Prospecting is what has made me successful in sales. I am the Sales and Marketing Manager at Summits of Chicago. Being a small business we’re required to prospect to make our goals. In fact, 80% of my business has come from cold and warm calling. If you’re in sales you know why you’re reading this. If you’re not, please stay and read on. I promise you’ll get at least one valuable tip on ways to find the right hiring manager for your next job or maybe someone you want to partner with in a new city for your next event. I am going to focus on LinkedIn because that is my favorite tool but I will also give a few other ideas.
Here are a few tips to be successful on LinkedIn:
- Make sure it’s up to date: with a great NEW professionally taken headshot and current recommendations.
- Summary section: include a 30 second commercial for your company so when a potential client clicks on your profile they don’t just know what YOU do but they see what your company can do for them.
- FINDING CONTACTS
- In the search bar, search for the name, job title or company. On the side, (the advanced search) you can add their location, company size, industry and other filters to improve results. You can save search results and have them email you anytime someone new comes up in those results.
- Use the “people you may know” feature. The algorithm lists people based on your industry and connections.
- Use the “find alumni” tool under my network, find alumni. You can search for alumni of your school or any school. This is a great tool if you went to the same school, you’ll already have a common interest. If not, you can look up a school that has a hospitality program to find contacts. You can find out where people from that school live, work and what they do.
- Join groups such as MPI, PCMA, IACC, ASTD, Bizbash or industry groups where you can find contacts that are part of that group. Find by going to people/groups and type the subject in and join. Comment and participate.
- CONNECTING AND MESSAGE
- When you connect with someone, click into their profile before hitting connect so it doesn’t send an auto generated message. You can tailor your message to let that person know why you are connecting with them.
- Send a message that’s short and lets that person know how you can help them right away. Include a call to action whether it’s a call, meeting, site tour or invite to an event.
- Be respectful of time, don’t reach out unless you’ve done your research and know you have a benefit. Also, if you say you’ll do something, make sure you do!
- Post or share on LinkedIn. You may know something that your clients would like to learn about. That will keep you in front of those clients and prospects.
- Comment on your clients posts
Although LinkedIn is my favorite prospecting tool below are a few tools and other innovative prospecting ideas
- ZoomInfo-to find contacts with any title in all industries
- MPI Database-search current database and look at who is attending what event
- ASTD Database-to find contacts in training and development
- Choose Chicago Database-to find contacts in Chicago
- Fortune 500 List-to find companies that may have meetings
- Wikipedia-Search by industry and find a list of companies in your market
- Crain’s Chicago Business Lists-find lists of companies in your market
- Partner with a vendor to refer business
- Partner with a competitor for referrals
- Build a referral program for your current clients
I hope you have learned a few new ideas on how to connect with someone new. Now go out there and blow your goals out of the water!