For commercial service contractors, connecting with prospects that are responsible for facility management has historically been a tremendous challenge for the following reasons:
- Finding the decision maker is challenging
- Discovering their contact information is difficult
- Bypassing the gatekeeper is impossible
LinkedIn is the centerpiece of a host of technology available to overcome these challenges. From prospect discovery to initial contact, the following is a quick guide to using this technology to land your next deal.
LinkedIn enables you and and your sales team to find prospects that fit your exact criteria. Whether you are looking for the facility manager of a company responsible for multiple locations or a small business owner who is solely responsible for facility and equipment maintenance. LinkedIn’s advanced search functionality can drill down to a great list of potential customers. For example, the following searches returned hundreds of local results:
- Keywords = “facility manager”, Postal Code = “27603”, Within = “50 mi”
- Title = “Owner”, Company = “Restaurant”, Postal Code = “27603”, Within = “50 mi”
Not all of the results are a perfect fit, but it is easy to spot the most promising profiles.
Once you have a list, it’s time to connect with every potential prospect. Even if they are out of your LinkedIn network, you can take advantage of tools such as Lippl that will find their public profile and enable you to connect. When you request a connection, they will immediately be aware of who you are, so be sure that your profile effectively promotes your service offerings. Take advantage of LinkedIn’s tagging feature to differentiate your prospects from other connections in order to stay organized.
Note: If you are using a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) application to manage sales, be sure to look for tools that help you directly integrate LinkedIn into your CRM. For example, many integrations will automatically add a LinkedIn profile to you CRM as a new lead with the click of a button.
Direct electronic communication is the best way to reach your new prospects in order to get their attention and bypass any gatekeepers. There are three possible avenues to do so:
- Send a message directly through LinkedIn
- Use Thrust.io to determine their email address based on their name and domain. This tool will find most email addresses, but not all.
- Use the LinkedIn contact export to discover their email address. Note that this is often their personal email address and you may only want to use this as a last resort!
These technologies, a complete LinkedIn profile, and a brief introduction letter that focuses on your differentiators are proactive elements of the “digital wrap“ that are far more reaching – and effective for creating relationships – than a truck wrap alone could ever be.