Social selling is a vital part of prospecting. Did you know 78% of social sellers outsell their peers who do not use social media? It's no wonder then why LinkedIn is such a powerful tool to utilize when it comes to social selling and prospecting in general.

LinkedIn is a place where business professionals around the world can come together, connect, share ideas, and build professional relationships. For sales reps, it's the perfect place where they can connect to their prospects on a more casual, yet still professional, level. It is an outlet where salespeople can grab the attention of decision-makers without hitting their inboxes or voicemail.

Prospect using LeadIQ on LinkedIn
Here is our guide for everything you need to know about social selling successfully on LinkedIn.

Our guide covers the following topics:

  1. LinkedIn Sales Navigator Basics
  2. Capturing and Exporting your LinkedIn Connections
  3. Getting Prospects to Accept your Connection Requests
  4. Prospecting your Connections
  5. Leverage InMail More Effectively

LinkedIn Sales Navigator Basics

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a premium version of LinkedIn, used as a research tool for prospecting. It is designed especially with sales professionals in mind. Sales reps can live off LinkedIn Sales Navigator to gain insight on their prospects. 

Many research tools out there used for prospecting can only make assumptions or outdated conclusions about your prospects. Whereas the data on LinkedIn is coming straight from the source since it is user-operated. Therefore, you have the most current and accurate information on your prospects.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows its users to get more advanced features than the regular LinkedIn tool and build an isolated feed of their prospects and target accounts. This way, sales reps can stay up to date and know what their targets are up to.

Features that LinkedIn Sales Navigator possesses that LinkedIn Basic does not:
  • Advanced Filtering
  • More search results per page
  • See your customer’s/partner’s connections
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator Gmail Extension
  • The ease of finding new accounts/leads

To have these features further explained in our blog post, Why You Should Buy LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

The best sales reps are utilizing LinkedIn Sales Navigator and social media in their prospecting. They know how to connect between the things their prospects are interacting with, and further build relationships with their prospects.

Tips and Tricks

Click the image for great tips and tricks to apply on LinkedIn Sales Navigator.

Capturing and Exporting your Connections

There are several methods and tools out there that you can use to capture leads from LinkedIn and export them to files or your CRM of choice. The most effective, time-saving tool we guessed it… LeadIQ!

Here is how to capture and export your leads from LinkedIn using LeadIQ.

How to Capture

Let's say you have a post on LinkedIn about prospecting during the pandemic. This post has a large number of engagements. How would you go about capturing the likes on your post using LeadIQ?

This short clip shows you how to capture LinkedIn likes using LeadIQ.

It's simple. When you click on your post's likes with the LeadIQ chrome extension open, the app will mirror the individuals who liked your post inside the LeadIQ extension. You can capture them all in one click with the "capture" button on the bottom of the list. With one more click, they are all exported to your CRM.

How to Export

Exporting contacts off LinkedIn using LeadIQ is easy. You can even export your entire LinkedIn network with one click!

6 Steps to export contacts off LinkedIn:

  1. Click on "My Network" tab and then click "See all Connections".
  2. Click on “Manage Synced and Imported Contact”.
  3. Click on “Export Contacts”.
  4. Select “Desired Files” and click “Request Archive”.
  5. Open your email and use the download link.
  6. Download.

To learn about these steps in more detail we've created this handy post, How To Export Any LinkedIn Contact.

Getting Prospects to Accept your Connection Requests

Never send your prospect a connection request without a note. All they have is your name, photo, and occupation to figure out who you are. And I would bet they have no idea who you are. So why would they accept the request?

You need to incorporate a note with your requests to set the tone and make a good first impression.

3 Tips to Get Prospects to Accept your LinkedIn Requests:

  1. Always include a personal note and personalize it.
  2. Don’t pitch in your request.
  3. Combo your connection requests with another channel, like email.

Including a personalized personal note

If you don’t include a personal touch to your connection request, I promise you that you will not stand out to the 20 other requests your prospect has received that day. That means this prospect will have to judge you on your name, photo, and occupation. They don’t know you? Declined.

With no personal message and a sales related title, you have a very little chance this prospect will accept your connection request.

So how do you personalize your requests? Think of it as a cold email; show you’ve done your research. Incorporating triggers is a good way to add a personalized touch.

John Barrows from JBarrows Sales Training explains triggers in this short clip and how you can go about using them in your prospecting.

Maybe your prospect commented on a post of a mutual connection or shared an interesting post related to the problem they’re facing. Did they do something different or unique? These are all triggers.

Don’t Pitch

You want to make your message about the prospect. Don’t list out what your company is currently doing or features that you think would help them. This isn’t a pitch. You’re not trying to book a meeting through a connection request; you’re taking a step to build a relationship with the prospect.

Mention something about the content the person posts, or something they are a part of that caught your eye. Do they make videos? Do they post on their company blog? Make a good first impression with them; don’t try to sell to them.

Combo with another channel

One of the best ways to utilize connection requests is as one touchpoint while syncing it to another method.

For example, you send a connection request to a prospect with a personalized note and mention that you will give them a call tomorrow. Your next step would be calling up the prospect and referencing your connection request note in your cold call. Or if the prospect doesn’t answer, lead with that in your voicemail.

Another example would be doing this in reverse order. You can start by leaving a voicemail or sending a cold email and then sending a connection request referencing that you just left them a voicemail/email.

For more tips on getting prospects to accept your connection requests, How to Get Prospects to Accept Your LinkedIn Connection Requests.

Prospecting your Connections

So, you have that post about prospecting during a pandemic that has a ton of engagements. You see a person or two who fits your target, maybe an account you’ve been trying to break into, or a lost opportunity. Great, now you have an excuse to reach out to them.

Short clip of Ryan O'Hara explaining how he goes about prospecting off his LinkedIn engagements.

Having the LeadIQ extension open while you are browsing LinkedIn, you speed up the process it would take to go manually find and put that information into Salesforce or whatever CRM you are using.

As mentioned above, all you have to do is go down to the post, click on the Likes button, and have LeadIQ open. All these people are going to populate in the extension. Then you can put those people right into the different tools/systems you use.

You will get the contact data needed to reach out as well as the connection piece to why you are reaching out. Now, you can put them into a cadence or sequence, and all you have to do is say, "Hey X, I saw you liked my post about prospecting during the pandemic."

Boom. There's your personalization piece for email one. You saved yourself time and effort. You can now use your time more efficiently and do all those things that you normally can't do…like connecting with more prospects!

Leverage InMail More Effectively

On average, sponsored InMail has a 52% open rate. According to MailChimp’s data, that’s more than double the average open rate for email campaigns, which is 21.3%. Imagine what the open rate would look like for personalized messages?

If you’re looking for a way to break through to leads, InMail is a perfect way. It’s considered far more exclusive them a regular email. In fact, InMail has shown to have a response rate of 10-25%.

3 Tips to utilize InMail

Create a unique subject line.

It’s all about a good subject line. Think about InMail subject lines as you would if you were writing a cold email. Remember, a good subject line is vague enough to draw an open and relates to the body of the email.

They shouldn’t look like they are mass marketing emails, and they shouldn't look like they can be sent out to multiple people in one touch. 3-4 word subject lines will work wonders. You could even mention their first and last name in the subject line to show this was meant for them and only them.

Keep your message short and simple.

Your prospects are busy. Nobody will take the time and read a long message from someone they don’t even know. Don’t waste their time. You won’t get a response if you do.

Keep your message short, sweet, and to the point. The rule of thumb for a cold email is to keep the length as close to one smartphone size. Try to keep the same mentality with InMail, if not even shorter.

Avoid using business-speak and buzz words. The point of InMail isn’t to get all of your information across at once. How can you help this person with a problem they are knowingly or unknowingly face? Resonate with them without explaining every feature you offer. Entice them, and make them curious enough to respond, asking to learn more.

Do your research, personalize like a cold email.

Research suggests that a personalized message rather than an overused template can result in a 15% increase in response rate.

Again, think of personalizing InMail like you would a cold email. You’re following the same mentality, but this time it can be a bit less elaborative. This personalization could be as simple as sharing a mutual connection or referencing a post they recently made.

The important thing is that you are showing you’ve done your research, and you are proving that you are human and you are not sending this message to 100 other people. If your prospect feels the message was intended solely for them, they will feel more entitled to respond to you.

For even more tips on effectively using InMail, click here.


We all know how powerful of a tool LinkedIn is. It’s a place where people around the world can come together and build professional relationships. It’s also a place where you can find solutions to the problems you are facing.

For sales reps who aren’t using LinkedIn to the capacity that you should, I hope you learned a thing or two from this guide and apply it to your prospecting. Happy hunting!

Posted by Sabrina Jowders
Sabrina Jowders
Sabrina Jowders is a Marketing Coordinator at LeadIQ. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in May 2019 with a B.S. in Business Administration: Marketing and a minor in Sales. She specializes in SEO.

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