LinkedIn is the ‘professional’ social media network. It’s the ideal channel to find and connect directly with business people with purchasing power to grow your sales — if you craft your pitch carefully.

Written by Jody McDonald

Despite the rise of inbound marketing where you attract customers through your content and experiences, there’s still a place for cold pitching. Depending on your customer base and their preferences, reaching out with a compelling offer can be highly effective.

Why use LinkedIn to deliver your sales pitch?

With more than 10 million Australian users, LinkedIn makes it easy to research prospective customers for your product or service. Because people share their work roles and responsibilities via their profiles, you can quickly search for relevant decision-makers in the industries you target.

Even if a prospect isn’t part of your network, you can send them a message via the platform: known as InMail. InMail can help you achieve up to 300% higher response rates because they stand out and are easier to engage with than yet another email in an overcrowded inbox.

You’ll need to upgrade to a LinkedIn Premium account to use InMail as part of your sales strategy.

What qualities make for a persuasive InMail pitch?

While many people treat LinkedIn like an online resume, remember that first and foremost it’s a social network. People use LinkedIn to connect with peers and thought leaders. They’re wary of spam and being ‘sold to’, so keep it conversational and tailored for each person.

If you have a shared connection, interest or work experience, draw on that. Do your research (explore their profile, recent activity in the app and other online sources), so you have a better idea of how your product or service might be relevant to them — and shape your message accordingly.

The structure of an ideal pitch looks something like this:

1. Personalised, friendly introduction.
2. Concise and relevant explanation of the value you and your business can offer.
3. A low-pressure call to action, like requesting the chance to schedule a call.

What else to keep in mind?

Keep your subject line short and direct. Improve your open rates by including the person’s name and/or the name of a shared connection.

Don’t just rehash marketing content that prospects could find themselves online. Savvy buyers expect you to be a subject matter expert who can bring insight and enthusiasm to the problems they face.

Even if the InMail doesn’t generate a sale, remember people often engage with a brand multiple times before they’re ready to buy. Focus on creating a good impression, then reinforce it by how you engage on other channels like Instagram or your website. A consistently positive experience will lead to more sales.

Don’t let a poor InMail pitch sour potential customers on your business: warm up prospects quickly with a targeted, personal and authentic approach.