Social Selling: The LinkedIn “Who’s Viewed my Profile” Play

Before I go any further, I have an important announcement: On Thursday April 17th from 8:30-Noon is the Funnelholic Virtual Sales Summit feat. Jill Konrath, Jill Rowley, Matt Heinz, and Dan Waldschmidt. Please click here to learn more.

I want to start this post with a simple story that is a great use case on using LinkedIn. I am a strong advocate for sales (sales development and sales) to live in LinkedIn. One screen: CRM; One screen: LinkedIn. There is a lot of things you do in LinkedIn, but one that I love is to think about it as a personal inbound marketing machine. Let the story unfold and then I will come back to this point.

Dateline July 11, 2012:

Yes, July 11, 2012. Yes, a long time ago in internet years. While I haven’t written about it, the experience left a lasting impression and I mention it to clients all the time. Ok, so I look at the profile of Marge Bieler. At the time, I don’t believe she was a LinkedIn trainer, but now she is. As soon as she saw that I viewed her profile, she sent me this:

social selling, marge bieler, inbound marketing

I responded.

See, simple story…Let me follow up with one of my own. I had talked to a prospect and the conversation went really well. Unfortunately, it was one of those situations where she just fell off and went dark (not fully dark, but not interested in talking). 6 months later, she shows up in my “Who’s viewed your profile”. BOOM – I wrote her right away (call it 30-40 minutes later). Note: I didn’t say “Hey I saw you viewed my profile”. But I did mention a new piece of content I had just created. She wrote back write away: “I was just thinking about reconnecting with you. Do you do this <insert project here>?” Bingo. It’s really the same philosophy that many organizations with marketing software use to follow up on prospects based on their digital activities.  When your marketing software tells you a target customer you have wanted to connect with opens an email, clicks a link, or spends time on your website, it’s a perfect time to reach out. They are thinking about your company and in some cases, still on the website. That’s a leading indicator that you are more likely to connect. But what’s even more awesome is that:

On LinkedIn – the prospect clicks on YOU.

You aren’t “nameless salesguy x calling me again” — they looked at your profile. It’s a prime opportunity to talk to them. Isn’t that better than “checking in”? They see your face, glance at your headline and summary…It is especially effective with people you have already connected with. (Think lead nurturing). So couple things to think about:

  1. Keep your profile public — Remember it’s social media. Operative word: Social. You want people to know who you are. Oh…but:
  2. Make sure you have a compelling, complete profile — I don’t have time on this post to discuss this; look at this post from Gerry Moran for tips — I will write my version some other time.
  3. Go ahead, check out your prospect’s profile — “Craig, is that stalking?” Come on, are you in sales or not? Let me tell you a story, I talked to a company that ran a test. They had their sales reps look at 50+ profiles a day for a week. They tracked the data and found that 30-35% looked back at their profile. How about them apples? That is a better click-through than some email campaigns. And again — it’s a click to the individual sales rep. It’s more personal.
  4. Have a call-to-action in your summary — Ok, I lied earlier as I will write a bit about the profile. At a minimum, let people know the best way to reach you in the summary (e.g. Reach me at craigATfunnelholicDOTcom)…but going back to the story I just described in #3 — they put upcoming local, live field marketing event information as the lead in the sales reps summary. Pretty cool — You can’t even get links there, but they got click throughs (don’t have the numbers but they were good enough). But more importantly, see next point below.
  5. Reach out upon viewing — In your profile, you can see who viewed your profile. If you don’t pay to upgrade, you are limited in how many people you can see viewed your profile. (I don’t remember it’s been so long — maybe 10? but it doesn’t matter because to be a power LinkedIn user you need to upgrade anyway for the better search functionality). But “Who’s viewed your profile” is a goldmine for you –  when you see an important prospect or client view your profile, then reach out.
  6. LinkedIn messaging versus email — I mean, if you can message them right away…do it but generally if the person has less than 500 connections they are less social and are more likely to respond to email. Over 500, hit them with LinkedIn  — they like it there. Better yet, do both. You are in sales, don’t be a shy violet and again, they just thought of you.

There you have it.

This was supposed to be a short, 300-word Saturday post. OOPS. Well, hope it helps.

And again, please remember:
Thursday April 17th from 8:30-Noon is the Funnelholic Virtual Sales Summit feat. Jill Konrath, Jill Rowley, Matt Heinz, and Dan Waldschmidt. Please click here to learn more.

Craig Rosenberg is the Funnelholic and a co-founder of Topo. He loves sales, marketing, and things that drive revenue. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter