I spend time on LinkedIn every day and every week. It’s a wonderful tool that I have no doubt, EVERY sales person should be using! (Be sure to read “5 Reasons Why I Love LinkedIn” if you’re not convinced yet). I’ve been using LinkedIn since March of 2008. I have been what you might call an ‘organic’ user of this professional networking tool. In other words, I have not paid LinkedIn one penny to build my current network of 481 connections and confident I will surpass my personal goal of 500+ connections by the end of 2102 organically speaking!
However, last month I received an offer from LinkedIn and decided to take a free 30 day trial of a premium paid account feature called Sales Navigator. I found 2 features valuable in particular:
If you purchase a Sales Navigator account, you will have access to 10 InMails per month. InMail essentially is the ability to directly message a contact without having any 1st or 2nd level degree connections. This is a nice feature if you a. Don’t have many connections in your network to begin with and need to quickly build a network or b. You are a sales ‘hunter’ and want to quickly connect with a prospect without having to search or wait for a 1st or 2nd level connection to help you make a warm introduction. You’ll get direct access to send a message through LinkedIn messaging.
2. Automatic Search Alerts
My ideal target connection is Business Owners or Marketing Professionals within a radius of our Hutchinson and Minneapolis offices in Minnesota. Sales Navigator includes some additional search capabilities so I can specifically target by title and location. I am able to set up different search queries, name them, and receive automatic emails that provide me a listing of people who match up with the criteria I set up. This takes some time to play around with, but it has lead me to some contacts I would not have normally found ‘organically’. Long term, it can help you build a prospect list and save you time.
Check out the screen shot of Sales Navigator features above in more detail. (To see this in your personal LinkedIn account, just go to the More tab and choose Upgrade Your Account).