7 years ago
February 21, 2017

3 Reasons Your LinkedIn Prospecting is Failing

There are three common reasons why LinkedIn prospecting fails; this post will help you make sure that your LinkedIn prospecting avoids the pitfalls.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter
Claire McConnachie

As LinkedIn’s membership grows, LinkedIn prospecting is becoming a hot topic in sales circles. However, as a relatively new prospecting method with differing levels of engagement from users it can be hard to make LinkedIn prospecting work. There are three common reasons why LinkedIn prospecting fails; this post will help you make sure that your LinkedIn prospecting avoids the pitfalls.

1. Your Profile Is Not Supporting Your Pitch

Just like prospecting over the phone and face to face, LinkedIn prospecting requires that you be thorough and specific about who you are and what you have to offer to prospects. When a prospect has hundreds of LinkedIn connections he or she will need help remembering what you are about, and why the connection with you is there. Additionally, when you request a connection with someone new that prospect will likely want more information about you before accepting your invitation. Boost your LinkedIn prospecting by making sure that:

  • Your LinkedIn profile differentiates you from the thousands of other sales people using the platform for LinkedIn prospecting. Use active and original language, and be sure to regularly log activities on the site.
  • You have trustworthy endorsements for your most important skills and references from reliable sources that are publicly viewable on your profile.
  • You are specific about who you are and why you are on the site. It’s perfectly acceptable to include information about your current offerings; in fact, it can help you become more visible to prospects using keyword searches to find products and services on LinkedIn.

2. Your LinkedIn Prospecting Isn’t Reaching the Right Contacts

LinkedIn’s basic search functionalities can help you find people who you already know or may have a connection with, but to make the most of LinkedIn prospecting opportunities you should be using advanced search. The advanced people search uses deeper keywords and can also help you search by a person’s title. Making these valuable connections can stretch the reach of your LinkedIn prospecting and help you gain a competitive advantage over other sales people who are still relying only on networks built of peers and colleagues to prospect over social media. Find the right contacts for your LinkedIn prospecting by:

  • Looking at the titles of decision makers with whom you have worked on previous deals to search for the people you want to connect with next.
  • Leveraging second and third-degree connections by asking for introductions from your first-degree contacts.
  • Considering an upgrade to LinkedIn premium which includes additional search functionalities such as seniority level and company size.

3. LinkedIn Isn’t An Every Day Activity

Recent upgrades to the LinkedIn platform have made it easier than ever to see the activities of others using the site. This also means that if you are not regularly using LinkedIn, those viewing your profile can see that your last activity on the site was days or even weeks ago. If you are relying on LinkedIn prospecting to help increase your sales, this might not be sending the right message.

  • Send e-mails to prospects after sales presentations or other sales cycle milestones asking to make a connection on LinkedIn to increase your visibility and your reach.
  • Think about including links to your LinkedIn profile in e-mail messages and on your business cards to form more connections and help people remember who you are.
  • Maintain your connections on the site regularly, especially your connections with those who are willing to act as references or referral sources, and those who have high levels of social authority – that is, individuals who are well-connected and active in your industry.

Finally, remember that for every request you make of your connections during LinkedIn prospecting activities you should be providing something in return. Simple tasks like endorsing skills, providing references, and making referrals will help you become valuable to the first-degree connections who can truly help your LinkedIn prospecting succeed by returning the favor in kind.

Claire McConnachie Recruiter

Claire McConnachie

Claire has 4+ years of experience in sales and recruitment. As a Director of Client Services, her main objective is to connect great people to great companies by building strong relationships with both top clients and candidates in the sales industry. She specializes in sales roles of all seniority levels for both enterprise and start-up clients North American wide. When Claire isn't networking with top talent, she enjoys being outdoors, traveling and spending time with friends & family.