Sales Leads Served Free: The 1 LinkedIn Secret That Could Make Your Business Thousands
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Gut check: getting sales leads for your business can feel harder than underwater open-heart surgery. So complex tips on all we have to do to get sales leads are rarely helpful. Work is a necessity for most of us. We aren’t going to escape it. We know that. But why endure more than necessary? Let’s talk about a free hack for the system.
It was a Thanksgiving day during my childhood and I was handed money inside of the old Albertson’s parking lot, told to enter the grocery store and walk out with a few cans of sweetened condensed milk.
My mother kept the car running while I sought to complete my task. I’d easily walked the parking lot–and then I came to the heavy automatic doors I had gone through a dozen times. Yet this was my first time alone –and that would matter.
I rushed toward one of the four heavy moving doors and nearly cracked my head into it. It didn’t move.
I waved and danced so the camera could catch me and notify the doors to stop being jerks. The doors did eventually open–just the wrong way.
“Weird,” I thought. But tried to enter through the opening the jerks had provided.
Yet before I could make it halfway through, they slammed on my arm in all their metallic glory. I pulled back out of pain and tried to re-enter. This time the jerks got my shoulder.
“Ow!” I exclaimed.
Note: Looking back, I don’t know where the heck the adults were.
Don’t know if it was the force of my will or embarrassment that pushed me through but I pushed through to the other side.
Empowering tale? Nope, I had just gone into the grocery store the wrong way and got myself hurt in the process.
There’s no benefit in making things harder than they have to be.
LinkedIn Inc. Wants To Get You Leads
That can be hard to remember when it comes to B2B sales leads.
Have you ever been to one of those old school sales networking events? It is truly one of the last institutions to keel over.
Anyhow, at these sorts of meetings, when talking sales craft, someone (usually the guy wearing a 3-piece suit in August) talks about grinding away and all the effort it takes to make a sale. Note this person also seems to take pleasure in being seen as a workhorse.
Or maybe you have one of those business buddies who complains about how hard it is to meet new people to sell to. Suggest anything less complicated than underwater open-heart surgery and they act like it can’t possibly work.
That is where one of my favorite proven lead generation strategies and LinkedIn secrets comes in, LinkedIn Profinder. LinkedIn Profinder is LinkedIn Corporation’s attempt to send you sales leads–no kidding. You can even have them delivered to your email for free!
Billed as a marketplace for freelancers, LinkedIn Profinder is a place to request a short-term or ongoing job from LinkedIn’s professional community.
Here’s How To Use Profinder To Generate Sales Leads For Your Business
One of the quickest ways to see the marketing potential in any platform or resource is to break it down to “first principles” or basic known elements. And at the end of the day, LinkedIn Profinder is a place where businesses in-need seek help. Enter your business.
Your business can leverage this free platform as well. Heck, I’ve caught $300 million brands trying to leverage this tool. Why not you and your business?
Step 1: Sign up for Profinder with your personal profile at: linkedin.com/profinder
Step 2: While signing up as a “pro” add your relevant skills
Note: In the event you ever need to add or edit your skills, I recommend you visit linkedin.com/help and click the dropdown menu at the top, then scroll down and select “Profinder.”
I’ve found LinkedIn customer service super helpful if you need to change anything on your Profinder account.
Step 3: Make sure you’re signed up to receive email notifications
LinkedIn Profinder does a good job of matching you with possible leads in your area, notifying you of where they are based in their email update subject lines.
They do this because some people would rather be assisted in-person and this helps smaller players in business get a chance to vy for business opportunities.
Step 4: Check your email
Step 5: Skip the “proposal” and connect
LinkedIn is going to send you emails with recommended leads and a call-to-action to “submit a proposal.” Don’t you do it! Try the following instead.
When I learned about LinkedIn Profinder from a buddy who is an international marketing expert working with Fortune 500 companies all over the place, his first piece of advice was to think outside the box. He recommended that when I started using LinkedIn Profinder I should check out interesting looking jobs and find these leads on my own in order to start a conversation.
So, here’s what I do: whenever I get a good lead from LinkedIn Profinder, I look up their headline in LinkedIn’s search bar. Because of the trend started years ago, regarding adding your special value proposition to your headline, most headlines are unique enough to search people by.
All you have to do at that point is match the profile picture from the email. And boom-shaka-laka!
Why I opt for this extra work: inside of every person lives a lazy beast that just wants to go back to bed or hide in our apartments wearing pajamas and slippers all day. This means that when given the option, we humans will always choose what’s comfortable.
Plus, our ultimate goal is to talk to a person, not some LinkedIn document management system.
My bet is that people check on their latest connections faster than some rando’s proposal set in an obscure planet within the LinkedIn universe.
Sample message template
Hi [First Name]! Good to meet a fellow [Something You Have In Common]! The little birdie LinkedIn just let me know that you were interested in [The Type Of Work You Do]. Maybe you know exactly what you want and maybe not. Either way, hope to chat more and help.
Why this message works
When I attended LinkedIn Profinder’s intro webinar, I found one of the biggest takeaways was that people requesting work do not always know what they want. Makes sense, right?
They aren’t an expert in your realm, so they might be totally off-base. The worst thing to do in that situation is to go for the hard sale or “submit a proposal” like LinkedIn recommends. Instead get the conversation going.
Step 6: Messages and followup
When your lead connects, I recommend reintroducing yourself and requesting an initial meeting. I tend to recommend video meetings when possible, due to the fact that they are rocking the sales world.
I recommend asking for an email to actual set up that meeting. I’ve just seen higher success rates when I add email to the equation, using 2 channels instead of 1 is more effective. This allows for more ‘ins’ for followup.