Social Selling – Stage 9 – Generating leads through LinkedIn

This is probably the most anticipated topic

In general, I distinguish two methods of generating leads by LinkedIn:

  1. aggressive – outbound
  2. social-selling – inbound and outbound

Aggressive – outbound method

To put it simply, it consists in spamming LinkedIn users with emails or internal messages of a more or less advertising nature. E-mails are obtained in one of two ways:

  • by invitation to contacts – here recently the advertising message has been placed already in the invitation message
  • using „guess” emails such as mail hunter

After getting the emails, you immediately make an attempt at a conversation, proposing a discussion, a meeting or directly advertising the product. There is no place (and time) for establishing relationships here.

Undoubtedly, the advantage of this method is the relatively short time needed to get the first leads. This is the reason why many companies decide to choose it.

However, the use of the aggressive method leads to many negative effects:

  • no one likes being spammed without any permission (even acceptance of an invitation)
  • deterioration of the brand image
  • in the long run, very low effectiveness of this method, especially for narrow target groups
  • it is much more likely that such methods will be reported both to the LinkedIn helpdesk and as an act of unfair competition

Getting leads through Social-Selling

Getting leads through Social-Selling is a bit like having a good old pickup line.   You need time and you must act with sensitivity. For most customers, you won’t get the results right away. This is not really about selling, but about letting the potential client know about the possibility of a purchase. As nicely put by one of my clients:

Everyone likes to buy, but no one likes it when someone tries to sell them something.

If you want to get leads through LinkedIn via Social-Selling, you need to build a small workshop consisting of 4 basic tools:

  • LinkedIn contact network
  • built image of an expert
  • regular publications
  • activation of potential customers

The combination of these four elements with time begins to bring very valuable, inbound (incoming, natural) leads. However, it takes time and does not work the same in every industry. If the product is unique, interesting and meant for a relatively large group of recipients, leads begin to appear already at the stage of building a contact network. On the other end of the scale, generating leads may require additional action. There are of course sectors, which are not fit for sales through LinkedIn.

If you want to find out how to get leads in your company talk to me.