Using LinkedIn to Grow your Business

By Neha Singh Gohil | Updated: 12 Jul, 2012

Upgraded users of LinkedIn can see a full history of who has viewed their profile.

Relationship-focused sales executives invest a lot of time identifying new prospects. While many executives browse new prospects for outreach through LinkedIn, a lesser known tactic exists to quickly and more easily identify prospects.

And whether you’re aware of this or not, these particular prospects have already engaged with you

Identify prospects

An intriguing aspect of LinkedIn is the opportunity to see each contact that has viewed your profile.

To enable this feature, you need to allow others to know when you view them as well. With the free version of LinkedIn, you are restricted to seeing the last five contacts--for a more comprehensive view, monitor activity frequently or upgrade to a paid account.

Fundamentally, contacts viewing your profile have indicated interest in you. If your profile is viewed by contacts you haven’t yet engaged with, this presents you with ideal prospects.

Research prospects

With a quick assessment of the contact’s profile, you can assess whether they would be a good match for your business. Then, you may quickly research these prospects on publicly available databases (look for Prialto’s forthcoming guide to prospect research).

As you research these prospects, add their email, phone, and LinkedIn profile to your CRM for outreach. Alternatively, delegate the process of monitoring and researching to an assistant as many Prialto members have done.

Outreach strategies

Once you have identified these new prospects, there are a number of effective outreach strategies Prialto has helped members develop:

  • Wait a few days, then cold call: Since these prospects viewed your profile, they are likely aware of your company. One effective strategy for outreach is to schedule a cold call 7-10 days after your profile has been viewed. When you call, the prospect will often remember their interest in you and engage quickly in dialog.

  • Send an email: Another approach is to send a note to the prospect with an eye catching introduction such as “I don’t normally do this but I saw you viewed my profile and wanted to reach out…” Break the ice by sharing a mutual interest, or a specific desire to know more about an aspect of their experience.

  • Leverage an introduction: Asking for an introduction from a mutual connection with the prospect is a great way to allow others to feel generous in doing a favor for you. This is a great way to paradoxically grow your network by using it. Similarly, include mention of your mutual connection in the email outreach approach above.

  • Engage on social media: If the approaches above don’t fit your situation, and the prospect has listed another social media account--like Twitter--you can follow them and work to engage them in a more casual dialog.

Prospect research doesn’t need to be time-consuming or stress-inducing. By incorporating some or all of the approaches above with your LinkedIn profile views, you can create a consistent outreach pipeline of prospects to help grow your business.