How powerful a prospecting tool is Linkedin?

Peady’s Selling Engagement.

Founded in late 2002 LinkedIn has proved to be a serious contender in the social media space.

Promoting itself as the social networking site for professionals, its more than 109 million members include people from over 200 countries and executives from every Fortune 500 company. A great story.


Problem is too many sales people now believe LinkedIn as well as Facebook and Twitter are the “be all, end all” of prospecting. Yes, all three are useful tools, particularly LinkedIn. But there’s more to it.

One of the best articles I’ve seen on the subject of relying on social media for prospecting has been written by Jeff Molander on his Target Marketing website. He says: “I challenge any sales person to reach, teach, educate and engage a prospect without, first interrupting them. Whether you do it with a phone call, email or a piece of content one cannot earn a conversation by waiting for one to happen.”

He then quotes Anthony Iannarino: “I defy any quota carrying sales rep and go to their sales manager and say, ‘Listen I really want to only focus on social selling … I want to spend most of my day creating content and sharing it”

A piece of research

Evidence clearly shows that B2B customers want to deal with people who can help them move toward a purchase decision. In fact, these interactions are the most influential in their decision making process.

Hank Barnes and Tiffany Bova in their study “Effective Sales Interactions Guide” discovered that a direct interaction (phone/email or face to face) with a B2B customer is the most powerful influencer – social media was tenth on the list.

The solution

Let’s face it the options for finding new customers are many.

  • Personal and professional networking
  • Lapsed or previous clients
  • Referrals
  • Cold calling
  • Social media
  • Inbound enquiries
  • An in-depth business insights service such as IRD’s Prospector

Use the power of all your prospecting tools they add up to a serious opportunity.

About the author 

Stephen Pead is a media industry veteran of 30 years with significant experience in direct sales, sales management and general management. He is based in Sydney and specialises in helping SME’s market their businesses more effectively and providing training for salespeople and sales managers.

He can be contacted at [email protected]



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