those referrals into active introductions. That requires putting the list you just created in front of your contact. And asking the question; “who on this list do you know that I should be talking to?” Assuming they respond with a name, it’s time to drill down:

  • Who would you call first?
  • Why them?
  • What’s the best way to get in contact with them?
  • Lastly, and most importantly, I don’t suppose you would be willing to introduce me?

The goal is to bridge the gap between you and the prospect and have your COI help pave the way for a smoother transition and easier conversation. But we have to ask for help- that’s the game-changer when it comes to asking for introductions.

78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media. It might seem like a waste and may be uncomfortable initially, but with some practice and commitment to regularly feeding and interacting on social media platforms like LinkedIn, you will undoubtedly start to see more success than your counterparts who don’t.


From Alex Cole-Murphy, Chief Growth Officer
Anthony Cole Training Group


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