Sales leads – LinkedIn

Internet networking for sales successContinuing in the “Where do sales leads come from?“, posts, we’re talking today about using Internet networking sites, LinkedIn in particular, to help keep your sales funnel full. I use LinkedIn extensively and have made numerous initial contacts via this route – here’s a three step process to get the initial sales contact.

  1. Identify a name, company, industry or product and search on it.
  2. If you can contact the person directly (i.e. they’re in your network) do so, otherwise ask for the referral. If they are completely out of your network, you either have to buy their email address from LinkedIn (I pay $200/year for this service and it is well worth it), or search the Internet to try to uncover it somewhere else.
  3. This is one of the rare times I feel it is better for the initial communication to be via email rather than a phone call, so shoot them an email saying something like the following:

Hi Steve, I came across your name on LinkedIn while searching for individuals in the automotive industry in the Tampa region. I’m doing some market research to determine if there are opportunities for our gizmo product in automotive and would be most appreciative if you would be willing to spare 5-minutes to talk with me. I promise no sales pitch, we’re just getting our feet wet and want to make sure that we’re not going into a market that we shouldn’t be in.

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