Have you been wasting time and energy trying to connect with decision-makers on LinkedIn and other social media platforms with no success?
Do you find 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” essential to your ability to make a sale.
The good news is LinkedIn provides an effective way for you to bypass gatekeepers and find and connect with your prospects directly.
Yet many people still don’t take advantage of this opportunity for two reasons:
- they lack the knowledge of how to do it
- they believe it will be too time-consuming or difficult to learn or do.
To help you overcome both of these challenges, I am giving many practical, easy-to-follow tactics that will help you (1) get on the radars of decision-makers on LinkedIn and (2) go one step further and connect with them.
These essential tactics are so easy that 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 to get in front of key decision-makers on LinkedIn, you must create a professional and, most importantly, client-focused profile.
I cannot stress the importance of this enough.
Just as you would not want to meet these key decision-makers in sloppy or unprofessional attire, you would not want to be noticed by them 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 first critical step.
2. Connect with other employees
Before you reach out to a key decision-maker, it could be beneficial to connect with one or more employees of the same company, especially if they are in the same department or physical location.
When your potential prospect sees you are connected to others in their organization, they will be more likely to accept your connection request.
The fact that many employees are often connected to the key decision-makers in their companies on LinkedIn also gives you the chance to get your content in front of your prospects before you even connect with them.
For example, if one of those employees engages with one of your status updates or LinkedIn Publisher posts, the update or post will also end up in the stream of the decision-maker. This introduces the decision-maker to you through the content you share, whether original or curated, and helps establish you as an authority on your topic.
The employee might also decide to share your content with the decision-maker directly. Such an endorsement will serve as significant social proof of your expertise, making it more likely that the decision-maker will pay attention to you and even consider your services.
An easy way to see all the employees of a company listed on LinkedIn is to go to the company page and then click on See all employees on LinkedIn ->.
This will open the Advanced Search, where you can filter the employees listed.
Select 2nd– and 3rd-degree connections, and then use filters, such as Locations, to find employees listed in a particular area.
You can also use the name of the relevant department within the keyword filter to find employees working in the same department as your decision-maker.
In addition, if you have a Premium or Sales Navigator plan, LinkedIn provides you with a variety of other helpful information about the company and its employees, including:
- New hires
- Notable company alumni
- Connections at this company
Further, if you have Sales Navigator, near the top on the right, you will see a box with a link to open all the decision-makers of that company in Sales Navigator.
Once you are in Sales Navigator, you can filter your results using any of the many 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.
Remember: 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 the person you want to connect with is 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 explaining 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.
If you don’t know what to include in your connection request message, try a few conversation starters:
- find commonality
- comment on something in your prospect’s profile
- comment on content they have shared
- comment on or compliment their company
- compliment them
Keep in mind you have only 300 characters to convince them to accept your request.
4. Write articles on LinkedIn Publisher
One of the easiest ways to build authority, credibility and trust is to create and share content valuable to your prospects.
When you publish articles on LinkedIn Publisher, they live within your profile, educating new viewers of your profile the moment they see it for the first time.
LinkedIn Publisher posts are not getting the same visibility in the newsfeed as they used to, but there is still benefit to posting on LinkedIn Publisher. It is a fantastic way to offer your prospects value and build trust with them by helping them overcome a problem.
Make sure you post your own content on this platform.
If you want to repost a fresh article from your blog on LinkedIn Publisher, wait a few days to give Google the chance to index the article on your website first.
If you aren’t convinced of the benefits of creating and sharing your own content, consider all the research that supports the value of original content:
- 82% of consumers feel MORE positive about a company after reading custom content
- 90% find custom content useful
- 60% of people are inspired to seek out a product after reading content about it.
Additional research suggests:
- 65% of buyers feel the vendor’s content had an impact on their final purchase decisions
- nearly 82% of buyers viewed five to eight pieces of content from a winning vendor.
Now that you know why you should post on LinkedIn Publisher, it is a good idea to keep in mind these best practices for posting on the platform to increase the success of your posts.
5. Post daily status updates
Post daily status updates with valuable content (created or curated), interesting stats or thought-provoking statements that would resonate with your prospects.
This is an easy way to stay top of mind with your network 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.
When appropriate, like, comment on and share other people’s status updates, especially the content of your prospects and clients, as this can help you get on their radars.
6. Engage with decision-makers on LinkedIn & other social platforms
Another great way to get on the radars of your potential prospects is to find out what other social media platforms they use.
You can follow them on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and when appropriate, like, comment on or share their posts. Ensure the interaction is natural and makes sense from their perspectives.
Where possible, look for ways to start a conversation by commenting or asking a question about their posts.
7. Think outside the box
A fantastic way to help you stand out from the crowd and get noticed by a prospect is to do something unique that benefits them.
An example of this would be to send your new connection a personalized video message.
After doing research about both the company and the decision-maker, create a short (30-60 seconds) video, including the following:
- address your prospect by name
- introduce yourself
- compliment them, their company or content they have shared, based on your research
- finish your video by thanking them for connecting with you on LinkedIn.
You can share the link to this video in a personalized message.
This method is not only unique but also personalized, allowing the other person to get a sense of who you are.
Another excellent example of a unique approach would be to mail your prospects a hard copy of a book, white paper or case study you have written. Don’t forget to include a personalized letter explaining who you are, what you are sending them and why they will benefit from reading it.
Once you mail the content to them, send them a connection request, if you haven’t already, letting them know about the package you’ve sent.
If you have not heard back from them in a week or two, follow up with a LinkedIn message to check whether 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 you want to connect with.
This is a long-term strategy, requiring you to commit to consistency and quality to see results.
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.