LinkedIn is the secret weapon we pull out of our arsenal to help our clients speed up sales. No, not the paid version – the free one. Steal our secrets below.

1. Identify your best potential clients.
Sales and marketing work best when highly targeted. As an experienced leader, you know your ideal clients: which industry they are in, about what size they are, and where they’re located. Just use LinkedIn’s advanced search to develop an initial list of target companies.

2. Shortcut the system.
Who likes cold-calling, anyway? LinkedIn all but eliminates the need for cold-calling. Instead, use your network – someone you know, inside that company, who can give you the inside scoop – like who makes the buying decisions for what you sell. All you need to do: click on your target client’s company page, look to the right for “how you’re connected,” and click “see all.” That’s your connection.

3. Ask for a favor.
Reach out to your connection and request a favor (and be willing to help in return!) Ask who makes the buying decisions for what you sell. Then, see if your connection would be comfortable if you mention his name when reaching out to that decision maker.

Absolutely do not attempt to connect on LinkedIn first. Instead, get her name, phone number and email address from your connection.

4. Start the relationship.
Ah, but this is the hard part, you say? Not so, with LinkedIn. It’s easy. First, make sure that you show your name and headline when viewing profiles. Then, read the decision maker’s profile. Many on LinkedIn check to see who has viewed their profile. It’s a compliment – and an indication that you research and prepare well – to research someone on LinkedIn. You’ll find that your target will sometimes return the favor, and read your profile. This is an easy first step in beginning to build a relationship, with very little effort – and risk – on your part. You may be surprised to find that you have something in common, too.

Now that you’ve done your research and secured a warm referral, email or call.

Interested in learning more? Call or email. I’ll tell you how we leverage LinkedIn for marketing campaigns, sales teams, and even fundraising drives.