LinkedIn is an essential tool for any sales team.

In this article, we explore prospecting best practices for leveraging this community of professionals.

Key Takeaways

  • Set concrete goals to reach each week — e.g., connect with 50 LinkedIn prospects.
  • Be human and give prospects a view into your life and an opportunity to know you.
  • Always add a personalized note to your connection request. Be sure to keep it simple.
  • Always research your prospects on LinkedIn before you meet with them. Understanding who they are and their history helps you better connect and understand their needs.
  • Don’t overshare. Resharing interesting articles and videos are fine but don’t do it simply for the sake of putting something out there.

Getting Started

LinkedIn can be a valuable part of your 401(k) prospecting. The reality of remote work due to COVID-19 has increased the importance of digital prospecting, and many advisors are leveraging LinkedIn as an alternative to phone and email outreach. As with all prospecting, consistency is key. Here are some tips to help you effectively leverage LinkedIn to grow your business:

Build Your Network

Connecting with a prospect on LinkedIn is a fantastic soft introduction. It opens the door for one-on-one conversations and grows your audience to share thought leadership with. Use the following simple steps as an outline to building your network and pipeline:

Step 1: Identify your target market (e.g. location, industry, or title). PlanPro’s robust contact database can help you create a list of LinkedIn profiles for your target market. You can even identify prospects with retirement plans having certain red flags. 

Step 2: Connect with prospects. Send connection requests to people in your identified target market. Ensure your connection requests are sent to people you believe could benefit from your services or the content you post on LinkedIn. 

Tip #1

Before you begin connecting with prospects, ensure your own LinkedIn profile is polished. People you reach out to will likely view your page, and a descriptive profile ensures you are making the best impression. This basic checklist can help see if you’re profile is ready: (1) a professional headshot, (2) a clear headline, and (3) a short bio that speaks to your value.

When you connect, add a personalized note briefly explaining the reason for your request. For example:

Hi {Prospect First Name},

I’m a local {geography/industry/other focus} 401(k) advisor/retirement plan professional looking to grow my network. May we connect on LinkedIn?

{Your Name}

Step 3: Request a meeting. Review your accepted connection requests on LinkedIn regularly. You can do this by clicking the My Network icon at the top of your LinkedIn homepage. For new connections, take the initiative to offer the prospect an opportunity to meet by sending a direct LinkedIn message. Here is an example message:

Hi {Prospect First Name},

Thanks for connecting with me. I work locally in {location} with businesses like yours to improve their retirement plans. I would love to introduce myself and discuss an opportunity I identified for your plan.

Would you be open to a brief 15-minute introduction?

{Your Name}

Following these three steps consistently will begin to open doors for you to conversations with prospects.

Tip #2

Set aside time for yourself every week to follow the three steps — even 30 minutes go a long way. 

Build Your Brand

Once you begin to grow your network, become an active participant in your industry. Like, comment, and post original content. This positions you top of mind for prospects; when the time is right, and they require your services, they’ll remember you. 

Your spin on topics related to plan sponsors, events that you are participating in, events that you are hosting, examples of how you are helping your clients, team events, and relevant accomplishments of you or your team are all great ideas.

“Give your best advice away for free. The most successful people do it, and here’s why. Ultimately people will work with you, not because of the knowledge itself they received, but because they want to work with the source of it.”

Gary Vanderchuck

Illustrations by Freepik Stories.