Over the years, I’ve tested and perfected my technique for turning prospects into clients via LinkedIn using my ‘4C Method’ for Prospecting like a Pro’. I’m really excited to be able to share this with you as I know that it really does work!
It’s a simple 4 step approach that takes you all the way from identifying prospects to your ultimate goal, to CONVERT, as follows:
Step 1. ‘Collect’ – finding and gathering the right people – your targeted prospects – on LinkedIn.
Step 2. ‘Connect’ – sending a personalised connection request, followed by a welcome message.
Step 3 – ‘Converse’ – engaging with prospects and providing value to build the relationship.
Step 4 – ‘Convert’ – adding more value and then moving the conversation offline when the time is right, through a series of relationship building messages.
The first stage to prospecting on LinkedIn is to gather or COLLECT your prospects.
Many LinkedIn beginners are still under the impression that the more connections you have, the better you look. Connecting with too many people is one of the most common mistakes on LinkedIn and can make you look spammy.
Instead, it’s better to take a much more targeted approach – the best place to start is to think about your ideal client. You may have more than one ideal client profile if you work across different sectors, so it’s good to target each with a specific search.
Once you have a client profile in mind, you can use advanced search tools to help you hone in on your ideal prospects. In my article A Beginner’s Guide to Using Boolean Search on LinkedIn, I explain in more detail what’s involved, but in a nutshell, it’s a targeted way of filtering out unwanted search results.
Advanced search tactics allow you to target people more effectively, improving your Social Selling Index score, as LinkedIn sees you connecting and networking with the right people. In my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course, I work through several real-world examples with you on-screen using my own target clients, so you can see exactly how it’s done.
Finding the exact type of ideal clients by drilling down and being specific is the hardest part of prospecting on LinkedIn. Once you’ve got this bit right, the rest is easy!
The next stage to prospecting on LinkedIn is to CONNECT with your prospect. This is a 2 stage process – starting with a personalised connection request, which is then followed by a welcome message within a couple of days.
I suggest that you identify 20-30 prospects to connect with on a daily basis – spend a few minutes looking at each profile to find people who fit your ideal client profile, particularly where you can identify a need that you can help with.
You should ALWAYS add a personalised note with your connection request – you have 300 characters, so use them wisely! To help you with this, I’ve created a range of messaging scripts which I provide to people registered on my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course, including 8 different templates that you can personalise to use for your connection request.
Once you are connected, the next stage is to follow up within a couple of days with a welcome or thank you message to welcome your prospect to your network. It’s a great way to get the conversation going and to let them know you’re there to help and will be giving them value as you build your relationship.
Keep the message succinct – short and friendly. At this stage, you are NOT trying to sell or pitch – you need to nurture the relationship and earn the opportunity for a phone call or meeting when the time is right. Look for clues in their LinkedIn Profile to work out what to include in the message. It’s a good opportunity to offer them something free, such as a download or other resource, to make them feel good about being connected to you. Again, the messaging scripts included with my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course can really help you here.
I’ve tested the timing of this type of message, and 2 days is perfect (not immediately, as that can be overwhelming).
Now you’ve got the ball rolling, the next stage to prospecting on LinkedIn is to CONVERSE, via a series of relationship-building messages to engage your prospect.
Many people make the mistake of leaving it and expecting the sale to miraculously happen. It doesn’t work like that!
The aim is to build a relationship and nurture your prospect along the sales funnel by adding value. That way, you can earn their trust to the point where you warrant a phone call or meeting to try and close your prospect or lead into a sale.
After you’ve sent the welcome message, give it a week before sending your first Relationship Building Message. Then send a message every 2-3 weeks to keep the relationship going, to keep your prospects and leads engaged in order to develop a relationship.
Trust happens over time, and by regularly messaging and adding value, you keep your prospects interested and engaged, and yourself top of mind.
Again the best approach is to be nice and friendly – giving value and not expecting anything in return. No pitching, no selling.
For me, sharing my ebook has worked really well – it’s a personal touch, and creates a talking point that you can use to follow up on.
The messaging scripts included with my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course include a multitude of different examples of relationship-building messages, including those geared around ‘trigger events’ such as your prospect being promoted. You’re playing the long game here and aiming to get to know your prospect and win their trust and respect.
The final stage to prospecting on LinkedIn is to CONVERT – to move the conversation offline. This is a big step and should only be done when you know the time is right.
The conversation that leads to a sale rarely happens online on LinkedIn – instead, the conversation needs to be moved offline, whether it’s a phone call, a face to face meeting or a Zoom or Skype call.
A lot of people don’t know how to move the conversation offline. I’ve always done it by giving value, for example by offering consultation or a strategy call to try and close the lead into a client.
Whatever you do, don’t pitch too early as it can burn the relationship. It’s better to wait for weeks or even months and play the long game. There’s no hard and fast rule, but you’ll know when the time is right from the type of messages you’ve been exchanging – it will feel quite natural when you have built rapport and trust – a professional relationship.
To guide you, I’ve created a series of messages that you can customise to help you take the conversation offline as part of the messaging scripts included with my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course.
When you’ve invited them to take the conversation offline, leave it with them – don’t put any pressure on them to jump on a call. I’ve tested this approach – trust me, it’s the best way to take things forward when you have a relationship. Let them come back to you.
My ‘4C Method’ for Prospecting like a Pro is the way I’ve managed to convert prospects into clients. It’s worked for me – and it can work for you too if you follow these straightforward steps Feel free to drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or message me directly on LinkedIn for further support.