How to Engage Sales Prospects in a More Meaningful Way

June 26, 2018

Top social sellers say the biggest mistake they see is engagement without purpose

There’s no doubt that being social is an important part of social selling. It’s in the name, after all. Sharing, liking, and commenting on social content are great ways to stay engaged with important contacts, but if generating leads is your goal, it helps to combine “being social” with “being purposeful.”

Acknowledging a job change, sharing a news item, and being active in comments are a few ways to use engagement to generate leads. Here, we explore how to use these functions strategically:

Use Comments to Add Value

How often do you comment on other LinkedIn members’ updates or shared content? While commenting is a great way to start a conversation with prospects, it’s best to have a clear objective in mind before posting a note.

Consider these questions:

  • What is the purpose of your comment?
  • Does it add value to the conversation?
  • Is it likely to spark a broader conversation or drive an action?

Adding your perspective helps you engage people on LinkedIn and grow your network or personal brand. However, commenting just for the sake of commenting is a waste of time. If you jump into conversations without a purpose, you run the risk of being ignored or being considered irrelevant.

When to Acknowledge a Job Change

You likely see frequent job change notifications in your feed. In fact, around 3 million people leave their job every month. With all that turnover, you’re bound to see changes among your network, including from prospects, leads, and clients.

No matter where a contact is in the buyer’s journey, this can be a valuable time to reach out. These are few ways a connection’s job change could benefit you:

  • A prospect or lead gets an internal promotion, pushing them into decision-making role.
  • A connection moves to an organization you’ve been targeting.
  • You know a lead or client is ready to innovate, and their new role will give them the chance to explore new options.

Not every job change is going to have direct value, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth acknowledging. Again, just make sure you are adding value when reaching out and try to avoid appearing opportunistic.

Be a Savvy News Consumer

Did you notice that one of your connections was mentioned in a news article? This can be an opportune time to engage with that person on LinkedIn. Whether you share an article, comment, or reach out privately to the individual, this is a chance to show you are engaged with the industry. It can also be a way to build rapport.

If the move has broader industry implications, sharing the article with your entire network can help your individual relationship while showcasing your knowledge to a larger audience.

The key is to be authentic. Sharing news may offer potential sales angles, or it may be a way to remain visible and active with other professionals. Either way, sharing news should be about sharing value. Otherwise it’s just a thinly veiled sales pitch.

Have Your Next Steps in Mind

The key with any engagement is to have your next steps in mind. That may be a follow-up email or InMail message. Or it may be a next step in a broader social strategy.

With that in mind, we’ll leave you with one last reminder that we’ve stressed throughout this post: Be strategic. Engagement without a purpose doesn’t serve your sales prospect’s needs, thus it ultimately won’t serve your needs, either.

Looking for more ways to make meaningful connections with prospects? Download our guide, Read Me If You Want to Uncover Relevant Sales Insights on LinkedIn.