Prospecting with LinkedIn (part 7 of 10)

Last week I discussed New Opportunities, New Hires with LinkedIn that discussed using LinkedIn to advance your career and for companies to find new employees.  Todays conversation addresses using LinkedIn to prospect.

Most people use LinkedIn to connect to other business professionals that they know or meet while networking.  It definitely can help put an additional degree of connectivity to these folks.  But limiting your use to simply networking leaves a significant opportunity out of your monetization toolbox.

The tool that most people fail to take advantage of is the ability to prospect for potential opportunities.  Let me be clear, prospecting is not sending sales messages to your direct connections.  It’s not posting sales messages in groups.  It’s simply identifying potential people or companies that could eventually become clients.

LinkedIn, like other social networking sites, are not great places to overtly sell your products and services.  Can doing this work? Sure, but you’re more likely to turn people off than to turn them on.  A better approach is to connect and engage in conversations so that people first get a chance to know and like you.  Then you can begin converting the “like” into trust.

I recently received a message form someone stating that they had looked at my profile and read my blog.  In the message they simply asked if they could follow up with a question.  I said sure and then next communication was an offer for me to use their services.

Bad strategy.  I’ll talk about how they could have approached things later.

The two ways you can prospect on LinkedIn are People and for Companies. Continue reading Prospecting with LinkedIn (part 7 of 10)