Whether or not they will ever say so publicly, LinkedIn has created one of the best online selling platforms for professionals on the planet.
Here's why: LinkedIn has put 433 million professionals together in one place, and organized the party in such a way that it's easy for us to instantly identify who someone is, where he or she works, where he or she lives, what his or her job entails, and even what he or she enjoys away from the office.
Better yet, there are fast, efficient and scalable ways to instantly sort, organize and tag your top prospects on the platform so that you don't waste time on gatekeepers or professionals who don't want the product or service you're offering.
Perhaps best of all, LinkedIn also creates the instant context and timing so critical to building the type of personalized, 1-on-1 relationship that results in a sale.
Vanity vs. Reality
A great example of that theory in practice has to do with what many would consider little more than a "vanity" metric - the "Who's Viewed Your Profile?" feature on LinkedIn.
Admit it - you love looking to see who's checking you out your LinkedIn profile, don't you?
I'm going to spend the rest of this post showing you how to engage all those virtual visitors in real-time, helping quickly build and scale those LinkedIn lurkers into warm sales opportunities on the platform.
Strategy 1 - The "Personal" Outreach
First off, if you don't already know how it works, you can access the "Who's Viewed Your Profile" area from your LinkedIn home page under the "Profile" heading.
Here's a video walk you through of the entire process:
Once you pull up that page, you'll see the names, faces and job titles of other professionals looking at your LinkedIn profile, along with many other helpful data points.
Here's the most important part: A quick scan of these professionals is going to yield some potential "quick wins" for you.
As demonstrated in the video, once you find someone worth reaching out to (meaning a person who you think is your ideal prospect or customer), you can open his or her profile in a new tab, scan it to quickly find out some additional personal and professional information about him or her, and them invite him or her to connect.
Again, LinkedIn has give you the ideal context to send the invitation. After all, this person has just viewed your profile, meaning he or she is familiar with who you are, what you do, and so forth.
If you've done your homework and created a client-facing LinkedIn profile, there's a very good chance this person (again, assuming he or she is in your target audience) will be more than excited to hear from you.
Remember, you now have a "warm" sales prospect on the line - he or she has, in a manner of speaking, sought you out to learn more and possibly discuss your products or services.
Strategy 2 - The "Automated AND Personal" Outreach
If you're like me, and love to take advantage of automated tools online, along with scaling up your "personalized" marketing efforts on LinkedIn in a faster, more efficient fashion, then this secondary approach works extremely well.
It involves a Google Chrome browser extension called LinMailPro, which integrates seamlessly into your experience while using LinkedIn online.
As noted in the above video, you can use LinMailPro to automatically find and invite every person who has recently viewed your profile to connect with you.
Even better, LinMailPro allows you to send a personalized, 1-on-1 invite to each person that uses his or her first name and contains a simple message along the lines of:
"Hi, [NAME], I noticed you recently checked out my profile here on LinkedIn, would love to connect directly and learn more about what you're up to!"
Lastly, LinMailPro will let you tag each person you invite, as you invite them. That means that later on, once they accept your invitation to connect, those prospects are pre-sorted into a ready-made list of new, potential customers you can now send 1-on-1 sales and marketing messages to.
It's another of the many reasons I'm so fanatical about LinkedIn, because it makes it so much easier to locate, engage and market to the exact people who want to utilize your products or services in the professional marketplace.
So go give it a shot, and then let me know how it works for you.