Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Trying to sell something? Try LinkedIn!

As a student, I have used LinkedIn to display my resume, search for jobs, and keep up with my friends’ accomplishments. However, after working in the tech sales space at Fyrii, I’ve realized that LinkedIn’s true power lies in its massive community, and its ability to connect you with anyone. In software sales particularly, I’ve seen people maximize LinkedIn’s potential by creating great relationships and selling software products to people who want them. If you find yourself trying to sell a product in the enterprise space, here is how I would use LinkedIn.

In order to generate leads, start by narrowing your search down. Consider what industry you are looking at, the specific geolocation you are interested in, and the job titles you are going after. Once you start finding people who identify as your target buyers, the next step is reaching out. When requesting a connection on LinkedIn, the chances of your prospect accepting is higher when that person is a 1st or 2nd degree connection. If the person you want to connect with is a 3rd degree connection, try to move up to a 2nd degree connection with that person. Since 2nd degree connections know you have a mutual connection, they are more likely to accept your requests, while 3rd degree connections might not be.

If you see yourself having a lot of 3rd degree connections, you want to increase your network size. You can do this by connecting with influencers in the space that your prospect is in. Connecting with influencers in the same space as your prospect increases the chance that you are a 2nd degree connection with the target connection that you want. Another way to move up to a 2nd degree connection is by joining groups. Joining groups can help you post information and gives you an opportunity to connect with a prospect who is in the same group. If you have to connect with someone who is a 3rd degree connection, write an introduction message when you connect. Make sure this introduction message doesn’t talk about your product or service. Talk about the person you want to connect with instead so you don’t seem too pushy.

Once you start a conversation with someone, time to let your sales skills shine! Remember that balance is key. You want to make sure you actively engage with your prospect, but you should know when to draw the line. Try not to give up on a prospect until they say no, and periodically follow up with your prospects. In order to stand out, it can help to endorse your prospects on their skills, move to email after a good conversation (messages get annoying), and add an emotional element when you pitch. 

Sales can be hard, especially on LinkedIn. You can make your experiences easier by staying on top of the news, following hashtags, and using software such as LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Lusha, Yesware (for email), and a CRM of your choice. Learning how to navigate sales on LinkedIn can then be used to sell your skills to recruiters and build a personal brand. Good luck!