While Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are often used for personal purposes, LinkedIn is specifically designed for professional use. The social platform was founded as an online professional network and continues to be used that way today. That's why LinkedIn is the ideal platform for building business relationships. Acquisition can also be effectively carried out through this platform. Here, we provide more information about acquisition via LinkedIn and offer tips to help you use LinkedIn more effectively.
LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network. Through this social medium, you are connected with professionals from around the world. It's very easy to meet new interesting people and connect with them. Acquisition via LinkedIn is, therefore, quite common. The way this acquisition takes place varies depending on the strategy.
Cold acquisition is, of course, a way to get in touch with potential relationships. The advantage is that it's very direct, and you immediately know where you stand. However, it requires a significant amount of time because not everyone is always reachable. In cold acquisition, you try to "trigger" the right person directly with something that adds value to them. Based on that, you then try to schedule a meeting. Starting with a sales pitch to a new contact on LinkedIn is not a good idea. You need to build relationships first before presenting your business proposal. Acquisition via LinkedIn is more of a marathon than a sprint. The advantage is that you can connect with many new people in a short period.
Building relationships on LinkedIn can be done in various ways. Firstly, it's important that you have a complete and up-to-date LinkedIn profile. When potential leads view your profile, they get an immediate impression of who they are dealing with. A professional profile picture and a compelling profile description are crucial. Showcase what you have to offer to (potential) clients in your profile description. Provide a professional pitch, so they know exactly what to expect.
Sharing other valuable content also contributes to your success on LinkedIn. Share interesting content from your field. Establish yourself as an expert in the industry and demonstrate that you work authentically and professionally. Recommendations from others can also be extremely helpful.
In addition to your own profile page, you can also promote yourself in other ways on LinkedIn. Build relationships by commenting on the posts of others. Many posts on LinkedIn are public, allowing you to comment on content from outside your own network. Leave genuinely interested comments. Consider this as an opportunity to invest in a valuable relationship. People become familiar with your name, making them more likely to do business with you later on.
Another way to make cautious contact with new people is by viewing their profile. LinkedIn has a feature where you (if you have a Premium account) can see who has viewed your profile. This sparks curiosity, making the other person likely to view your profile in return. This is a great opportunity to initiate contact later on. Use the search functionalities on LinkedIn to discover interesting individuals with whom you can connect. It's even possible to make selections based on factors such as function, sector, or location.
Warming up a potential lead on LinkedIn can be done in various ways. Additionally, you probably already have a network of first-degree connections. If you want to start sending messages or calling leads, it's wise to begin with these first-degree connections. You have already made contact with these people, and they already know your name and company. Therefore, critically review your existing network and consider which individuals are worth (re)connecting with.
First-degree connections already know you. This allows you to be quite direct in your message or phone call. However, a personal approach definitely helps. Give your contact a compliment, congratulate them on a new position, or refer to a previous contact moment. Personal attention can work wonders. Evaluate whether a message or a phone call is the right choice for each contact.
Your network of first-degree connections also has a network. These are your second-degree connections. You haven't had direct contact with these individuals, but you can easily reach them through your own network. Use the search function to discover interesting second-degree connections. Now you can send them a message, or it can be very effective to comment on a (interesting) post on their page. This is a low-threshold way to establish a new connection.
If you prefer to send a message to a second-degree connection, it works best if you both have a shared connection who knows you both well. If that's the case, use their name in a connection request. This builds trust, making your request more likely to be accepted. Afterward, you can, of course, call this person to arrange a meeting. However, you can also start warming up this new relationship by sharing information on a topic that might be interesting to them.
LinkedIn can be very valuable for your company. Acquisition can be done on the platform in various ways, yielding significant results. However, LinkedIn is also a personal network. If multiple employees from your company are active on LinkedIn, it can provide a wealth of information but may hinder an organized approach. Therefore, it's wise to link LinkedIn to your CRM system. This way, the contacts established on LinkedIn don't stay on the social platform but become a part of your customer database. This creates a more comprehensive view of all (potential) customers within the company.
Creating a link between LinkedIn and your CRM system can be done in various ways. It depends on which CRM system your company uses and which paid features of LinkedIn you have enabled. If you're unsure how to make this link but would like to, it's advisable to consult an expert to ensure no valuable information is lost.
LinkedIn is a professional network, so it's no surprise that the platform itself has developed some useful tools to help you use the social medium more effectively. LinkedIn Sales Navigator is one such tool. It is a paid option of LinkedIn specifically designed for sales professionals. The following definition illustrates how LinkedIn Sales Navigator describes itself:
"Sales Navigator offers powerful search features, better insight into extensive networks, and personalized algorithms to help you reach the right decision-maker."
Sales Navigator allows you to collect 'accounts' and 'leads' in separate lists. Accounts are interesting companies, while leads are the individuals you want to connect with. To find these people and companies, Sales Navigator provides an extensive set of filters. You also receive suggestions based on specified preferences, making it much easier to find the right interesting individuals than without Sales Navigator.
And that's not all. With Sales Navigator, you can create a separate timeline with only the people you've selected. This makes it easier to invest in contact with these people without them getting lost in your normal timeline. Liking messages or responding to a contribution becomes easier. Such simple actions can be a good start to a strong business relationship.
Sales Navigator can be used as an individual, but you can also use it as a team. This allows you to build an even larger and more effective network together with other employees from your company. This makes acquisition on LinkedIn much simpler.
A large part of our lives now takes place online. The internet also offers many possibilities in the business world. At the same time, the internet has significantly changed our way of doing business. Traditional sales techniques, such as cold calls, are gradually disappearing. They are being replaced or complemented by online strategies, such as social selling.
Acquisition via LinkedIn is one of these new strategies. When done correctly, this form of acquisition can yield significant results. You no longer need to make cold calls but can easily make new contacts online. A call to a warm contact is always more pleasant. However, you need to be willing to invest in relationships with contacts that may not immediately lead to a sale.
Acquisition via LinkedIn may not always be quick, but with perseverance, you can go a long way. Combine your acquisition on this platform with other social selling techniques to achieve the best results. This is how you discover how much LinkedIn can yield for your company.