3 Steps to Creating a Profitable LinkedIn Message
A Colorado company generated over $30,000 using a single LinkedIn message
According to a recent study from customer relationship management company, HubSpot, LinkedIn outperformed “social media as a channel overall.” In fact, in my personal experience, I’ve witnessed one business generate over $30,000 in revenue using a single LinkedIn message.
Yet, the Pew Research Center’s Fact Tank found that active usage of the business platform has been minimal for the last few years, only slightly higher than Snapchat. So, what gives?
I believe that the big frustration for business owners and executives is figuring out how exactly to accomplish successful social selling on LinkedIn. The following are three steps we followed to help a local company generate revenue from the platform.
Step 1: Align your B2B lead generation with your business model
There is no one-size-fits-all model for social selling. And trying to replicate a campaign or strategy without understanding why or how it works is a recipe for deep frustration. Aligning your B2B lead generation with your business model is critical to defining your social selling goals.
In “Distribution Channels: Understanding and Managing Channels to Market,” author Julian Dent explains that businesses generally fall into one of three business or distribution models:
- Two-tier: potentially thousands of distributors between a company and its customers
- One tier: one set of distributors between a company and its customers
- Direct: virtually no barriers between a company and its customers, the popular online model
First identifying your distribution model will help you determine your sales goal and who to target on LinkedIn. In this case study, we were working with a local construction cleaning company that had a one-tier distribution model. Because of this, we decided that getting on a vendor list made more business sense than setting a traditional sales appointment since the construction companies they would be talking to were not the ultimate customer, just a distributor.
Step 2: Identify your social selling target customer
With a clearly-defined goal based on your business model, the next step is to identify the social selling target customer who can help you accomplish your goal. Keep in mind that this may or may not be your company’s traditional target customer, conventional wisdom and research can fail here. Even LinkedIn doesn’t always get it right.
LinkedIn just released its Decision Maker Insights for Sales Professionals report where it found that 70% of the deals launched on its platform started with contacting directors. From this research, it appears that directors are the best target customer, however, this is not always the case. For the local construction cleaning company in this case study, that was not the case.
Because the company’s main goal was getting on the vendor list, the best person to message, in most cases, was the project manager who managed that list.
Step 3: Craft your $30K LinkedIn message
Because of its ability to align its B2B lead generation with its business model and identify its social selling target customer, the construction cleaning company only required one carefully crafted message to construction company project managers in order to generate business.
After connecting with the correct project managers, the company would send a message using the following message template:
Hi [First Name],
Thanks for accepting my connection request.
[Insert A Quick Personal Introduction]
I run [Your Company Name]. It's fun, scary and exciting all at once. I want to continue growing and [Insert Mission Here].
Not sure if you can help, but I would love to get on a vendors’ list for your company or a similar [Target Industry] company. Do you have any suggestions?
Any suggestions or introductions would be truly appreciated.
And if there is anything I can do for you, please let me know.
[Your Phone Number]
This message works well for several reasons, including:
- Prospects are given the option of making an introduction instead of buying.
- This is a request for list placement, much easier than asking for a direct sale.
- It comes off like a simple request for help versus a hard sell.
We recommend tweaking this template as it makes sense for you and your business after you evaluate your target customer and align your lead generation with your business model.
Jean-Marc Saint Laurent is the founder of Saint313, a B2B lead generation consulting firm helping companies get on the phone with future clients. He’s gotten sales professionals valuable sales calls and opportunities with decision-makers at top companies such as Zillow, Hyundai, AT&T, Wells Fargo and more using LinkedIn.