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LinkedIn is the most popular social networking platform for professionals, so it is an important channel for B2B cannabis brands to focus their marketing and sales efforts. While advertising cannabis or cannabis-related brands on LinkedIn is difficult, if not impossible, there are plenty of marketing and sales opportunities on LinkedIn.
In fact, sales outreach is easy with LinkedIn because all the tools and information you need to connect with your target audience are readily available. But be careful! Identifying a group of prospects and sending them connection requests or LinkedIn InMail direct messages is unlikely to generate great results.
The LinkedIn community frowns on trying to sell to users without first establishing a relationship with them and ensuring that they are genuinely interested in your products or services. Therefore, there are some important steps you should take before conducting a business development campaign through LinkedIn.
Steps before starting sales prospecting on LinkedIn
The first thing a person will do if you send them a LinkedIn connection request or an InMail message is to check your LinkedIn profile to find out who you are and assess the value of connecting with you. It is essential that they find a complete and active profile.
Here are five key steps you need to take before running a sales prospecting campaign on LinkedIn:
- To prepare: Make sure your LinkedIn profile tells the right story and showcases your expertise, experience, and unique value proposition. Why? Because it’s the first thing people will see when you send a connection request or an outreach message.
- Relate: Connect with people you already know, including co-workers, and make sure your profile is linked to your company’s LinkedIn page. In other words, start building your network and social proof to back up your claims before sending out connection requests or outreach messages to prospects through LinkedIn.
- Publish: Post content to your profile and share other people’s content. The goal is to show your profile visitors and connections that you provide value and are a great, trustworthy resource.
- Comment: Comment on content shared by others to expand your social footprint and reach.
- Socialize: Join relevant groups where your target audience is likely to be active. Participate in groups by sharing content, commenting and liking other people’s content, etc.
Steps to Get Started with Sales Prospecting on LinkedIn
You can use LinkedIn’s basic search features to find leads, but they’re very limited. You are not only limited by the number of search criteria you can use, but also by the number of searches you can perform per month and the number of connection requests you can send. If you’re serious about using LinkedIn for sales prospecting, you should invest in LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
In fact, you should approach your employer and ask them to pay for each salesperson. When the efforts of the entire sales team can be coordinated using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, your company will close more deals and increase ROI.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator has a long list of features that will take your sales prospecting to the next level. Some of these features include:
- Sales preferences: Set criteria so Sales Navigator knows what type of leads you want to see based on criteria such as industry, seniority level, job title, geography, company size, and more.
- Advanced search: Use over 20 advanced search filters to find the exact target audience you are looking for.
- Stock-Based Research: Search by specific actions, such as when new content is posted, by entering keywords to find people who have posted or interacted with content related to those keywords.
- Saved searches: Save searches for later use. This saves a lot of time and effort.
- Alerts: Set up alerts to be notified when the triggers you identify occur, such as someone changing jobs, posting new content, commenting on a post, etc.
- Groups: Use the advanced filter not only to search for groups, but also to search for people in groups.
- Lookalike Hearings: Find your target audience, select a prospect, then click on the “Show similar” link to get more than 100 prospects similar to your target audience.
These advanced features make it easier to find the right prospects and identify opportunities to connect with them (e.g. when they post content, when they comment on someone else’s content, etc.).
Key Takeaways About Using LinkedIn Business Prospecting In The Cannabis Industry
The key to using LinkedIn for business development in the cannabis industry is to first understand how to find the right people. If you start sending connection requests and sales prospecting messages to everyone, you won’t get good results.
Instead, you need to find people who might be interested in your products and services. Of this group, a small percentage will be ready to buy, which means that prospecting on LinkedIn takes time. You need to be visible and active, so that you are on top when someone is ready to buy.
With that in mind, here are the key tips and next steps for getting started with sales prospecting on LinkedIn: 1.) set your sales preferences in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, 2.) create target audience lists, 3.) find audiences likes, 4.) join groups, 5.) set up alerts to trigger actions that might allow you to send a sales prospecting message, and 6.) be active.
Did you know that many verified contact profiles in the Cannabiz Media License Database Include links directly to individuals’ LinkedIn profiles? Schedule a demo and find out how a subscription can help you kick-start your sales prospecting and achieve your business development goals.
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