How to Generate Leads on LinkedIn by Being Human

Generating leads on LinkedIn is a delicate balance of determining a prospect’s needs while positioning your company as the one that can meet those needs.

In sales and marketing, it is easy to get caught up in buyer personas. However, those personas are a guide. The real prospect is a human being with all of their good points, flaws and goals. You need to connect with this person to form a relationship and nurture an interest in your offerings. If you can’t develop a relationship with them then they aren’t a viable lead; they’re just another connection in your LinkedIn network.

If you want to connect with quality prospects in your network, you need to master these four aspects:

  • Direct messaging without training wheels
  • Asking questions, then asking them again
  • Listening to what your prospect is really saying
  • Customize the value you deliver to your connections

Direct Messaging without Training Wheels

Effective lead generation techniques begin with communication. Many of your prospects will be just starting their buyer’s journey. They will have many questions at this point that can’t be answered by the company website, lead magnets and other content assets your business offers.

Your prospect isn’t ready to speak with a salesperson yet, but their ability to find the answers to these questions can impact who they turn to when they are ready to buy.

When you begin direct messaging your prospects, you need to learn how to ascertain where they are in the buyer’s journey, what information they are having difficulty finding, and the kind of direction they are looking for.

You can’t rely on sales scripts, industry jargon, or carefully crafted marketing language in your messaging. If you position yourself as an expert who is only looking to help the prospect, you will remove the pressure they feel during a standard sales conversation.

Asking Questions, Then Asking Them Again

To learn more about your prospect, you have to ask the right questions. Asking the right questions requires knowing important information about your prospect.

Using LinkedIn for lead generation offers many opportunities to learn about your connection and their organization. If you have a Professional subscription for LinkedIn, or Sales Navigator, you will have the ability to gather additional key insights about the prospect and their organization:

  • Their personal profile will help you learn about their personal and professional interests
  • Looking at their updates will show you their interests, company events and key information
  • Their organization’s LinkedIn Company Page will give you vital statistics about the business
  • By saving them as a Lead in Sales Navigator, you’ll be able to keep abreast of key events and newsworthy items

Using this information in addition to basic internet research will help you find key questions that will resonate with your prospect. This information will also help you present your questions with confidence. Confidence is key to building trust and positioning you as an expert.

As you ask questions and gather feedback, you need to be able to continue the conversation without the aid of scripted responses. Canned answers are easily detected and any chance you had of building rapport will be lost.

You also need to be ready to repeat certain questions, as their answers may change as your prospect learns more about your company’s offerings.

Listening to What Your Prospect is Really Saying  

In order to know how to answer your prospect’s questions, and to understand their answers to the questions you ask, you need to be able to employ active listening skills.

Active listening helps you to discover what your prospect is really saying. It also requires you to be able to listen without filters.

Listening filters are the different aspects of who you are and what is happening around you that affect your ability to understand what others are saying. Listening filters include:

  • Beliefs
  • Personality
  • Prejudices
  • Expectations
  • Assumptions
  • Culture
  • Past Experiences
  • Mood

You may not be able to eliminate all of your listening filters completely, but you need to be aware of them. You also need to remember that the person you are talking to has their own filters and methods of communication that will be different from yours.

Customizing the Value You Deliver to Your Prospects

Using LinkedIn for lead generation requires you to abandon traditional lead generation techniques. You need to focus on creating value while engaging with prospects. Sharing valuable information, especially information that isn’t readily available to prospects, increases engagement.

This is especially true if your company is a service-based business. Services are customized to each client’s needs. This means that key information your prospect needs most likely won’t be available in material offered at the top of the content funnel, including white papers or case studies.

Personalizing the direct messages you send to your prospects has to include customizing the supporting resources you provide. Keeping a list of key websites, e-books and videos to offer prospects is fine, but be willing to alter the information you offer to each prospect. And be willing to go off the beaten path at times to provide resources that aren’t considered standard material.

Your willingness to provide customized information and resources your prospects won’t find anywhere else delivers a type of value your competitors don’t offer. It shows that you think of your prospect as a peer, not a commission check.

A key benefit to using LinkedIn for lead generation is that you are able to communicate directly with C-level prospects. These prospects are just like you, they are busy and constantly hounded by sales people. You aren’t a sales person, you are their peer, so treat your conversations with them as you would any other peer-to-peer conversation.

Get to know who they are, ask genuine questions, actively listen to their answers and give them valuable responses. Don’t rely on prospect personas, canned responses, or any other sales material. This is your business, you know it intimately, so instead rely on your knowledge, excitement and eagerness to help others. That is how you can generate leads on LinkedIn while still being human.  

Finding the time to personalize conversations with your prospects while completing all the other vital LinkedIn lead generation tasks can be daunting. RevGrow can become your partner in success by taking care of the key aspects of your LinkedIn campaign. Schedule a Strategy Session today to learn how we can help you focus your lead generation efforts.