Archive | Social Prospecting

Matrix Section – looking for prospects, search etc.

Social Prospecting – how to use LinkedIn to Find New Customers

Wurlwind Social Selling - Social ProspectingSo, the time has arrived when you need to build a prospect list.

You probably know that LinkedIn is a great place to start, but you may be unaware of just how powerful it is.

So let’s go through some of the ways you can use LinkedIn to start sales conversations.

And let’s start at the tactical level – to get in touch with a segment of say 20-40 people who meet your criteria as potential customers.

Once you’ve go the ball rolling quickly with a small batch like this you may then want to repeat the process, or go deeper or wider – the choice is yours.

Quick start tips

This isn’t rocket science, but for new business sales and business development, this is the fast-path to creating a prospect list. And there are several other techniques that spin off once this level of social prospecting is mastered.

  • It starts with a Search on LinkedIn – which might be for job titles by location, companies by size etc or people within groups
  • Having found relevant people you Save and Tag people to lists within LinkedIn – which is a good approach if you don’t have your own CRM
  • Then you work through the list to research them, contact them, qualify them, get them interested and excited and prepared to commit time to you.

What this gets you is a list of people who meet your profile, through a process of outreach and elimination. Done well you end up with a list of people who know they have a problem to solve or an opportunity to reach for, that you can help them with.

It doesn’t indicate that they have an interest in buying what you offer at this point in time. That’s the next stage.

LinkedIn Tips to start sales conversations through social prospecting

1. Start with a Search in LinkedIn

The likelihood is that you’ve a pretty good idea of the parameters that define your ideal customer. If not reflect on the most recent wins you and your colleagues have had, or start with a blank sheet of paper and write down the criteria.

  • If Job Title and Location is primary, search the People section of LinkedIn – refining the criteria of location, choose 2nd connection, and sector, as a starting point
  • If Company size is most important – neither too small or too large – search the Company section and look at the Employee section of relevant companies
  • If Interests are the primary determinant – for example users of a particular software package, then find relevant LinkedIn Groups, Join and then search within members of that group.

By focusing on small batches, of 20-40 people, you can make good progress in an hour or two, be laser focused, and feel a sense of achievement once you’ve made initial contact with several people in the Tag group.

2. Save and Tag relevant people

Tags are a useful way to manage contacts within LinkedIn for prospecting purposes, especially if the objective is to connect with them.

  • Save relevant people from the Search results – 2nd connections especially, using the drop-down box to the left of Number of Connections (unless LinkedIn has moved it)
  • Having Saved 30-50 people on a specific criteria, go into Connections area
  • Change the Filters to New and Saved and you should see the names of the people you just saved
  • Select one record, Create a New Tag for the search, and then Checkbox all those you just saved.

And now you have a list of prospects (or suspects depending on your terminology) of people who meet certain criteria as your ‘ideal customers’.

3. Make initial contact

Decide what form of contact is best – and this will be influenced by your market, skills, proposition, and the amount of time you can put into each contact.

  • You might want to send them a Connection request, in which case personalise it, and give a valid reason to increase chances of take-up
  • You might want to message them, perhaps highlighting an article you or a colleague wrote, as a conversation starter
  • Or maybe you will try by phone as the next step, and use LinkedIn and other routes as a back-up if you’re unable to make phone contact quickly.

Having made contact in one of these ways with a reasonable number of people on your Tag list it’s time to move to developing sales relationships with them, while maybe trying to contact a few stragglers on the list, and maybe also initiating another search for another 20-40 people.

NOTE: If you’re doing this regularly you’ll quickly find that managing this through/within LinkedIn and/or on a spreadsheet becomes unsustainable. The way we manage this is using a CRM system from Nimble, which has many excellent productivity features for prospecting as well as for subsequent sales activity.


Download our Pocket Guide to Social Selling

If you haven’t already done so get a copy of our guide, which covers more LinkedIn Tips and introduces the Social Selling Matrix.

LinkedIn Company Page – outbound and inbound Lead Generation strategies

As vendors and buyers do more research online so the relative importance of the LinkedIn Company Page rises. Business Owners and Sales Leaders can take advantage of this opportunity for outbound prospecting and inbound lead generation to get ahead of competitors. Outbound lead generation and prospecting techniques – the first strategy below highlights how you […]

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Three easy ways a sales person can generate leads with LinkedIn

Three easy ways a sales person can generate leads with LinkedIn

prepared and presented by Mark Stonham – LinkedIn Trainer and Social Selling Consultant

The Sales Challenge if you’re to make quota

Cold Calling sucks … right. Warm calling is much more effective.

Leads from Marketing won’t Fill your Funnel. Treat these as a bonus.

You need to take the initiative. Create your own lead-generation system.

There’s no time for ‘Social’ fluff. You and your buyers are Crazy Busy.

You want to minimise delay and effort. It has to be simple.

You really want quick results. Leads the next day would be brilliant.

Then Pick and Apply one of these 3 techniques today

… and generate leads with LinkedIn now

… and start new sales conversations tomorrow

Turn your LinkedIn Profile into your Lead Capture Landing Page

  1. Outline your Value Proposition to your Prospects
  2. Create a clear opening sentence: Who, What, How
  3. Make it engaging, distinctive and memorable
  4. Introduce example trigger events that initiate research
  5. Highlight problems solved including your contribution
  6. Add proof about impact, outcomes and testimonials
  7. Add skills about your Customer Sector specialisation
  8. Include a clear Call to Action – to Connect with You!
  9. Include Introducers – ‘If you know someone who…
  10. AND Your Picture and Headline need to grab attention!

Use Slideshare for your simple ‘Lead Generation’ bait

  1. Pick a topic that is a priority for your prospects
  2. Make the front slide really clear and bold
  3. Engage rapidly with your audience (slide 2)
  4. Deliver value on next slides (slides 3-5)
  5. Add clear Call to Action and Incentive (slide 6)
  6. Add your contact details
  7. Upload the Slides to
  8. Add the Presentation to your LinkedIn profile

Email Groups of your LinkedIn contacts with Useful Information

  1. Nurture Relationships regularly with Valuable Content
  2. You can email up to 50 contacts a time within LinkedIn
  3. LinkedIn groups contacts by Company, Title or Location
  4. Or you can create Tag Groups for different interests
  5. Create your ‘News’ content incl. URLs in a Text Editor
  6. Get into ‘Message’ contacts and paste in your text
  7. Add an attractive and intriguing Subject line
  8. NOTE: Uncheck the ‘Allow recipients to see other’s email address.’
  9. Double check content and recipients, then Send
  10. Repeat for additional groups as appropriate

For more details and other ways to generate leads with LinkedIn…

If we’re not already connected on Linkedin then…


Invite me, Mark Stonham, to connect on LinkedIn
and in your Invite include
‘Please send me ‘Lead Generation for Sales People’ details’

OR send your request by email to me,
Mark Stonham at

I look forward to helping you
very soon.