Answering 6 Common Questions Salespeople Have About InMail

Combining the ease of email with the personal touch of making a phone call, LinkedIn InMail is a valuable digital channel for client prospecting.

May 1, 2017

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For sales reps, getting noticed is an uphill battle. Most executive decision-makers are flooded with cold calls, emails, and other communications from sales reps looking for new clients.

Even when something does catch their eye, it’s easy for that introductory message to get lost in the shuffle. Phone messages are quickly forgotten. Emails drop out of sight.

But a strategic LinkedIn InMail message alleviates this problem, utilizing an exclusive channel to get a sales prospect’s attention—and keep it.

If you’ve never used InMail before, you might have some questions about how to use this communication channel. Check out these Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about what InMail can offer you.

How do I Send an InMail?

Each time you visit a LinkedIn member’s profile, you’ll find an icon near the top of the page that users can click on to start an InMail message. This service is only available to Premium members, so Basic users will need to upgrade before sending a message.

All Premium members receive InMail credits that can be used to send messages to users. A credit is used each time you send an InMail, which helps ensure that users aren’t spamming other accounts. When you send a message to a business decision-maker, they are much more likely to see it and respond.

Learn more about purchasing and sending an InMail here.

What Should I Say in an InMail Message?

In general, the best InMail messages eschew the generic to focus on the personal. They might highlight shared experiences, education, or mutual connections as a way of building rapport and trust with a sales prospect, or they might mention the individual’s recent LinkedIn activity, a job change, or other observed news.

Messages don’t need to be long. In fact, short is often better. Remember that you are dealing with busy professionals. Don’t launch into a straight sales pitch, but provide a clear next step to keep the conversation moving forward, and to move the prospect further down the sales funnel.

What Kind of Personalization Should I Include?

Successful InMail messages should demonstrate a deliberate interest in the person you are contacting. Take time to craft a message that shows you have paid attention to that individual and the business they represent. If the user is active in a LinkedIn group, you might want to comment on a recent posting they made, or even ask a follow-up question as a means of jump-starting a meaningful conversation.

Sales pitches, small talk, and boiler-plate prospecting messages do not work well in InMail, and should be avoided. Keep the message tailored to the individual.

Should I Combine LinkedIn InMail With Other Selling Strategies?

LinkedIn InMail has rewarded sales representatives with high response rates on its own. If you stick to InMail exclusively and follow established best practices for the platform, you should see better performance rates as compared to other cold-contact methods.

That said, InMail’s success can be improved by combining it with email and/or phone call contacts. Some consultants report an eight-percent increase in contact-to-meeting ratios when combining InMail with at least one other contact method.

Will My LinkedIn Profile Affect My Performance?

Your LinkedIn profile is typically the first way prospects will try to evaluate your credibility. A poor profile is almost certain to affect response rates and contact-to-meeting ratios. Before prospecting with LinkedIn InMail, take time to build an impressive LinkedIn profile that has all your essential information: website address, social accounts, a buyer-centric summary, and a professional profile photo are all key to making a good first impression.

It’s also smart to have some positive recommendations highlighted on your page, including some from existing customers. Build the profile of a salesperson you would want to do business with.

Will Other LinkedIn Users Be Bothered by My InMail Messages?

Not if you’re respectful of your recipient’s time. LinkedIn isn’t like other social networks in that people come to the platform for professional reasons. In other words, people invest time on LinkedIn. Networking ranks near the top of that list, and most users are eager to make new connections. Plus, our data shows that LinkedIn InMail is far more effective than other cold-contacting methods. When you send an InMail instead of making a cold call, your odds of getting a response are at least 30 times better.

Since InMail messages are limited, and because quality, relevant messages are rewarded, LinkedIn members are less apt to worry about spam or non-serious inquiries when they open a new message. This gives diligent salespeople the inside track to getting noticed by the right people and generating valuable sales leads.

For more tips and strategies for using InMail and other social selling strategies to bolster your sales, download our free InMail Kit