Finding Leads on LinkedIn

Finding Leads on LinkedInLinkedIn is a great prospecting tool for B2B companies. In this article, learn more about finding leads on the platform. (If you’ve already established that you should develop a LinkedIn strategy, based on my article, “Is LinkedIn Right for Marketing my Small Business?“)

The key to finding leads is making connections, both by inviting many people to connect with you and by having memorable interactions with those people.

When you invite someone to connect with you, personalize the message beyond the default, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” My friend and business expert Steve Yastrow‘s biggest pet peeve is when people he barely knows send him the default connection invitation– he just ignores them. If you act like a robot, people will treat you like one.

How Do You Find People to Connect With on LinkedIn?

You know more people than you think you do! Most people can double their number of professional connections in just a few days.

Make connections with employees at your vendor and partner organizations– these contacts will be eager to connect with you and might have access to valuable leads.

Similarly, make an effort to connect with several people at your client organizations, not just your main contact. Developing more relationships will help broaden your involvement with your client.

Reflect on your past for opportunities to make connections. Consider high school classmates, church youth group friends or professors from college. Also, reach out to social contacts that might be professionally relevant, like parents from your kids’ playgroup.

If you’re fairly new in your career or business, consider connecting with friends of your parents who are more established professionally and will probably be glad to help your development.

These are just a few ideas to get you started expanding your LinkedIn network. Remember, “connecting” is not enough! Your lead generation will only be successful if you develop and maintain your relationships over time.

Are Your Marketing Campaigns as Good as Your Marketing Plan?

Marketing implementation is just as important as strategy

Does your business have a great marketing plan that identifies who your customers are, what is important to them and how to reach them? As important as your plan is, it’s not enough if your implementation team isn’t just as strong. Here’s an example.

While shopping for a new car, I could tell Toyota had put some effort into making their sales team and showroom friendly towards women and how they buy. The salesperson made sure to make plenty of eye contact with me and ask me as many questions as he asked my husband. He gave us privacy and space to discuss our options. He was the opposite of the stereotypical car salesman– and his support staff were just as competent. It seems Toyota has invested in training programs to make their dealerships more women-friendly.

But their marketing communications team was much too literal in their interpretation of the marketing plan. Their commercials, with a strangely overt message announcing, “We are women and kid friendly!” were almost offensive, like the Toyota dealership was overly conscious of the difference between men and women, or they were grouping women and kids into the same category. Here’s a video from the same dealership that shows a similar misunderstanding of the marketing strategy, with service technicians stumbling around in high heels.

It’s important for all of your marketing efforts to coordinate and tell the same story– or you might end up like Kings Toyota, with a great sales experience but commercials that drive your customers away.

Sales Promotion FAIL

Sales promotions are a popular part of the marketing mix. Sales promotions can be a great way to build awareness about your brand, reward loyal customers or just eliminate excess stock.

Except this one. It is a sales promotion fail.

I saw this 5% off book at an otherwise amazing independent bookstore in Columbus, OH. If customers don’t want to read Soul Pancake for $19.99, do you think they would be motivated if the price were $18.99? It would be more than a dollar’s worth of hassle just getting that stubborn sticker off the cover. This paltry sales promotion seems calculated to make customers laugh, not buy the book.

When planning sales promotions, make sure the offer is meaningful to the customer. Consider the customer’s context – in a world where Amazon sells a book for 41% off publisher’s list price, offering a 5% discount simply highlights that this bookstore’s prices are higher. This bookstore should not compete on price – they will lose every time. They need to give customers something that Amazon can’t – an experience, a feeling or a relationship.