In my last post, I touched on the LinkedIn PPC platform. The LinkedIn PPC platform can be expensive for businesses with a tight budget. Today, we will go over the steps one can take to come up with a list of prospects at a very low cost. It’s free data at your fingertips, but you will need some tools to extract data and automate a message to your target audience. You will also need a CRM that integrates with your email platform.
Before you start your research, first, optimize your profile. Replace your title with information on what you offer, your title is now “I help small businesses reduce IT costs by 50% in 90 days”. Think value guys. Second, come up with a handful of verticals your team knows inside and out. This is important because of the unique message you will send to these executives. The CEO of a biotech company may not care about reducing IT costs, he is more concerned with business continuity or security. You will need to come up with several messages so bust out that pad and pen.
Step 1 – On the LinkedIn home page, hover over the search bar and select the magnifying glass. You will see a menu below the search bar, “People, Jobs, Events More People filters, etc.” Select “People”.
Step 2 – Your screen will be populated with contacts and 2nd level connections, ignore this information. Move on to the next stop, select “All Filters”. Your screen will then be populated with fields and checkboxes. Some of the fields will be left blank, but that is of no consequence.
Step 3 – It’s important that you select the box that has 2nd under the connections area.
Step 4 – Go to the “Locations” field and enter a city, preferably a big city in your area.
Step 5 – The next field that will play a big part in a successful campaign is the industries you want to target. Why is this important? You are an expert in this industry. You know the challenges they experience. You have saved the day on many occasions. This experience will help in crafting up a value proposition to this specific industry.
Step 6 – Select the language…a no brainer.
Step 7 – This is the last step. Fill in the title of the executive you want to target. Stay organized, and only target decision-makers, CEOs, CFOs, COOs, VP of IT, VP of Finance, etc. Before you start writing your message, remember this, keep it short. Two sentences are ideal, three is pushing it. If there is a connection and your message is compelling enough, the DM will request a meeting. The message will be custom for each executive…yes, that sucks, but it’s critical if you want a high conversion rate. CFO’s love to hear how you can save them money without sacrificing the quality of service. A VP of IT in a specific industry prefers to hear about how the cloud will make life easier on his digital footprint.
I am going to suggest you get a tool that allows you to extract each list. You will want to segment each list so you can customize future offerings for each industry. For example, a small business could care less if you provide a newsletter educating your audience on HIPAA compliance. It’s critical that you segment your lists.
The next tool I am going to suggest you buy is LinkedHelper. LinkedHelper allows you to start following your 2nd and 3rd level connections. Following others will give you additional exposure to your audience. My favorite feature is the “auto-inviting”. This feature allows you to send hundreds of messages to executives that will benefit from your service/product. This will save you hours of manual work. Personalizing a message that has value will generate interest and increase your chances of generating new business.
Keep in mind the length of your message, two sentences are ideal, three is pushing it. I receive dozens of pitches each week. 99% are 8-10 sentences long. If I don’t see value in the first few sentences, I move on. DON’T introduce yourself, do not ask how they are doing…get to the point. Here is an example of what I would use. “Hello Mr. CEO, we help small businesses reduce IT overhead by 50% within 90 days. Is reducing your IT expenses a priority in Q2?” Can we schedule a call this week?
I want to emphasize a couple of important points. Just because someone says “no” today, does not mean they will say no in the future. Document all interactions so you can circle back at a later date. Stay committed to following a sales process. If you do not have a sales process or you have a challenge closing the opportunity, hire a VP of Sales.
I will lightly touch on a CRM tool. It’s a must, all businesses need a CRM tool that allows you to track all interactions, and that will remind you to follow up. Following up with a prospect is paramount and it increases your chances of closing the opportunity. If the CRM tool can integrate with your newsletter platform, even better. The more automation in place, the easier it will be to building your empire.
Good luck everyone.
If you’re an MSP that needs guidance with your marketing strategy, reach out to Fernando Leon at [email protected].