Worried your LinkedIn outreach strategy isn’t producing results? You might have overlooked the fundamentals of buyer psychology.
Getting results from cold outreach requires a good understanding of what comes up for prospects during the buying process. Using psychology to overcome inertia and wariness will generate sales and show you LinkedIn is still the best way to achieve your 2023 lead generation targets.
Follow the tips below to generate leads on LinkedIn and see your engagement rates soar.
Center your prospect
To generate sales, you have to remember that the buyer doesn’t care how impressive you are. Instead, they care about what you can do for them. Show you’re attentive to their needs by making sure your messages speak to them more than about you.
Think. If I’m the prospect, I want to know one thing. What’s in it for me?
It’s easy to think your first messages must convey every feature or benefit of your product. But too many people make the mistake of centering themselves in their outreach.
‘Our product does X’
‘We’re the leading provider of Y’
‘Companies like XYZ love us’
There’s definitely a place for proof when social selling. However, to capture a prospect’s attention and get that initial ‘I’m interested, let me know more,’ you need to lead with questions and benefits.
‘Is more efficient invoicing software a priority in your department right now?’
‘A company like yours could save X hours per week and Y total revenue using our invoicing software’
‘Does your current solution meet your business needs?’
Notice that, in the second set of examples, we’re trying to create a dialogue with the prospect (i.e., we’re social selling). The aim is twofold: to get a response to your LinkedIn message and to learn more about their existing problems and situation. Because trying to sell when you don’t know anything about your prospect’s needs is putting the cart before the horse.
Use social selling to develop relationships
To sell a prospect on anything, you need to know enough about their situation and pain points to make your solution a no-brainer.
And to do so, you need to get good at listening.
In general, people like to talk. And they really like to talk about themselves. The key to social selling is to get a prospect to open up by asking questions. Avoid centering yourself and your product over their needs and they’ll feel warmer towards you. Giving you everything you need to convert the lead and generate sales.
A bad car salesman might spend hours extolling the virtues of a new Porsche, and never learn that his potential buyer is a family man who needs a child-safe 7-seater. By not asking the prospect about his situation, they never get to that part of the garage, and both the prospect and sales rep leave empty-handed.
Remember: You can’t sell someone what they don’t need. And you can’t sell someone what they do need if you don’t know what that is.
Evoke emotion with LinkedIn marketing
If you’re not getting any responses at all, take a leaf out of marketing’s book. When you see an advert for a car or a watch, you’re not actually being sold the car or watch. You’re being sold power, confidence, and charisma. In other words: a version of yourself you feel good about.
How can you replicate this when using LinkedIn to generate sales? Make your lead feel special. Show them how your product can make them a more efficient (and therefore more enviable) boss, a cool-as-a-cucumber (and therefore more effective) employee, or a successful (and therefore popular) colleague. Think how positive business outcomes would make them feel, and then sell them this emotion to improve your 2023 lead generation.
Generate sales with business consequences
To help your buyer see the value in your offering and generate sales, you should address both potential gains and your prospect’s need for safety and security.
Think of it as “push” and “pull”. You’ve shown your prospect how your product could transform their (professional) life. That’s the “pull”. Often, to engage in an actual conversation, prospects need to feel a “push”, too. In other words, they need to understand the danger of not adopting your solution.
Your LinkedIn outreach strategy needs to account for what your prospects would lose by not engaging. Is it future business opportunities? Their competitive advantage? Their ability to launch much-needed products?
(And don’t spell this out, but really think through the consequences. If they’re a stakeholder, what would bad business results truly mean? A loss of promotion? Layoffs? Their neck on the line? When you can empathize with your prospects, your outreach messages get stronger, and your LinkedIn lead generation becomes more effective).
If prospects aren’t responding, tap into their fear of loss in your follow-up messages and see the difference it makes to your LinkedIn outreach strategy and 2023 lead generation success.
There’s a reason sales are ‘limited time only’ or ‘while stocks last’. People need urgency to overcome the inertia of inaction.
However, it’s a tricky balance to introduce urgency while remaining authentic.
How can you introduce urgency without seeming insincere?
- Tie the urgency to their business aims. ‘If we sign this week, you’ll be able to use our software to track Q1 activity’
- Tie the urgency to your company’s deals and offers (rather than your own). ‘We’ve got a great deal on at the moment, but we’re only allowed to give it until the end of the quarter’.
- Tie the urgency to value-adds that are only running at certain times. ‘I’ve love to sign you up for our webinar tomorrow so you can benefit from this expertise.’’
Encourage your prospects to act right away for 2023 lead generation results.
Your prospect doesn’t know you. Why should they trust you? Successful LinkedIn lead generation requires social selling and LinkedIn marketing to establish trust.
It’s normal to be a bit wary of strangers. Generally, when you first message your prospects on LinkedIn, they’re on high alert. They’ll check out your profile and your message and … that’s it. That’s all they have to go off to consider whether you’re trustworthy enough to do business with them.
If they’re unconvinced? Well, making a decision takes cognitive effort. And exhausted professionals are often already suffering from decision fatigue. As a result, any uncertainty gets ignored, and you sit on read without a reply (or are stuck in connection-request limbo) with no idea how to move forward.
To generate leads on LinkedIn, try and show some of your personality in your initial messages. You want to appear approachable, as well as confident and knowledgeable.
When you’re talking to a prospect, remember they’re still assessing your trustworthiness. Every action matters. You can build trust by sending through that resource you said they’d benefit from, following up when you say you will, and showing an interest in them as an individual as well as a prospect. Each additional bit of trust will help generate sales and improve your LinkedIn outreach strategy.
The more time a prospect spends with you or in communication with you, the more familiar you become and the greater their sense of trust. It’s why lead nurturing is so important for effective LinkedIn lead generation results.
Probe existing solutions and providers
If you’re not getting results from your LinkedIn outreach strategy, consider removing any negative comments about competitors from your opening messages.
Humans are illogical, and you have no idea what the emotional stakes are between your prospect and their current vendor. Did this prospect sign the contract? Are they friendly with their Account Manager? Have they worked with this company for years?
To avoid putting a prospect on guard, ask them about their experience with their current provider rather than telling them what this provider lacks. (And actually listen to their answers). They’ll consider what’s working for them and what isn’t – while feeling like they’ve still got agency and are calling the shots. Making your prospects feel comfortable is the key to social selling and will help you generate leads on LinkedIn.
Sell yourself as well as your product
Ouch. This one stings a little, but turns out it’s true: when you first reach out to someone, they pay more attention to how they feel about you than the logic of your argument.
How do you make people feel positively about you to generate leads on LinkedIn?
For starters, lead with empathy in all your communications. Adding some personality and a sense of being human is always good. You might experiment with asking for a favor (weirdly, people like others more if they’ve had to help them). Also, if you can remain professional about your offering but show some human fallacy (a dash of self-deprecating humor, an anecdote about when something went wrong) it increases trust and intimacy. And that can help you generate sales.
Also, pay attention to your LinkedIn headline and profile before you begin your outreach. Is your header filled in? Are you smiling in your picture? Do you post updates that make you seem human? All these can help prospects past that initial coldness and help you generate leads on LinkedIn.
Keep it short, sharp, and simple
If you’re not getting the results you want, take a good, hard look at your outreach templates.
- Are you using effective language (think active verbs, short sentences, powerful syntax)?
- Have you pared back your messages to their most effective core?
You’re busy. Your prospects are busy. If you send them a wall of text, they won’t read it.
Get to the point and grab attention by immediately stating what you can do for them.
Generate leads on LinkedIn in 2023
If you’ve been struggling with LinkedIn lead generation, try the tips above. We reckon you’ll see results in no time.
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