Surprise! You’re Overlooking Prospects on LinkedIn

Do you suspect there are more prospects in your territory than LinkedIn’s search function is showing when you search its database? In Bruce Johnston’s experience, most sellers are unknowingly wearing self-imposed blinders.

That’s different.

The keyword field searches the entire LinkedIn profile from head-to-toe.

It’s important to know a little bit about how LinkedIn’s search system works. It’s not brain surgery but does take effort.

Overall, Johnston recommends a simplified approach:

  • Deciding who or what type of person you are searching for
  • Tweaking LinkedIn’s search parameters to yield a list of these people
  • Experiment! There is no right/wrong to search prospects

How Should the Keyword Field Be Used?

Most sellers I coach use the keyword field without much reasoning. So I asked Johnston how one should use it — when and how?

“Sometimes using the title field doesn’t produce a list of relevant prospects,” Johnston says. “To solve this problem just search the keyword field for people with certain certifications, skills or methods … or brand names of products or services they use.”

“If these can be found on your targets’ profiles they certainly won’t be found in the title field,” says Johnston.

So looking across the entire profile helps pinpoint. This generates a dense list of qualified prospects to call on.

For example, let’s say you sell a security software product for corporate data centers. Your ideal customer will probably be hard to identify by title. Sometimes it will be a security person, sometimes a software applications person, a back-end processing person. Or maybe a data center manager. And every variation of those four!

This is a situation where using keywords in the title field can become really difficult, as the number of variations gets very large, very unwieldy, and uncertain.

But once you consider how most buyers (in this example) use a software security product called “RSA SecurID” it becomes obvious. Use the Keyword field to uncover potential clients.

Small Adjustments, Better Results

Johnston reminds us of these often overlooked details that yield better results (reduces noise).

  • When searching by title, make sure you choose Current Title filter (not past job title)
  • Use quotation marks to find exact phrases within profiles (like “RSA SecureID”)
  • Use the NOT command to eliminate results you don’t want (e.g., director NOT student)

These are the kinds of simple adjustments that can take a set of 2,403 of lousy search results (you need to “weed through”) down to 134 qualified prospects.

Bruce is hosting a free online training soon featuring more tips and step-by-step guidance. If you’d like to join give me a shout!

Good luck!

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.

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