3 Proven Ways to Sabotage a LinkedIn Prospecting Strategy
Stop the madness! LinkedIn Sales Navigator can be a great tool, but most sellers are sabotaging their chance to start conversations with prospects. From InMail to connection requests, I coach sellers on best use practices. Lately, these three mistakes are running rampant.
1. Using LinkedIn As a Communications Platform
Increasingly, Linkedin is weakening as a communications platform for sellers, all while the company has successfully built an image for itself as an essential sales tool. This weakening isn't my opinion — it's my accumulated experience. My team, and my client's teams, are seeing decision makers becoming less-and-less responsive over time. Some blame the "Facebook-ization" of LinkedIn.
Historically, LinkedIn has seen massive abuse of its InMail messaging platform. In 2015, the company re-arranged its rules and response rates increased substantially. There was less spam on LinkedIn.
However, lately, we (my clients and I) are seeing decreasing:
- Quality and effectiveness of InMail
- InMail writing skills
- Communications skills among sellers
Decision makers are responding less on LinkedIn's platform, simply because Navigator's popularity is increasing. More sellers are piling on. However, this is resulting in a steady increase in spammy messages on LinkedIn's platform.
Remember: LinkedIn's strength is in its profile database — not its ability to take the work out of starting conversations with customers.
I know snazzy LinkedIn adverts claim otherwise. As do the "LinkedIn experts" who arm you with InMail templates. Templates don't work.
Bottom line: Do you use LinkedIn as your primary communications platform when prospecting? If so, you may be weakening your chances to start conversations on it.
Over time, we are seeing decision-makers:
- Disguising their authority on LinkedIn
- Accepting fewer connection requests
- Responding to issues-oriented provocations, not meeting requests
Instead, use LinkedIn for what it's best at: Prospect targeting and research. Make sure LinkedIn is not your primary communications platform when prospecting.
2. Relying Too Much on InMail
Most sellers are relying too much on email. InMail is even worse ... in terms of the assumed "power" of LinkedIn's paid email service, InMail.
Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded the Google Affiliate Network in 1999, and has been selling for 18 years. Jeff is adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s business school, a social sales trainer and author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You. Most social selling trainers teach the value of engaging customers and providing relevant content. Then they demonstrate the technology. But no one tells you exactly how to produce leads and sales—using a proven, systematic approach to content. Until now.