A 3-Step Process to Generating (Free) B2B Leads on LinkedIn
Updated: Sep 9
Is There an Opportunity to Generate Business from LinkedIn?
First things first, let’s take a step back and evaluate if this is even an opportunity worth pursuing.
We all know that LinkedIn is the world’s largest database of business professionals, but when you break this down into actual numbers the size of the opportunity becomes clear.
According to LinkedIn:
There are now 500 million business professionals on their network
100 million of those users are active daily
40 million users are in decision-making roles
That’s 40 million potential targets on the LinkedIn network that are in positions to make business and buying decisions. This leaves little doubt that there is a large audience which presents the opportunity to generate new business from the LinkedIn platform if a smart strategy is employed.
Generated leads consistently
Was repeatable and not too time-consuming
No ad spend required
No mass spamming
Step 1: Viewing
The first step is viewing of target profiles. This requires you to first determine who is your ideal lead. If you’re using LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator tool you are given 22 different filter categories to refine the LinkedIn database into your ideal target list. These categories include: Geography, Keywords, Relationship, Industry, Postal Code, Job Function, Job Title, Seniority, Years in Position, Years at Company, Years of Experience, Company, Company Headcount, and more.
One important note for our process is that we only add people to our list that are 2nd connections to myself. This is for two reasons:
It gives me something in common with the person we will be targeting. From a psychological standpoint, this makes a big difference. According to a study referenced by LinkedIn, 87% of B2B buyers had a favorable impression of a salesperson connected through their network as opposed to 4% when the person wasn’t connected.
This avoids the mass spamming of anyone and everyone on LinkedIn that have nothing in common with you.
Once we have that list we simply start to view the profiles of those people one by one. Nothing else.
The reason we do this is to show up in the person’s “Recently Viewed” list. Once we have viewed a profile we then wait to see if they view us back and move on to step 2.
Step 2: Connection Request
Once we have viewed our target profiles we wait to see who views us back. When someone views us back we take this as an initial sign of interest or a first opt-in point. Once someone views your profile, the next step is to send them a connection request.
This connection request should always be personalized and not the standard LinkedIn message of “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” This is boring and gives no context as to why someone would want to connect with you.
Address them personally to stand out from the other connections and give them a reason to connect. Personalized connection requests will drastically increase the chances of someone accepting. Here are a few more tips on writing the perfect LinkedIn connection request.
Step 3: Message
Like with Step 1, after we send a connection request we again wait to see who accepts those requests. Waiting to let our targets take action avoids spamming anyone who isn’t interested in interacting with us. When someone accepts our connections request, Step 3 is to now send them a message.
This message should thank them for connecting and introduce the idea of setting up a time to talk. These messages shouldn’t be overly salesy, but merely look to start a conversation and continue to grow the relationship with your target.
If someone doesn’t respond after a few days a follow-up message may be appropriate as well, but don’t push too much. If someone isn’t responding they probably aren’t interested in talking.