5 Most Important Timing Triggers for Selling on LinkedIn
April 16, 2018
In B2B sales, timing is everything. Research tells us that 74% of buyers will sign on with the first vendor to convincingly outline a solution to their problem. Consistently being first requires an ability to proactively pick up on those first signals of outward interest or curiosity.
As a salesperson, you want to be at the right place at the right time. Not only does this enable you to beat the competition to the punch, but also increases your influence. By connecting with a potential buyer early, before decisions are set, you can serve as a resource while building the trust needed to help guide their buying journey to completion.
How do you ensure you see the early signs?
Some high-achieving sales professionals find that by setting up a prospecting system in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, they uncover potential social selling opportunities early and have the data needed to leverage them. Sales Navigator keeps you up to speed on the social actions of people in your network, extended network, and groups. These activities reveal clues and interest signals you can act on to generate leads and advance them through the sales funnel.
Set Up Your Sales Prospecting System
Sales Navigator allows you to set up professional connections as leads, and establish target accounts or companies. We suggest you save existing customers as leads, for they may change jobs at some point and you’ll want to stay in touch.
The Lead Builder function enables you to initiate a search using criteria and filters relevant to your business. Work with marketing to arrive at a filter combination that yields your ideal buyer persona. The search queries can be named and saved for use again later.
You may have a great many contacts, so it’s important to invest time into organizing your records with descriptive tags and notes. Contacts can be identified as leads and associated with a company or account. As your network grows, you can find ways to deepen your contacts and relationships within an account, improving the odds of being called on later to help them. The deeper your contacts within an account, the more visibility you’ll have into potential sales triggers.
If you haven’t already, commit time now to set up a sound prospecting system. It will help you access high-quality information and insights, and save time for valuable selling activities like acting on the sales timing triggers below.
Sales Prospecting Triggers You Don’t Want to Miss
- Stay alert and active in group message threads. You may already have a strategy in place for maintaining an active presence in relevant LinkedIn groups to build authority and stay top-of-mind. While you’re there, watch the group comments closely for any indication a member might need information or assistance with a solution you can help with. Consider responding publicly so your expertise is on display to all members, and also reply with a brief private message to initiate a more personal conversation
- Consider a profile view as a warm invitation. If someone views your profile, it’s safe to assume they have some interest in learning more about you, whether it’s the type of work you do now or the story your background tells. In any case, it’s perfectly acceptable to use that curiosity and interest as a springboard to initiate direct contact. Keep the message simple and unassuming, along the lines of “Hi Bob. Thanks for taking a moment to learn more about me on LinkedIn. If there’s ever a time I can give you a hand, just reach out. If you’d like to connect now to make it easier to contact me, please feel free.” Your friendly, low-pressure outreach could be just the invitation they need to feel comfortable talking about their situation.
- Act on notifications about members of your network. Job changes, work anniversaries, birthdays, and other milestones present good opportunities to reconnect with people in your network. If they reply to your note, their message might lead you to suggest a phone call where you can catch up in a more meaningful way. It’s best to react to a milestone quickly. From the main navigation, click on the bell icon (“Notifications”) to see a list of recent milestones and social activity within your networ
- Follow up when a contact is mentioned in the news. We all value professional recognition. When a contact is mentioned in the news or referenced in an article, seize the opportunity. Reach out privately to comment on your discovery of the mention and ask a thoughtful question to encourage further discussion. At the very least, they’ll appreciate that you noticed and will be more likely to remember you when a need arises.
- Request a recommendation and referral from a happy, connected customer. Once you’ve closed a sale, spend some time learning what your buyer enjoyed most about working through the process with you. With soliciting referrals, timing is vital. Asking for a referral or recommendation before you’ve earned it can leave a bad impression. Conversely, waiting too long makes your request less relevant, and more likely to be ignored. It’s often helpful to plant the seed during the sales process and circle back afterward. For the most part, a satisfied customer will be happy to put in a good word.
Receiving a recommendation is also a good opportunity to embrace the “pay it forward” rule by reaching out and offering a recommendation of your own to a deserving member of your network.
Timing triggers can vary by industry and circumstance. We encourage you to spend time examining what drives most prospects to your company and solution. If you have the ability to empathize with your typical buyer and can map out their usual journey to purchase, you’ll identify triggers in common. That knowledge can then be used to surface the ideal timing and methods you’ll need to get your foot in the door.
Get a jump on your sales prospecting efforts this year when you download our new eBook, Read Me If You Want to Target the Right Prospects on LinkedIn.