I always giggle when I am speaking with a sales professional and I ask, “who is your targeted client” and they say, “EVERYONE!” Understanding who your prospect is, what they are doing, thinking, talking about and discussing is vital to engaging them. The next most important step is engaging them at the right time.
How many times have you worked hard to get a meeting with someone you thought was a perfectly qualified prospect to find out that they just signed a 3 year contract with your competition? Ugh, so much time and energy invested in nurturing that prospect through content and engaging activities on and offline only to find you were still too late!
You can never perfectly engage your prospects at the perfect moment, however, if you are speaking to them before they need you, you will begin to engage them at the right time.
First, you want to identify these 3 triggers so that you understand exactly what your prospects are doing before they need you: (we are going to use office furniture as the example)
- Who does your client hire before they need you? Example: If you sell office furniture, your future client is talking with Commercial Realtors, architects, telecom companies, recruiters etc.
- What conversations are your prospects having internally that leads up to your solutions? Expansions, new hires, moving, mergers etc.
- What questions and challenges will your prospect be facing when deciding how and what to purchase? Quality, quantity, functionality, budget, style etc.
Next, you want to develop insights that provide them with right questions ask and the pitfalls to avoid, and maybe give them a branded checklist that will help the through the process. When you offer strategies and tactics that begin to solve their problem, they want to have a conversation, as they know you will provide even more value when they talk with you.
This is where LinkedIn and your thought leadership comes in, by sharing content that matters to your prospect before they need you, you are engaging them at the right time to talk to you about their needs.
Here are 5 steps to engage on LinkedIn:
- Use Google alerts and/or Sales Navigator to keep tabs on your prospects’ articles, activities and announcements. Look for triggers that arise and reach out at them appropriately.
- Find and connect with the right decisions makers and influencers on LinkedIn. At this point you won’t know if and when they will need you, but this is about filling the very top of the sales funnel and providing the right content to get the ones that are ready to raise their hand.
- Write LinkedIn Long-Form Posts (blogging in LinkedIn). It is vital that this content is meaningful to your prospect. When you post, all of your connections will receive a notification of your publication and if it relates to their needs, they will click through and read your insights. If you have a strong call to action, you will convert those readers into phone calls. CLICK HERE to learn how to write an effective post that engages your prospects.
- Find excellent articles, blog posts that would be relevant to your prospect, share them on your newsfeed, @mention your prospects in your post and/or share directly with your prospects in a LinkedIn message: ie: George, as a CEO of a growing company, I thought I would share with you this great article on how to engage and hire productive employees. Please let me know if you find it useful.
- Develop relationships with strategic alliances, other vendors that your prospects work with before they need you. Create a networking group with select referral sources with whom you can all benefit from strategic introductions. And, in addition to the leads they will proactively offer, leverage LinkedIn to get and give warm introductions into targeted prospects that aren’t top of mind. CLICK HERE to learn how to maximize LinkedIn and networking.
If you have some additional ways that you leverage to engage your prospects before they need you, please share in comments, the more ideas, strategies and tactics we have, the more successful we can all be.
If you know you or your team need to Leverage LinkedIn to grow business but you are not sure how, let’s have a conversation. Even if we decide not to work together, I am confident our call will be full of insights and strategies to help you leverage LinkedIn more effectively. Here is a link to my calendar http://ScheduleaCallwithBrynne.com please pick a time that is most convenient for you. I am looking forward to our call.
*** a shout to David Newman, who got me thinking this way last year, and I haven’t looked back!