Using LinkedIn to Maximize Lead Generation & Sales

If you need a new source of B2B leads, try our LinkedIn Social Selling webinar. You will discover the key secrets to identifying high-quality new prospects, engaging them to get an initial meeting, and nurturing your prospects on LinkedIn to maximize new sales. Our simple process will unlock the new business growth you need!

Originally Aired: February 9, 2022

In this webinar you’re going to learn:

  • The secrets to identifying high quality new prospects
  • How to engage with prospects to get an initial meeting
  • Tips to nurture your prospects on LinkedIn to maximize new sales

Webinar Transcription

Good morning and thank you for joining us. I’m Ben Weise with WSI B2B Marketing. And we have Hubert Hopkins on with us today. And this morning, we’re going to lead you through LinkedIn social selling and how to use LinkedIn to improve your BDB, manufacturing your maritime business. So we’re going to get a couple more seconds here to let people get in and get situated. In the meantime, let us know, make sure you can hear me, okay? You can see our screen and the presentation is up. We want to put into the chat. You can hear us. Okay. I’ll also be on standby for any questions, so we’ll get those addressed at the end. So feel free to type those away as you come up with it.

Thanks, Ben. And welcome to everybody. It’s a pleasure to be here. And we’re going to give you a quick overview of our process for this LinkedIn social selling. And we’re excited by it because it’s really an important new source of leads for us, for our company particularly. And also several of our clients are using this as well, with success. Linkedin is just an important part of business these days. And if you are manufacturing a maritime company like we service may even be more important. We’ve got another webinar coming in three weeks now about a big Google update called Mum Mum. And that’s going to change how search results are shown and just upset the Apple cart a little bit in terms of SEO and other things. So this LinkedIn social selling may be very timely for a lot of you. So with that, let’s go ahead and get started. What is social selling? Well, what it is to us is having a way to generate lots of leads, something that’s a lead generation process, that’s scalable and it’s repeatable, cold calling does that, going to trade shows in a methodical way and follow up and all that does that.

And LinkedIn can do it for you, too. And if you’re not using LinkedIn for this, it’s worth strong consideration. So what we’re going to cover is really try to talk you through the big picture of social selling, which is to maximize your LinkedIn messaging, get the most out of what you’re presenting, both your brand, your company as well as you personally on LinkedIn. And then how to find and target new leads. There are a couple of ways to do it. You can do it more organically or you can be kind of killer about it with using sales Navigator. And we’re going to talk about that. And then the last thing is how do you get that call or that meeting then? That’s the toughest part, of course, like any kind of cold call, cold marketing. So let’s talk about why we’re doing this, of course, is to expand your lead generation. We talked about that, the ability to target people and Ben is going to talk about targeting quite a bit. But your ability to target people demographically is really excellent on LinkedIn. And if you haven’t tried that and worked that, you’ll probably be amazed.

Also, it’s scalable. Now, there are some industries, some markets that are just not that many customers. And this may not work for. But in us, for us, we’re working two fairly small markets, manufacturing, kind of heavy-duty industrial manufacturing and maritime marine industry. And those are not the hugest industries, and we have a very large source of leads from those. And then the last thing is to expand your company brand because if you’re working all of this on LinkedIn, more and more people know about you and know about your brand. So all of those things are important, then you want to add a couple of things to that?

No, I think that hit the nail on the head. The scalable piece is one of the most important here. If you go out and are doing this by yourself on your own, you might be getting a little bit of traction. It could be anywhere from five new leads to ten. Right? Whereas you can outsource this and really ramp it up to be in the 25 new connections and new potential needs for you a week. So in terms of that, there’s some goodness there, too.

Okay, great. So getting the basics in place. The first thing is your own profile, your business LinkedIn business page, the company page, getting some good graphics on there, getting the messaging to be very precise. What you do, you can read hours here trying to help people grow a more successful business, and we help manufacturing and maritime companies. And so try to make that as clear as you possibly can. Send me your personal profile. I went back to my Navy picture and a submarine in the background as we were targeting the maritime business. And that gave me a lot of credibility right upfront. So anything you can do to make yourself stand out is important as you get these basics in place. And it’s more than those couple of things. There’s probably a checklist of 20 things you want to do to make sure your company page and your profile are all set up correctly. But if those things are good, then you’ve got a good launchpad for generating leads. Also important is a strategy. So how are you going to measure this? Ben mentioned you might get 25 new connections a week. Well, is that a goal?

Is it five? Is it 25? Is it 100? So you develop those things and then you work from there. So anything like this, any initiative, needs to start with a good set of goals, then. Any comments on this? I know you set up all of these for us for the most part. So comments.

Well, as you mentioned, you can go find checklists on how to optimize your LinkedIn company page. And that’s going to include using LinkedIn articles and uploading some sales slicks and some PowerPoints. Those are all helpful things just to round out your profile. The other key pieces in that strategy are to develop a persona and a voice, both from the company standpoint. Are you going to be light-hearted and fun and really be engaged? Are you going to be more serious and a thought leader? And how you’re going to have that tone come across? The other piece to consider, even with the company page, is you need to have key people, right? There needs to be some level of executives that are also engaging in conversations, offering their insight and really keeping that conversation going on behalf of the business.

Right. And that’s an important point. Ben makes it in our lead generation social selling process. It’s a combination of a person, usually the lead salesperson in the company or salespeople, and the company LinkedIn page itself. So the first step, of course, after you’ve got your basic set up, is to get busy posting. This is just a little example of an animation that we did and I had been in talk about what kind of things people like to see, but they love videos, they love anything that catches their attention. It doesn’t have to be really complicated. Sometimes the most simple things are the ones that get the most views. I think it’s got several hundred, I think five or 600 views, which is a lot for us. So once you get in the flow of posting things on LinkedIn, it’s easy enough to do it once or twice a week. And that’s really about all it takes. So Ben talked to us about what kinds of things to post here.

Sure. Well, the important part of why you need to post is as you start reaching out to these folks, they’re going to go click on your link and see who you are, and you want to have some level of content out there so they get an idea of what you’re sharing, whether it’s worthwhile to even connect with you. So the key piece of that is what type of things do you find interesting on LinkedIn? And typically those are going to be things that make your life easier or better or can impact your business in a positive way. So you want to make sure to keep that in mind as you do your posting. A lot of times it’s really easy to gloat and brag and you want to talk about how great your company is, but it’s really important to kind of turn that around and how it’s useful for that potential lead. You mentioned videos, but it’s a little bit easier to gather content than you might originally think. It doesn’t all have to be long-form blog articles that you create or anything like that. You can share third-party images, you can share any templates that you might use, even your own customers, showcase them, how you help them.

That’s an easy way to also capitalize on their audience. If you tag them, their audience is going to see your kind of involvement in that. So again, why do they care about it is what to kind of keep in the back of your head?

Go ahead, Ben.

To help you along, we’re going to share our template after the webinar ends and we send out all the materials and recordings. I’ll also share a Google sheet that we use. It’s modified from, I think maybe HubSpot or one of the big platforms, but we’ve converted it to use for our use, and you’re welcome to have it. So it has a content calendar and then kind of some checkpoints and what needs to be done and searching for links and images. Yeah.

The point of this is not to make it too complicated, but I know from first-hand experience if you don’t have a content calendar and a template for managing this thing, just you kind of forget about it. Oh, my God, it’s Saturday and I got to do anything last week and I have to have some posts by the end of the week. So it helps avoid all that and it reduces a lot of stress. Okay. Next is you got your profile, you got your basics done. You’re now posting, you’re out there, you’re active on LinkedIn. That’s all good.

Most of you probably are anyway. So then how do you grow your network and how do you put really this on steroids? So there is the natural or I call it a slower way. You can connect with people you might come across and they might look at your profile for some reason, they were looking at somebody else saw you look, that can happen. You can ask all your first-degree connections on LinkedIn for introductions to other people. You can search through groups and interests, and you can personalize your messaging, that sort of thing.

You can work all that and it will help you on LinkedIn. But the real key is the used Sales Navigator. And that’s for two things that it brings to you. One is targeting its really extremely powerful search tools based on demographics and company size and people’s titles, that sort of thing. And then also the quantity of the leads that you can generate. There’s just no way you’re going to generate this many leads in a natural way if you don’t use Sales Navigator. So the other thing it does is it gives you 30 email messages per month. I used a couple of those this morning in the third-level connections on LinkedIn, sent them a message. You can save up to 3000 leads in here, which you’re not using as a substitute for your CRM system. But it can be a way to help you organize the LinkedIn lead generation you’re doing. And then the other really important thing is it will give you an email and a phone number. Now, the email may be a Google Mail, but I have found that time the email is good, maybe a Gmail account, maybe something else.

But I’d say over half the time it’s a real company email address and the phone number could actually find him if you work it hard enough. So, Ben, let’s talk to the next page, which is targeting, which is really your expertise.

I think the key part is that it lets you slice off any data point that LinkedIn has on file for that user. So we use it by obviously selecting the industries we mentioned earlier. You can then have certain company sizes for us. Too big of a company. It has some large agency, too small of a company, doesn’t have enough budget. So you can really fine tune the companies that you want to go after. After that, obviously, you can get the position and title and connections and things like that, which are important to be talking to the right people. We found that opening that up even a little bit, we’ve been able to get referrals to who to talk to within that company. That’s been pretty beneficial. And then again, any piece of data, so new jobs, any experiences, shared interest, all those you can kind of filter by. A couple of neat examples are we had a client that was doing this, and they were targeting CFOs that had been on the job less than three years since, in their eyes, they had something to prove and were more likely to buy their software. So it was a really nice way to target the last one on.

Here the keywords I’ve gotten. My wife does business development, and for a nonprofit, we’ve been able to weave these into her searches where if someone mentions community giving or volunteer experience along with a decision making title, they’re more likely to work with nonprofit. So it’s been a really neat tool for her to open up some leads for her.

Good. So what do you do with all this targeting? Well, on the left, there’s a small snippet of a search I did for a client for shipyard design engineers. And it generated a fairly long list of people who were working in shipyards. They had Navy or Coast Guard connection. And these were the people that our client wanted to target. They had a product. They were building modules, aluminum chip modules, and wanted to connect with shipyard designers, engineers, project managers, those type of job titles. And we were able to do that. You can see VP of Engineering and CIO of General Dynamics. I mean, that’s a pretty valuable lead. And the other thing you can do is separate these leads into different lead lists. So we just showed you our list from our company’s list, just a small part of the leads that we manage. And so you can make leave lists. You can use as many of them as you want to manage your 3000 leads on LinkedIn. So we’ve got some that we’re actively marketing to, some that we’ve written off, some that we’re waiting to connect on for the right time. And we can go back and look at those and manage those.

So then I’ll let you talk through this again. What do we want when we get these lists? That’s lovely. We got the CIO of Journal Dynamics, but is that really a good lead for us? What kind of questions should we ask? And we just wanted to give you some examples, Beth.

That’s right. Once you get a list of 300 folks, they’re not going to all be perfect. So what we do is first ask our own marketing qualified questions, in this case, a little bit about their website and their digital presence, what they do. So on top of being the right person from the right size company, we also need to make sure that there is some level of need to qualify them for us. And that’s what that does. That puts them in kind of the really sweet bucket. From there, we have this other checklist of how we can best message them because that’s kind of the next key piece of this. And again, they are fairly straightforward. Look for mutual connections, look for their level of LinkedIn activity, kind of see their jobs, their personal interest. And really, when we go through this list, it’s 100%. Is there any way that I can connect with this person on a somewhat secondary level? So for him, there’s a lot of nice Navy connections that he can make. Knowing that industry, there are places that we’ve lived and even places that we’ve been, they are able to connect with us.

Schools are a great place. I connect a lot with Auburn and George Washington University and Duke to some degree where my son went. But there’s a lot of ways to generate that conversation. And so that’s what you’re looking for. What’s the commonality between you and this lead? And then you could put it all in this number system or what we do is just a gut feel. Yeah, that’s a good one. I’m going to work that lead. Okay. Now once you’ve got this list of leads, the next part is how do you message them? How do you ask for a call or a meeting? And that’s really the hard part. People hate to give a phone call. I found that getting a meeting may be easier if you’ve done your research. Sometimes that’s actually easier. But like a ten minute call, people are really reluctant to that because they don’t like being sold to you got to really do some testing on your messaging, work on building that relationship. Do you have short messages, long messages? Do you call them email? If you’re the kind of company, if you’re a local company who is doing a lot of this in person, that’s even a little bit of different.

But you can see over on the right, we have standard LinkedIn messages, we have standard email messages. And that works okay. But what I’ll say is how carefully you craft that message is really important. And you can see here’s an example. You got Diana on the left who says, are you interested in learning these top metrics? And, you know, it’s a pretty vague she uses the same message on everybody. The guy on the right, Destin, he’s asking be to be companies. That’s us, lead generation. We worked at manufacturing clients. He’s looked at our business and looked at our website to do a little bit of research before it pops off a message. So that’s a lot better. Anything to add, Ben?

No, that hit it. Exactly. So we all have these messages in our inbox, right? I mean, we’ve all seen them, and you can see what differences those makes.

And still, I would say this is hard, right? So if you’ve gone this far and doing this, you’re probably doing okay. But if you really want to do superb, here’s the ticket to it. And that’s a software product that interfaces at least I interface it with Google Chrome and it’s called Crystal Knows. It’s a standalone website, but I use it connected with LinkedIn and with Chrome. So what Crystal Knows does is it use a predictive aptitude assessment tool called Disk Dise. And it has four quadrants to say, are you a dominant person or conscientious or steady or intellectual or influencer? Rather, it’s one of those personality things that tell you that, but then it goes beyond that. And what it does is it interface directly with LinkedIn. It’ll give you advice on how to book a meeting, be strong and straightforward, express your excitement about the meeting. If a person is a dominant person, you want to be short and sweet. They’re the driver-type personalities. And it’s going to give you exact recommendations to how to communicate with this person, whether it be LinkedIn email on the phone, in a presentation, that sort of thing.

And my friend and partner John Asher had talked about Crystal Knows for a few years and strongly recommended that we had resisted. It’s a paid service. I think it costs us $50 a month or something. We had resisted it. But once we started using Crystal Knows, dramatically increases the return rate for messages you sent. So if you haven’t tried this and look at this, you’ve got to give it a trial for a while. I actually think they have a free trial. But Crystal Knows, Besides, Sales Navigator is the secret sauce, really, how you make this messaging work. So you can do all this lead generation and getting lists and using Sales Navigator and all that. But if you don’t personalize your messages to these people and do it right, you’re going to fail. So really important and be happy to take questions on this. How does it know what the personality type is? What Crystal knows does is it looks at the messages that people have used online. It looks at anything they can find out on the internet about this person and on LinkedIn, particularly how they write up their profile. That’s sort of the kinds of words they use.

And it’s estimating this. And I found it to be 95% accurate. If it says this person is a dominant personality and I send them a short, sweet email, it works more often than not. Okay, so that’s the process. Again, just to summarize, it’s all about getting the basics on LinkedIn proper, Which I would guess most of you probably have that. But then it’s using sales Navigator to target and to generate lead lists for people you’d like to connect with. And then it’s messaging and using Crystal Knows and personalizing to get that ten-minute phone call or get that 30 minutes sales presentation with them and then putting together all your tips and tricks of how you get them to agree to that. So now there are parts of this. Well, let me ask before we say how we can help bend anything to add what I was on a roll on toward the end.

There no the other thing I was just admitting with Crystal Knows is that we’ve ran against people we know. And if it is not accurate, It’s almost mind-boggling how well those personality tests work. And they really do peg you and get you pretty close.

Right. All right, so we have a process for this to help our clients, and we can help with anything from posting to the lead data mining to making and managing connections. We can set up the whole spreadsheet of leads and text messages and do a versus B testing so we can offer anything from a piece part of this process all the way up to a full end-to-end solution. So that concludes our presentation. We thank you for that. If you got more information, please give us a call or email us and we’ll stay on the line for a while and answer questions if we have any.

If you have any questions, type them in or if not, join us on March 2 for another good discussion about Google mum update. Yeah, that’s going to be a fun one. We’re not going to have all the answers, but people do need to start thinking about this Because when Google rolls it out, It’s going to change Google search results and change how we do SEO and a lot of things like that.

Appreciate everybody and you guys have a great day. Thank you.

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