Are you used to waiting for the phone to ring? Or making phone calls blindly, hoping that the person on the other end is open to hear your pitch? Those days are fading. Customers now expect you to reach out to them with an understanding of their needs before the conversation even begins. But how do you do that? You aren’t a mind reader.
Luckily, social media is making it easier for you to do just that. By using LinkedIn search techniques, you can find potential customers, target your message and deliver your pitch with a knowledge approach.
Before you can start searching, it’s important to be sure your online presence is showcasing your reputation as the trusted independent agent you are. Not sure where to start? Check out part 1 of our 3-part series, Updating Your Profile to Reflect Your Reputation.
Your next customers aren’t going to find themselves, so let’s get started.
Part 2: Using Search Methods to Find Valuable Connections and Potential Customers
Did you know that you can search for potential customers on basic LinkedIn using all of the following criteria?
2. First Name
3. Last Name
6. Location (Zip Code Radius)
7. Relationship (how they’re connected to you)
8. Current Company
9. Past Company
While this list may be overwhelming, today we’re going to focus on keywords, titles, location and relationships to target specific audiences.
To Do This:
- Click on the menu icon left of the search bar and select “People”. You are now searching personal profiles. You will not receive results for groups, companies, jobs, etc.
- Click on the “Advanced” button located to the right of the search bar icon.
You will now find yourself looking at this menu. Don’t let it overwhelm you. We’re about to break it down. The menu. Break down the menu. You don’t want to see us dance. It’s not pretty.
If you’re looking to sell business owner policies to local companies and want to focus on salons, you’ll most likely want to target Salon Owners within a 25 mile radius of your zip code.
Here’s where most people make a crucial mistake. This is where they enter “Salon Owner” into the keywords section. NOT a good idea if you’re looking for all your results to bring back current salon owners. While you may see a few, you’ll also be pulling in profiles of people who include salon owner in their previous experience but may have moved on to another profession. This is because “keywords” search the entire profile, while “title” only searches the current title.
In this case, you’ll want to use “title” to search.
Below is the group of 98 people who show up when you enter “Salon Owner” under title with a 25 mile radius of a St. Petersburg zip code. All showing their current position as a salon owner. This is a great list to work with when trying to reach customers with a specific message tailored to their needs.
NOT SO GOOD:
Below is an alternate list that appears when you enter “Salon Owner” into keywords with a 25 mile radius a St. Petersburg zip code. You can see that the second listing is that of a woman who used to work as a salon receptionist but is now the “co-owner” of a company. You can see why she would not be a potential customer and why using “titles” in this case is more efficient.
Now that you’ve got your search criteria figured out, it would be nice to be notified if any new Salon Owners join LinkedIn without having to check back and re-enter all of this information. Drum roll please…
How to Save Your Searches And Receive Alerts
At the top of your search listings, click on “save search”.
Give your search a name and set up the frequency of results you would like to receive if this list is updated. With the basic/free LinkedIn profile you can save up to 3 searches at one time.
Connecting with Potential Customers
Another way to narrow your search is to use the “relationship” filter. When would you want to use this? When you are looking for a warm introduction.
By narrowing your search results down to “2nd connections” you are choosing to show people who you don’t yet have a relationship with but you share a mutual friend or connection.
This is your opportunity to say to your mutual connection,
“Hi! I noticed on LinkedIn that you are connected with salon owner, Anne Williams. Since you already know my reputation as a trusted insurance agent, would you be willing to introduce us?”
BAM. That’s a warm introduction which could also be considered a referral.
A warm referral increases the odds of a sales success 2x-4x.
Also, if that salon owner isn’t continuously active on LinkedIn, you may find an alternate form of contact through your mutual connection.
Now that your performing quality searches, you’re ready to start providing value through content. Check back in next week for Part 3 of our LinkedIn Social Selling Series: Providing Value and Expertise to Retain Your Customers.
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