How to Research Prospects on LinkedIn to Improve Sales
After you identify your prospects on LinkedIn, spend some time familiarizing yourself with them before you contact them. LinkedIn enables you to glean some insight about your potential buyers and can go a long way toward getting the person to respond, taking the time to listen to your pitch, and buying your product.
Following are some tips concerning specific ways to research your prospective clients:
Read the prospect’s full profile to discover all you can about his or her interests, likes, dislikes, and so on. You can do far more than simply scan a person’s profile looking for past jobs and maybe her education to see whether she shares an alma mater with you. A person’s LinkedIn profile can be or lead to a gold mine of information about that person.
For instance, people may include links to their own websites, blogs, or company websites. Follow those links, especially to blogs or personal websites, and see what you can find out. In the prospect’s profile, look over the Interests section and the Additional Information section. And don’t forget the Contact Settings section where you can find out under what circumstances this person wants to be contacted. Be sure to respect those wishes.
Read your prospect’s recommendations for other people. You can gain a lot of insight by seeing what qualities a person likes to praise in other people, especially if your prospect has left multiple recommendations. In this way, you also gain insight into the people they trust, so check those people who received a recommendation to see whether you have a connection to any of them. If so, ask that person first for an Introduction to your prospect.
Read any questions or answers your prospect wrote for LinkedIn Answers. If you pull up someone’s profile, look for a section on her profile page in the right sidebar called Q&A and click one of the three links to view either the questions that person asked or the answers that person gave, or the see the entire Questions & Answers page.
The page that opens contains all the questions and answers this person has contributed to LinkedIn. When you read these contributions, you might gain some insight into this person’s preferences and hot button issues.