We live in an era of convenience and instant gratification – you can order a pizza, or watch a movie, all with very little effort, and you can often even get your Amazon order delivered the same day. Technology has been the driving force behind this progress, which has had a huge impact on our everyday lives, and in many situations, we no longer have to wait to get what we want.
Technology has also been the driving force behind the growth of social media platforms such as LinkedIn – I love LinkedIn, and for me, it’s the best tool available for prospecting to gain quality leads, as it allows for easy, direct marketing and networking to your ideal clients.
However, it’s important to remember that there is a human being behind every LinkedIn profile – someone who wants to build a trusted relationship with those they are planning to do business with. And it takes time to build a relationship – it doesn’t happen at the touch of a button.
There are plenty of so-called experts out there who will promise you that they will help you get rich quick on LinkedIn. But we’ve all been on the receiving end of those horrible spammy approaches – in my opinion, there’s no greater turn off than the ‘connect and pitch’ approach.
Instead, I prefer to put the time and effort into building genuine business relationships – using what I call ‘The 3Ps of Prospecting’ – Patience, Persistence and Profits.
Before you do anything else on Linkedin, it’s important to be patient – to take a step back and do the groundwork, making sure that you have worked out what your LinkedIn goals are, and most importantly, that you have identified your ideal client profile.
I’m not going to pretend that it’s quick and easy – it isn’t. It takes time. But it’s worth every second you spend doing it. Think about it – how can you prospect, reach out to your ideal client, build a relationship, or close a sale with them, if you don’t know who they are in the first place?
Which clients do you enjoy working with, and which are most rewarding, both in terms of job satisfaction and providing you with an intellectual challenge, and in terms of being profitable, and not draining your time?
Once you’ve honed in on your ideal client profile, and have optimised your LinkedIn profile to speak directly to them, you’re ready to start the ball rolling with building a lead generation campaign on LinkedIn. 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’ – and understanding your ideal client profile is key to this.
The first stage – Collect – is where you find targeted prospects, using proven search techniques such as Boolean Search to find the right people.
The next stage of the 4C Method is to Connect – and it’s vital to start the relationship as you mean to go on by taking the time to send a personalised connection message when you invite someone to connect with you on LinkedIn. Within 2 days of making a new connection on LinkedIn, you should send them a welcome message – it’s the start of a two-way conversation.
As well as patience, persistence is key to growing your network on LinkedIn. If you spend 20-30 minutes per day connecting with 20-30 targeted prospects, you’ll soon have a high-quality network that is aligned to your business and objectives.
Once you’ve found your prospective clients, you’ve connected with them and welcomed them to your LinkedIn network, it doesn’t stop there.
The next stage of prospecting is to Converse – to get the communication going with your connection. You should aim to keep the momentum of the relationship going, by building rapport, being engaging and personable, and showing how you can add value to your prospective clients.
By sending regular friendly messages – ‘relationship-building messages’ – every 2-3 weeks, you’ll be well on your way to building a powerful professional relationship. You need to be patient yet persistent, and that way, your prospective clients will grow to understand who you are, what you offer and why you would be useful to them.
Don’t push too hard – it’s important to develop mutual respect between you and your prospective client, and that takes time. The aim is to nurture your relationship with your connections so that they Know, Like and Trust you. Similarly, don’t assume that you’ve wasted your time if a prospect does not become a paid-up client within a week or a month
Eventually, you’ll get to the last step of my ‘4C Method’, which is to move to Convert your prospects into profitable clients.
When you’ve built rapport and given value, you’ll want to move the conversation offline by having a conversation on the phone, over Zoom, or face to face. Be patient, and don’t rush to suggest this – it’s better to wait until the time is right.
If you’ve put the groundwork into building a relationship and providing value, you’ll know when the time is right as it will feel like the natural next step. When you get the opportunity to speak directly to your prospective client – whether it’s on the phone, on a video call or face to face – that’s very powerful. You can fully engage with them and move to convert them to a valuable and profitable long term client.
The best way to do this once you’ve taken the time to get to know them and you understand their business challenges – their pain points – is to find ways of showing them that you can genuinely make a difference to them, and offer a call to help them.
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.
When it comes to Prospecting on LinkedIn, if you keep the 3Ps in mind – Patience, Persistence and Profits – then you’ll be on the right track. It’s underpinned my approach to LinkedIn prospecting, which I used to grow my highly profitable business with a 5-figure monthly income within 6 months.
I love sharing my method to help other individuals grow their businesses, and I’d be excited to work with you if you’re keen to learn more. Please feel free to drop me an email at [email protected], or message me directly on LinkedIn for further support.