You’re Not Fully Leveraging Sales Navigator

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We all know that if you’re serious about building an audience on LinkedIn, It’s worth investing in Sales Navigator. You’ve optimized your profile on LinkedIn and are committed to using Sales Navigator for its robust search capabilities. But what features you utilize can really make a difference in developing the right queries. Let’s talk about some tips and tricks to make Sales Navigator even more effective.

Tips and Tricks in Sales Navigator

  • Create a persona
    Create a persona of who your ideal prospect really is on LinkedIn. Then create that person within your list by including and excluding certain traits/features within your Sales Navigator query.
  • Limit Your Search to 2nd Level Connections
    You always want to limit your search to only 2nd level connections. It just doesn’t work well to reach out to 3rd and above. You can find 3rd level connections through Sales Navigator, but they’re not going to accept your connection requests at nearly the rate that 2nd level connections will. The more connections you have in common, the higher your acceptance rate.
  • Connect with Individuals in Industries that Provide Good Referrals
    One of the best things you can do is focus on other businesses and industries that have been really good referral sources for you. One of the greatest ways to amplify word of mouth is to connect with people who tend to send you referrals. Once you’re connected with them, they can also help you further grow your list of 2nd level connections.
  • Use Exclusions
    A lot of people don’t know that you can use exclusions within the query in Sales Navigator. The way you do it is a little bit backward. Select the feature as if you want it to be included. Once it’s there, you can then mark it as an exclusion. Utilizing a series of both inclusions and exclusions is a great way to make your query even more targeted and specific.
  • Save Your Queries
    Once you’ve figured out the right query, be sure to save it. You’ve figured out who you want and as you’re expanding your network, there are more 2nd level connections all the time. If you save your queries, you can come back once a week or once a month to look at them and you have a built-in list of new people to connect with.
  • The Sweet Spot is 500-700 Potential Connections
    My goal is to try and end up with 500-700 people in the query. If it’s a lot larger than that, then we probably haven’t done a good job of getting focused on the right people. If it’s smaller than that, we’re just not going to be efficient in sending out a bunch of connection requests.

Connection Requests

Once you’ve successfully run your query and found your 500-700 people it’s time to send out connection request messages to them. I’ve found a few things that really work well with these messages.

  • Connect from the C Suite
    The most successful campaigns I have seen are always centered around a CEO or someone at the executive level. You are too busy running the company, and taking the time to do this can be really tough. The only way I’ve seen this run well consistently is to have an external resource that is doing it for you. Find someone who is dedicated to running these connection campaigns regularly, helping you manage that inbox and furthering the conversations.
  • Make it Personal
    Being very personable in the connection request and the follow-up message, and then putting a little bit of effort into having a conversation with your connections can really make a difference. Talking with them and asking them questions is how you help move that conversation into a sales opportunity.

    Most of the value we see in LinkedIn is at the personal profile level. In small and midsize companies, successful connection campaigns come from individual people doing this. We all want to connect with people. That doesn’t mean that your company page isn’t important, but that’s not what is going to drive the opportunities you’re looking for. That’s going to happen at the individual page level, so make sure you’re sending connection requests from your personal profile.

  • Take the Time
    I’m a big believer in the golden hour of prospecting. Spending a little bit of time each day, even on the weekend or weeknights, sending out new connection requests and interacting with this new much larger network that you have on LinkedIn is a key part of building and qualifying those your audience. I have seen such a great payoff from doing this. What you put into the network is exactly what you’ll get back out of it.

Learn more by listening to our B2B Word of Mouth Marketing podcast episode, Is Sales Navigator Worth It?

All the best,

Bill Bice

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