Sales Skills

A Four-Step Checklist to Design Your LinkedIn Prospecting Strategy

As a producer, has prospecting become one of the most challenging aspects of your job? With reduced opportunities to meet prospective clients face-to-face in the midst of the pandemic, do you feel the increased pressure to find, connect with, and onboard future clients?

It is for these reasons that Beyond Insurance has made social selling strategies in the midst of Covid-19 a key focus.  Social selling is defined as the art of using social media to find, connect with, understand, and nurture prospects.

We suggest that you use a social media platform like LinkedIn in concert with the following four steps to achieve success.

Step 1: Outline your goal

Without a goal, any prospecting strategy can quickly go from exciting to muddy. As famed writer Lewis Carroll once said, “If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there.”  This is true with prospecting as well.  Without a clear goal or objective in mind, there is no efficient way to assess if your prospecting efforts are effective!

The good news is, however, creating goals is simple.  Just ask yourself: What is the most important outcome you want to get out of using LinkedIn for prospecting? Here are a few examples:

  • Post two pieces of content a week on LinkedIn for three months and see who engages with your posts most frequently.
  • Spend 30 minutes a week over the next month, identifying five new suspects each week.
  • Research and connect warmly with one new business leader each week for the next two months.

A common acronym for goal setting is SMART: specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. You may consider using this acronym when creating your goals.

Step 2: Define the audience

You might think that to reach your goal you should target as many prospects as possible. But wouldn’t you prefer to spend your time with qualified opportunities who could actually turn into customers? That is why it's important to define your audience.

One of the best parts about LinkedIn is its robust research capabilities. To maximize your use of the platform, it is best to narrow your focus using a handful of criteria like:

  • Industry
  • Occupation
  • Role or seniority level
  • Location

Understanding whom you’d like to serve allows you to tailor your message to that audience, making it sound more authentic and genuine. 

Step 3. Plan your prospect research tactics

As mentioned above, there are several prospecting tactics that you can use on LinkedIn, even without a premium profile.  You might consider any of the following resources:

  • The connections of your first-degree connections
  • LinkedIn Company Pages
  • LinkedIn Groups
  • Using Boolean Search

Each of these might contain a goldmine of information.  When utilized strategically and routinely, you will increase the likelihood of building a connection with your ideal audience.

Step 4: Align your messaging with your target audience

This step is commonly forgotten but is crucial. You must be able to clearly articulate how you can create value for the other person.  Put your insured hat on for a moment and think about which message will resonate the most:

Hi sir/ma’am, I have a unique process I’d love to walk you though.  Do you have 30 minutes to connect?

Vs.

Hi sir/ma’am, I have a unique diagnostic process that helps busy professionals like yourself gain clarity around your overall total cost of risk, which will allow you to sleep better at night as a result of risk profile improvement.  Do you have 30 minutes to connect?

The first example is a pitch to promote your own product while the second answers the question, “What’s in it for me?”

The lesson is: spend the extra time to making your first impression persuasive.

* * *

If you review and execute the four steps listed above, you will see that LinkedIn is a powerful, and underutilized, prospecting resource.

Happy Prospecting!

To continue improving your social selling abilities, learn more with Using Social Media to Drive Actionable Results, a new, results-oriented online course