Generating leads with LinkedIn: An effective 3-step process

Generating leads with LinkedIn: An effective 3-step process

  • By Jeff Molander

generating leads on LinkedIn

Time to read: 3 minutes. Want to be radically effective at generating leads with LinkedIn? Get prospects who aren’t ready to talk about what you sell OFF of LinkedIn. That’s the key. Here’s how to tempt them to click over to your blog—so you can get more leads, more often. Success is all about knowing what to say, where and how to say it on LinkedIn.  

Step #1: Say This

“What do I say to prospects when they don’t want to talk about what I sell yet?”

Whatever matters to them.

Remember: Don’t confuse your customers’ un-willingness to buy at the moment with their hunger to act on something urgent right now! There’s a big difference between pitching your product to someone and giving them the opportunity to act on their desire to solve a nagging problem—or take a step toward achieving a goal.

The best way to start generating leads with LinkedIn is to ask yourself, “What’s keeping my typical customer up at night?” Be sure to focus on issues that are related to what you sell but outside of the context of a sales pitch.

When interacting on LinkedIn, talk about answers to your prospects’ problems, methods to avoid risks or ways to achieve goals. Do this in terms that don’t (yet) connect to what you sell.

Coming up with “what to say” (that creates leads) is as easy as:

  1. listening for customers to express pain, excitement, fear or goals … then
  2. responding with a way to remedy the pain, capitalize on the excitement or avoid the fear.

When engaging in LinkedIn groups with prospects present solutions, ideas and “better ways” they’ve never heard before. For example, listen to people inside a group complaining about a pain or fear that keeps them up at night—and then answer with a succinct remedy.

Next, we’ll connect what you say to a place for customers to act on it—your LinkedIn profile and blog posts. These are the places where conversations become leads.

Step #2: Where to Say It

There are three “places” you’re probably conversing with prospects:

  • LinkedIn groups
  • email
  • your blog

Let’s say you’re engaging prospects in LinkedIn groups or with emails using LinkedIn’s platform. The best way to start generating leads with LinkedIn is getting people OFF of LinkedIn—and onto your blog.

Interacting with prospects in groups gives you the chance to capitalize on prospects’ expressions of pain, fear, anxiety or ambition. They’ll all but tell you what to say. It’s up to you to decide where you’ll respond to them: In the group (publicly) or in a direct message (privately).

The goal is to get prospects’ off of LinkedIn and onto your blog. This gives YOU total control over what you can do with the prospect to earn a lead. Want to get started DOING this? Check out my FREE LinkedIn Training for Sales Professionals video tutorial.

The best way to engage prospects a LinkedIn group is publicly.

This gives more prospects the chance to be “drawn in” by your words. However, some groups prohibit the sharing of links to your blog. If you want to share a link be sure to provide wisdom privately and publicly (without the link).

When using LinkedIn’s email system (after a prospect has linked to you) the objective remains the same: Get the prospect off the LinkedIn email system and onto your blog. To do this you’ve got to be relevant AND provocative enough to earn prospects’ clicks (to your blog).

This leads us to the most important piece of the puzzle.

generating leads with linkedin

Step #3: How to Say It

You’ve got to be relevant and present yourself in a way that leaves the prospect wanting more.

Most folks generating leads with LinkedIn struggle with this part… with good reason. Being provocative takes practice. Here are some quick short-cuts.

Here are the best ways to provoke response—get people to dive deeper into your blog article, explore your LinkedIn profile, register for a Webinar or white paper download, email or call you. No matter which one you pick you must make a compelling promise:

Materially change your customers’ success rate, ability to solve a problem, avoid a risk or achieve a goal… for free.

Here are the most effective approaches to provoking prospects:

  1. Be clear, helpful, yet not 100% thorough. In other words, lay out your knowledge, tips and actionable information in ways that encourage more questions. Be specific but not so complete that readers become fully satisfied. For example, find ways to share actionable information in ways that make readers crave more examples.
  2. Bust a myth. Few things attract and engage customers more than telling them “Let’s face it. What you’re doing is popular yet not effective. Here’s the secret on what actually works. I’ll prove it to you and show you how to get more of what you want.” By using this provocative technique you’ll create more response and a distinct voice for yourself. You’ll start generating leads with LinkedIn.
  3. Make a clear call-to-action. Again, you’re not selling. Instead, saying, “I have a cure for that” or “I’ve experienced that pain, suffered and here’s my 3 step system to fix it.” Then make the pathway (to get that system, knowledge or quick fix) clear. Open the door for prospects by inviting contact via LinkedIn’s email system or presenting a link to your Web site (if allowed in the group).

Create Free “Tastes of Success”

Ultimately, success in generating leads with LinkedIn is based on prospects’ curiosity… a hunger for more information about your solutions to their most urgent situations.

Make no mistake: your first meaningful interaction with prospects cannot be one they pay for. Not in this day and age.

First, you’ve got to give customers a “taste of success” in advance of their purchase. This will get them talking to you. You’ve got to give prospects a reason to start a focused conversation with you.

If you’d like help actually learning how to do this check out May 2013’s Make My Blog Sell for Me monthly training class where I’ll show you. We’re limiting the class to 25 students.

So start saying, “I can solve that nagging problem” to prospects on LinkedIn—and then solve them—in exchange for the chance to court prospects.  Solve problems or give useful answers on your blog, on your terms and in exchange for knowing who they are and a little bit about them.

The above three steps will get you started moving in the right direction.

The opportunity standing before you is terrific. Giving prospects a way to better understand their problem or gain confidence over it can help what you sell become the obvious next step.

In this way your product isn’t something to consider buying; instead it is a logical next step in a journey prospects find themselves on.

Photo credit: 2 Dog Farm

About Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on starting conversations with busy people. As founder of Communications Edge Inc. he teaches a proven, effective communications technique to spark buyers curiosity in sales outreach & marketing messages. He's a sought-after sales communications trainer to individual reps, teams of sellers and small businesses owners across the globe. He's an accomplished entrepreneur, having co-founded the Google Affiliate Network and what is today the Performics division of Publicis Groupe. Jeff served as adjunct digital marketing faculty at Loyola University’s school of business. His book, Off The Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You, is first to offer businesses a clear, practical way to create leads and sales with technology platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and blogs.

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