Efficient ways

Business Insurance / 13th February 2018

In a recent conversation with a broker, one of our sales team asked what the top three issues were for his business.

“I have only one”, he replied. “Lead generation”. His main source of new business was to buy contact lists, but this can be expensive and there is more than one way to skin a cat.

We are always looking for ways to support brokers and we thought it would be helpful to provide a series of articles on lead generation tactics and planning. Previously, we have published articles on content marketing, sales and marketing tips. In this article we want to focus specifically on lead generation.

How do I generate new leads?

According to the marketing journal The Drum, email and LinkedIn are the most successful channels for generating leads. We will focus on email marketing in a different article, but here we are going to take a look at LinkedIn.

The Drum states that when it comes to social media, those responsible for B2B marketing rely on just a few key social media channels, with LinkedIn (89%), Twitter (86%) and Facebook (82%) the top trio. LinkedIn is easily seen as the top social platform for lead generation. The 62% noting that LinkedIn drives leads for them was almost double the amount for both Facebook (37%) and Twitter (34%). 43% of respondents indicated that LinkedIn has generated revenue for them, while a quarter said the same about Facebook. 

If the research is to be believed then LinkedIn should be part of your lead generation plans.

Remember, it’s important to look at any lead generation in the context of your entire marketing plan and budget. Doing one activity alone might not be the best way to bring in new business and you should look at the entire mix.

If LinkedIn is the best, how should you use it?

If you are already using LinkedIn for lead generation then you’ll know what a powerful tool it can be. If you’re not, it makes sense to take a look, and what follows here is a basic introduction.

LinkedIn has over 400 million users and most professionals have a profile. For a couple of hundred pounds a year you can get access to LinkedIn’s advanced search capability, which enables you to identify and target people in your area. If you haven’t tried it, the first month’s subscription is usually free so you can try it to assess the potential. You can do this by upgrading in your free account - more details here.

LinkedIn provides a lot of material online, and their help section can be found here. We have listed below some useful tips when using LinkedIn for lead generation. Some of this focuses on the small details important to make sure that you can maximise your activity’s potential.

Review your profile

The first thing a prospect will see in their notifications is your image and title, then your message, and only then might they read your profile. If you are planning to approach other users online via LinkedIn you need to make sure that your profile is succinct and professional.

Each element must represent you as someone prospects might want to talk to. Avoid business buzzwords and try to talk in everyday language about what you do and the areas you specialise in. You have a few seconds to grab their attention so be specific. Your title should also be in line with the people you are trying to talk to so it looks as though they will be connecting with a peer or someone senior.  

Identifying potential customers

Once you are confident that your profile represents you in the right way you can start to identify potential customers. LinkedIn has a selection of different accounts and each provides more tools and capability for targeting leads. The premium subscription allows you to use advanced tools which identify specific prospects in your area.

You’ll usually be able to find thousands of users who match your profile, but the search function allows you to be specific. You can narrow down the results in many different ways such as by title, location, industry and company size. These will provide a good mix and you can then start to review what is there.

You can use a spreadsheet to record your findings or, if you have the right subscription, use LinkedIn to save searches.

Making contact

With a list of people you’ve decided are worth trying to speak to you can start contacting them. There are two options to consider. You can either send a basic connection or, if you have a premium account, you can send them an ‘InMail’, which allows you to contact people unsolicited. The amount of InMails you can send per month depends upon the type of your account.

Your tone and message should be all about building a relationship rather than trying to sell your services straight away. On LinkedIn you need to think long term rather than trying to secure a quick sale. Additionally, you need to try to identify some areas of common ground to give prospects a reason to connect or open up a conversation. Here’s an example:

Hello {name},


I saw your profile on LinkedIn and wanted to get in touch. I see that you work in {city} in commercial property too, and I’m based in {location} nearby. I hope we can connect.


or


Hello {name},


I saw your profile on LinkedIn and wanted to get in touch. I see that you work in {city} and you’re a member of the {LinkingIn Group}. I hope we can connect. 

Build the relationship

As we said earlier, don’t just try to sell straight away. Build the relationship. You can open up conversations about the industry, ask how their company is performing, and identify common interests from their profile to talk about. Aim for a conversation over a number of weeks before you turn the conversation to the types of products and services you can offer. At that point, you’ll know the way you usually introduce your company and be on familiar ground.

Test and Learn

The best way to find out the potential is by trying the free upgrade for a month and testing different approaches. If you want to learn more, the LinkedIn YouTube channel has lots of videos for support. If there are any other topics you’d like some help on then please email us at marketing@pcl.co.uk.

All examples provided by Premium Credit Limited are for illustrative purposes only and not to be considered as advice or relied upon by you, your employees or agents.  Premium Credit Limited accepts no liability for the content provided.  You should consult your own advisors for all advice on your regulatory and legal requirements.

Sources

The Drum, Feb 2017

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