The Secrets to Engaging with Prospects on LinkedIn

October 4, 2013


Thousands of professionals sign onto LinkedIn every day. However, simply signing on isn’t enough if you’re looking to truly engage prospects on LinkedIn; it’s important to learn how to use it properly so that you can maximize the platform's potential for social selling.

Join Relevant Groups

One of the best ways to meet sales prospects is to join groups that your ideal clients would be interested in. For example, if you sell organic food, there are groups for organic farmers on LinkedIn. In these groups, comment on relevant posts and create your own posts of interest. Don’t try to directly sell anything to prospects via these posts. Instead, answer questions and pose some of your own. You can link to a relevant blog post occasionally in your responses, but don’t overdo it–only post a link if it is particularly relevant to the topic at hand. You can also add a link to your website as a “signature” underneath your posts.

Use the 50% Rule

Whether you share posts in LinkedIn Groups or on your personal profile, make sure you link to other people’s content about half of the time. If more than half of your posts are about you, prospects tend to tune you out. However, if more than half of your posts are purely informational, people see you as genuinely helpful and will respond positively to you.

In order to find relevant posts, set up Google Alerts for keywords of interest. Google will send you emails full of new links using those keywords. Check out and post some of these links on your LinkedIn account.

Use the Messaging System

LinkedIn allows you to message prospects directly. You can use the messaging system in several ways:

  • Message people you see in groups to compliment them on what they say and begin a one-on-one dialogue.
  • Message people prior to adding them as connections so they know who you are.
  • Message prospects to tell them about new offers.

The most effective way to convert prospects into paying clients is to message group members or other connections and begin a one-on-one dialogue. As you talk, you will naturally introduce your products and services. If you message connections directly about special offers, make sure you establish some sort of relationship beforehand so you aren’t viewed as a spammer.

LinkedIn offers a lot of potential for business professionals. Begin exploring its potential by joining some groups and posting interesting, relevant material.