Every communication tool goes through its own lifecycle. With the introduction of email in 1971, almost everyone would respond to (or at least read) any message they received. Linkedin is relatively similar in that you are able to message nearly anyone you’d like on the platform and there is a high chance they will respond. Whether you’re searching for your first job, in the middle of a career change, or simply just want advice on what you’re currently working on, LinkedIn can be a helpful tool for everyone. Below are three cold outreach tactics that we use regularly on LinkedIn and you should too!
Find common ground
The key advantage of LinkedIn as an outreach channel is the amount of relevant information you can find about a person’s job role, work history, educational background, and interests. When you find a potential customer on LinkedIn and you want to connect with them, the first thing you should do is scan through their profile to find some common ground between yourself and the person you’re messaging.
If the person is active on LinkedIn, read what they are sharing and are interested in. Take note of their current position, how long they’ve been with their company, their past professional experiences, and which LinkedIn groups they belong to. Try to find some commonalities. Are you from the same area? Did you attend the same university? Do you know anything special about their industry? What about their profile do you find interesting?
Keep these things in mind when crafting your first message to them so that your first touch is targeted, personal, and relevant. Don’t just copy and paste the same message to every single lead. Instead, use what you learned from their LinkedIn profile to personally tailor your message to each individual, so they know you actually paid attention to their profile.
See if a mutual connection can introduce you
Next, figure out if you have any connections in common with your potential buyer. It’s often easier to strike up a conversation with a stranger if there’s someone else who can vouch for you. So, if you have mutual friends or a former coworker in common (and you feel comfortable doing so), try asking one of your shared connections to introduce you. Your mutual connection could start a group message and share how they know each of you. After that, you can message the lead individually.
Another more traditional approach is to simply mention your mutual connection in your first message to the lead. You can start your message by writing something like this: “Hi [first name]! I noticed you and I are both connected to [name of mutual connection] and I thought I would reach out to connect with you as well. Where do you know [name of mutual connection] from, anyway?”
Give them a reason to reply.
If you received a message from a stranger, you probably wouldn’t be inclined to respond unless they gave you a good reason, right? While your initial contact should focus on establishing a relationship instead of selling, you do want to include some sort of ask to keep the conversation active.
Include a question at the end of your message that will give the prospect a reason to respond. This could be a question about their experiences, interests, a mutual connection, or even their occupation or position. Ask them something that only someone in their position would know. People love being helpful, so asking a prospect for their insight or expertise on a certain topic might make them more inclined to respond.