Have you been wasting time and energy unsuccessfully trying to connect with decision makers on LinkedIn and other social media platforms?
Do you find that you are getting more NO’s than you’d like?
If you are like many professional service providers, entrepreneurs, business owners and sales professionals, you may be struggling to find and connect with those all-important “decision makers” that are essential to your ability to make a sale.
The good news is that LinkedIn provides an effective way to bypass gatekeepers and find and connect with your prospects directly.
Yet many people still don’t take advantage of this either because:
- they lack the knowledge of how to do so, or;
- they believe that it will be too time-consuming or difficult to learn or use.
To help you overcome both of these challenges, I am going to provide you with many practical, easy to follow tactics that will help you get on the radar of decision-makers on LinkedIn, and go one step further and connect with them. These essential tactics are so easy, you can start using them today.
Connect with Decision Makers on LinkedIn
1. Have a Professional and Client-Focused LinkedIn Profile
Before you begin any activities that will put you in front of key decision makers on LinkedIn, you must first ensure that you have a profile that is professional and most important of all, is client-focused.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough. Just as you would not meet these key decision makers in sloppy or unprofessional attire, so must you ensure that you do nothing to get on their radar until your profile represents you in a way that will help and not hinder your efforts.
I have created a handy infographic and blog post on how to create an all-star LinkedIn profile, to help you accomplish this.
2. Connect with Other Employees
Before you reach out to connect with a key decision maker, there can be a benefit to connecting with one or more employees that belong to the same company, especially if they are in the same department or physical location.
This can pay off when your potential prospect sees that you are connected to others in their organization and will increase your chances of them accepting your connection request.
As many employees are often connected to the key decision makers in their company on LinkedIn, this also gives you the chance to get your content in front of your prospect before you even connect.
For example, if you share a status update or LinkedIn Publisher post and one of those employees finds value from what they have read and then interacts with it, the update or post will also end up in the stream of the decision maker. This gives the decision maker the opportunity to be introduced to you through the content you curate or create and helps establish you as an authority on your topic.
There is also the possibility that the employee will decide to directly share your content with the decision maker, which will have a more significant impact and level of social proof.
An easy way to see all the employees of a company is to first go to the company page of the company you are interested in and then click on See all employees on LinkedIn ->.
This will open the advanced search where you can filter the employees listed. Selected 2nd and 3rd-degree connections and then use filters like Locations, to find employees listed in a particular area or use the keyword filter with the name of the department to find employees in the same department as your decision maker.
Additional, if you have a Premium or Sales Navigator plan, LinkedIn provides you with a variety of other helpful information about the company and their employees including:
- New Hires
- Notable Company Alumni
- Connections at this Company
Further, if you have Sales Navigator, near the top on the right, there is a box with a link to open all of the decision makers of that company in Sales Navigator.
Once you are in Sales Navigator, you can filter your results using keywords, or any of the other numerous filters available, to get a smaller, more refined list.
3. Send a Personalized Connection Request
This is a critical step when connecting with your prospect. Always remember that relationships on LinkedIn are no different than relationships in real life.
With this in mind, you must ALWAYS personalize each and every connection request you send, whether they are a decision maker or not. Why should your prospect take the time to accept your request if you don’t take the time to include a short personal note that explains why you would like to connect with them?
Remember to approach this from their point of view, not yours. Start by researching the decision makers profile. When in doubt about what to include in your connection request message, try conversation starters that:
- Find commonality
- Comment on something in their profile
- Comment on content they have shared
- Comment on or compliment their company
- Compliment them
Keep in mind that you only have 300 characters in which to convince them.
4. Write Articles on LinkedIn Publisher
One of the easiest ways to build authority, credibility, and trust is by creating and sharing content that is valuable to your prospects. When you publish articles on LinkedIn Publisher, they live within your profile, allowing you to educate new viewers of your profile the moment they look at your profile for the first time.
LinkedIn Publisher posts are not getting the same visibility in the newsfeed as they used to, however, there is still benefit to posting on LinkedIn Publisher, as it is a fantastic way to offer your prospects value and build trust by helping them to overcome a problem or solving a pain point.
When posting on this platform, make sure you are creating your own content. You can repost content from your blog, just wait a few days or so before reposting it on LinkedIn Publisher to make sure Google has indexed the content first on your website.
If you aren’t convinced of the benefits of taking the time to create and share your own content, there is a lot of research to support the value of taking the time to create original content.
Did you know that 82% of consumers feel MORE positive about a company after reading custom content, and 90% find custom content useful? In fact, 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.
Additional research suggests 65% of buyers feel that the vendor’s content had an impact on their final purchase decision and that nearly 82% of buyers viewed five to eight pieces of content from a winning vendor.
So now that you know why you should be posting on LinkedIn Publisher, it is a good idea to keep these best practices for the platform in mind, to increase the success of your posts.
5. Post Daily Status Updates
Post a daily status update with valuable content (whether it is created or curated content), an interesting stat or a thought-provoking statement that resonates with your prospects.
This is an easy way to stay top of mind and expand your reach. Each time someone likes or comments on your post, their network can see it, increasing the visibility of your post to your 2nd-degree connections and beyond.
It is also a good idea to like, comment and share other people’s status updates, especially the content of your prospects and clients, when appropriate, as this can help you get you on their radar.
6. Engage with Decision Makers on LinkedIn & Other Social Platforms
Another great way to get on the radar of your potential prospects is to do a little research to see what other social media platforms they might be using.
You can follow them on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and when appropriate, like, comment or share their posts. Be sure to ensure that the interaction is natural and makes sense from their perspective.
Where possible, look for ways to start a conversation by commenting or asking a question about their post.
7. Think Outside the Box
A fantastic way to help you stand out from the crowd and get on the radar of a prospect is to do something uncommon, which they will get value from.
An example of this would be to utilize social video, with a personalized message to someone after they’ve connected with you.
After doing research about both the company and the decision maker, create a short (ideally 30 seconds to a minute long) video that first addresses your prospect by name and then introduce yourself. Then use some of your research to either compliment them, their company or content they have shared.
Finish your video by thanking them for connecting with you on LinkedIn. You can share the link to this video as part of a personalized message with a short note.
Not only is this method unique, but it is also personalized and allows the other person to get a sense of who you are.
Another excellent example of a unique approach would be to physically mail your prospects a copy of a book, white paper or case study you have written along with a personalized letter explaining who you are, what you are sending them and why they will get benefit from reading it.
Once you have mailed the content to them, you should reach out and send a connection request if you haven’t already. In the connection request, be sure to include a message that lets them know to expect whatever you are sending to them in the mail.
If you have not heard back from them in a week or two, it is a good idea to follow up with a LinkedIn message to check if they received it (if they have not accepted your connection request, you can send them a message for free on LinkedIn if you share a group with them, or you can send an InMail message if you are a Premium or Sales Navigator member.
Become a Resource for Decision Makers on LinkedIn
By consistently providing value and establishing yourself as an authority, you will be able to get in front of the key decision makers on LinkedIn that you want to connect with.
This is a long-term strategy that requires you to commit to consistency and quality, to see results. You may also need to start creating your own content as part of your LinkedIn Content Strategy using a Content Marketing Roadmap, if you aren’t already, to have the most significant success.
Want to learn more about how to effectively connect with decision makers on LinkedIn, build a strong personal brand and generate a consistent flow of leads? Check out my book “LinkedIn Unlocked” for a proven system to use LinkedIn to generate new leads, clients, and sales.