LinkedIn has emerged as the go-to platform for business-to-business (B2B) sales and networking. With over 774 million users, it offers a vast pool of potential clients and collaborators. However, many people still struggle with effectively using LinkedIn for outreach, often resorting to ineffective and spammy tactics.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to create genuine connections, properly pace your outreach cadence, and establish your credibility and integrity on LinkedIn. Let’s dive in!
Why LinkedIn Is the Must-Have Space for B2B Outreach in Sales
LinkedIn is a professional networking platform designed with businesses and professionals in mind. It has become an essential tool for B2B sales outreach due to several reasons.
Targeted audience: LinkedIn users are professionals seeking networking and business opportunities, making it the perfect platform for B2B sales.
Advanced search features: With its robust search tools, LinkedIn allows you to find potential clients based on industry, job title, location, and more, ensuring that your outreach efforts are laser-focused.
Content sharing and visibility: Sharing valuable content on LinkedIn can help you establish thought leadership and gain visibility among your target audience.
In-platform events: LinkedIn provides an easy-to-use event platform. Every week you can invite up to 1,000 of your connections to your event. Bonus tip: Hold the event with a non-competitive partner to expand your reach and engagement.
In-platform messaging: LinkedIn’s messaging feature allows for direct communication with potential clients and collaborators.
However, despite these benefits, many people struggle to use LinkedIn effectively for B2B outreach. The key to success lies in building genuine connections and providing consistent value – not in sending spammy messages.
The Biggest Challenge: Avoiding the Common Pitfalls
The most significant challenge in using LinkedIn for B2B outreach is avoiding the common pitfalls that turn potential clients away. Far too often, users move from making a connection to pushing for a sale immediately, without establishing a solid foundation for a genuine relationship.
Establishing Worthy Intent in B2B Outreach
Instead of diving straight into sales pitches, focus on establishing your worthy intent. Show potential clients that you have their best interests at heart and that you genuinely want to help them solve their problems or achieve their goals. This approach will pave the way for more meaningful conversations and, ultimately, successful sales.
How to Create Genuine Connections That Initiate Conversations
Creating genuine connections on LinkedIn requires a thoughtful and personalized approach. Here are some actionable tips to help you get started.
Optimize your profile: Your LinkedIn profile is your online business card. Ensure that it’s complete, up-to-date, and professional-looking. Use a high-quality profile picture, include a compelling headline, and write a detailed summary that highlights your skills and experience.
Personalize connection requests: When sending connection requests, always include a personalized note explaining why you want to connect. Mention common interests, mutual connections, or specific content they’ve shared that resonated with you.
Engage with their unique content: Like, comment on, and share the content posted by your target audience. This will not only show your interest in their work but also help you stay top of mind. Bonus tip: Make sure your comment is at least seven words, relevant, and authentic.
Share valuable original content: Regularly post insightful articles, industry news, and thought-provoking questions to engage your connections and showcase your expertise. Bonus tip: When writing your posts, always ask yourself why this post matters to your audience or ideal client. What’s in it for them? By focusing on your ideal client “why,” your posts will be more relevant and have greater engagement.
Leverage LinkedIn groups: Join relevant LinkedIn groups and actively participate in discussions to expand your network and connect with like-minded professionals.
Pacing Your Cadence: Nurturing Relationships Over Time
Once you’ve established a connection, it’s crucial to nurture the relationship and maintain an appropriate outreach cadence. Here are some tips to keep your outreach efforts on track.
Follow up with new connections: After connecting, send a follow-up message expressing your gratitude and reiterating your interest in their work. Avoid sales pitches at this stage.
Engage consistently: Maintain regular engagement with your connections by commenting on their updates, sharing their content, and congratulating them on their achievements.
Schedule check-ins: Periodically check in with your connections to see how they’re doing, share relevant information, or ask if they need assistance with anything.
Be responsive: When your connections reach out to you, respond promptly and professionally. Show that you are genuinely interested in helping them. Bonus tip: Always be your authentic self!
Establishing Credibility and Integrity Through Consistent Value
Providing consistent value is essential for establishing your credibility and integrity on LinkedIn. Use these strategies to demonstrate your expertise and commitment to helping your connections.
Publish articles: Write in-depth articles on topics relevant to your industry and share them on LinkedIn. This will showcase your knowledge and position you as a thought leader.
Share case studies: Share case studies that demonstrate your ability to solve problems and deliver results for clients.
Offer free advice: Answer questions and offer guidance on LinkedIn forums and in groups. This will not only help you establish credibility but also attract potential clients.
Promote education opportunities and events: Host master classes, panels, or events and promote them on LinkedIn to educate your audience and showcase your expertise. Bonus tip: Collaborate with non-competitive partners for joint events or to cross-promote their events.
Cultivating Value: Building a Foundation for Long-Lasting Relationships
The focus of your LinkedIn outreach should always be on creating the foundation for a strong, long-lasting relationship with your connections. By consistently providing value and nurturing your relationships, you will not only build trust, but also create opportunities for collaboration and sales.
Ask for introductions and referrals: Once you’ve established a strong relationship with a connection and you have earned the right, ask for introductions and referrals. A satisfied client or collaborator can often introduce you to other potential clients.
Collaborate on projects: Seek opportunities to collaborate with your connections on projects, events, or content creation. This will help you expand your network and showcase your skills.
Stay informed about their needs: Keep an eye on your connections’ updates and company news to identify potential needs or opportunities for collaboration.
Support their endeavors: Offer your support and assistance to your connections when they need it, whether it’s by sharing their content, promoting their events, or providing advice.
LinkedIn is a powerful platform for B2B sales outreach when used effectively. By focusing on establishing genuine connections, pacing your outreach cadence, and providing consistent value, you can build a strong network of clients and collaborators.
Remember, the key to success on LinkedIn lies in cultivating long-lasting relationships built on trust and mutual benefit.
Lynn Whitbeck is the co-founder and President of Petite2Queen. She is focused on identifying and evaluating opportunities for women at work, helping them define their personal roadmap. She dedicates herself to delivering tools and insights, embracing visualization of the big picture, and identifying and implementing the minutiae of detail. Lynn aims to share lessons learned along her journey and enable positive uplift for women.