LinkedIn Premium Is Worth It IF …

Is LinkedIn Premium worth it for sales pros? Yes, but only if you have an effective, repeatable way to get conversations going once connected. Getting buyers talking about their pains and your solution is tough. So here is a three-step process to make sure LinkedIn’s Premium or Sales Navigator is worth the cost.

Is LinkedIn Premium worth it for sales pros? Yes, but only if you have an effective, repeatable way to get conversations going once connected. Getting buyers talking about their pains and your solution is tough. So here is a three-step process to make sure LinkedIn’s Premium or Sales Navigator is worth the cost.

Make sure you/your sellers systematically:

  1. Spark prospects’ curiosity;
  2. provoke buyers to act (become a lead);
  3. connect that curiosity to what you sell.

Why Most LinkedIn Premium Investments Don’t Pay Off
We forget to give the other side a distinct, compelling reason to connect beyond, “my network.” Fact is, 95 percent of sellers asking for connections are promising access to their network.

But nobody cares about your network unless you give them a reason to.

Increase your connections and conversations by stating a specific reason the other side will benefit. What is the:

  • Pain you’ll remedy?
  • Hurdle you’ll help them clear?
  • Risk you’ll help them avoid?
  • Short-cut to more success you’ll give the prospect?

How to Spark a Sales-Focused Conversation
Want to start discussion with a potential buyer? State a reason in your connection request or shortly afterward. But remember, it must be mutually beneficial, worthwhile and crystal clear.

What you “put into” LinkedIn Premium, InMail or the Sales Navigator makes the difference.

Also, state the reason and set expectation for the other side. Promise access to a specific benefit. Tell the buyer how and when they’ll benefit. Make your promise something worthwhile.

Distinct. Unusually useful. Credible. Then, follow through on your promise.

How to Connect: An Example Template
Here’s how you can get started right away with this concept, even if you don’t know your prospects’ pain.

The following connection request example can be used as a template. It was written for a student of mine in the sales training business.

Greetings, [First name]. I’d like to decide if connecting on LinkedIn will benefit both of us. Are you seeking effective ways to boost sales managers’ productivity? This is my specialty. Based on what I’m reading on your profile, connecting may open the door to mutual opportunity. Would you like to quickly explore? Thanks for considering, [First name].

All the best,
Sam Smith, Sales Manager Productivity Coach

Of course, you may not want to reveal a specific benefit (to connecting) up front. Or you may not (yet) know their pain. Thus, you might not know what benefit to promise.

So you’ll hold back a bit and provoke the prospect to tell you their pain.

Why and How Provocation Works
Let’s quickly dissect why the above approach is so effective at earning connections and conversations about what you’re selling. It’s all about creating curiosity in the prospect—fast.

Line 1 gets right to the point: Let’s decide if there’s benefit here or not.

Line 2 gets to the point of pain/goals.

Line 3 signals, “This is why I’m relevant to you” and “I’m bold.”

Line 4 says, “I did my homework” and “This is why you are now considering talking to me” plus it creates curiosity (“What does he/she see?”).

Line 5 says, “I’m looking for an answer and you have the power to give it to me” as well as “I’m not out to waste your time.”

Line 6 says, “Again, I know this is your decision … and I also know your name. You are not part of a mass emailing.” (You become distinct)

The Post-Connection Email
Once connected to the prospect, your next email (thanking them for the Connection) must:

  1. Provoke the buyer to tell you his/her near or far-term goal or pain.
  2. Tempt the buyer to talk on the phone or in a short, but more detailed, email conversation

Thus, be sure to communicate:

  • “If you need a better, faster way to increase success—now or in the future—we should talk more.
  • If not, no worries.
  • But if so, I’m the person for you because ________ (insert your point of distinction).”

Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.

Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

3 thoughts on “LinkedIn Premium Is Worth It IF …”

  1. This approach seems not much different than any typical, blind sales call. One party approaches the other with the notion of a mutually beneficial relationship. After that, however, comes the “salesy” rhetorical question designed to elicit a "yes." After all, who would not want to increase sales manager productivity? After that, it is all about the sale. "This is my specialty." "Let’s explore…" The relationship is supposedly "mutually beneficial;" however, if it is consummated, only one side gets the money, while the other gets a promise of performance with no guarantee of anything beneficial. The rest is just a polite finish to a sales pitch.

    A less transparent approach may be to develop a relationship by engaging someone during a group discussion on LinkedIn. A private reply to a discussion topic might help build rapport. Then if the conversation leads to connecting on LinkedIn, it should also involve how both parties can help one another by connecting each other to people he or she needs to meet. That would be real networking. By contrast, the approach in the article is clearly about making a sale, not to build a networking relationship where both parties benefit equally.

  2. Jeff,

    Thanks for this insight. I have been asking people I meet networking how they use Linkedin but haven’t found anyone who is getting new business from it.

  3. Hi, Marty. Maybe I’m not making myself clear. Sorry. What you’re suggesting is not what I’m saying 🙂

    A salesy rhetorical question is, by nature, designed to fail. One cannot design for a "yes." One cannot even earn a yes.

    When making initial contact a seller needs, first, baseline relevancy:

    Is _____ (insert pain/goal/fear) AT ALL on your radar or important.

    If not, I’m out of here. If so "maybe you’ll agree it’s worthwhile to talk to me."

    Talk about selling you something? No. That’s not what I’m suggesting. But it may be obvious to the recipient. It should be.

    So what?

    This is how every sale from an unknown vendor begins. Qualification.

    Many VPs Sales may not want to increase sales manager productivity. It may not be their pain at the moment. Maybe their pain is all based on front line sellers. Maybe it’s a comp plan. Maybe it’s those crappy leads marketing keeps sending.

    Hence, training managers gets the "no."

    Marty, you make my point precisely:
    * One side does not get the money. Both sides get the connection… then…
    * Seller gets the chance to make good on the promise of mutual benefit.
    * Seller may (or may not) get PAID to deliver the benefit.

    Nothing is consummated by one side getting the money and the other getting a promise. That’s not at all what I wrote 🙂

    You are correct. My approach in this article is not about networking–it is about selling. In my experience (and in the experience of my students) the method you describe is time-consuming and not systematic. It is, to a large degree, relying on hope … hope that a sale materializes based on giving-away free advice, other connections, etc.

    Thanks for considering!

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