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Donald Kelly’s LinkedIn Prospecting Process, Ep #417

Nn 417 donald kelly

Are salespeople doing prospecting all wrong? Are the days of cold-calling and emailing officially over? Is there a better way? Donald Kelly—also known as the “Sales Evangelist”—sure thinks so. He shares why leveraging LinkedIn in the prospecting process is the best route to take—and even shares how to do it—in this episode of Negotiations Ninja.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:58] Learn more about Sales Evangelist Donald Kelly
  • [3:25] The prospecting process on LinkedIn
  • [10:04] Breaking down Sales Navigator trigger points
  • [15:02] It’s not the product, it’s the salesperson

You have a moral obligation to your prospects

Sellers think prospecting is hard—and it is if you’re doing it the wrong way. But what if you flipped the script? What if you looked at prospecting as if you have a moral obligation to share something with other people? Whether they accept it or not is up to them. You simply have to share your message and let your prospect make the decision.

As an individual sales rep, your job is to evangelize. You should have a moral belief or conviction that your product or service can truly help people. If you don’t feel that conviction, read case studies or do what you need to get to that point (If you can’t get to that point, maybe it’s time to move on).

Prospecting changes from a focus on selling to a focus on helping people. You aren’t just looking to set an appointment.

Prospecting doesn’t have to mean cold-calling

When salespeople think about prospecting, they think about cold calling. Donald doesn’t mind getting a cold phone call if what the person is selling is relevant and can benefit him. But prospects are often turned off when people are auto-dialling and calling just to call because they’re on a list. But prospecting doesn’t have to just mean cold calling.

Leverage Sales Navigator to identify triggers

Many salespeople start their prospecting process by sending an email. While Donald isn’t entirely opposed to that, he doesn’t believe it’s the most effective route. Many people filter their emails by whether or not they know the sender. If they don’t know them, the email gets immediately sent to spam. It won’t be effective.

Instead, go to LinkedIn. LinkedIn Sales Navigator allows you to filter via specific triggers to help you create a hyper-focused list of people. Donald likes to see if someone has posted on the platform in the last 30 days AND if they are new to their job role or company.

  • Is their department increasing its head count?
  • Is the company growing?
  • Are they hiring?

What is the trigger for your product or service? Narrow down specific things that would make someone your ICP.

The idea of “Show me you know me”

You will take the list you’ve curated and send a connection request on LinkedIn. But you have to personalize the request so that it ties back to something they’ve posted or something relevant to them or their organization.

If you can’t find something interesting to connect on, find something unique to their area. For example, Donald might ask someone in Canada to settle a debate: “What’s better—Tim Hortons or Starbucks?” It’s a great way to start a conversation without pitching. It also makes the likelihood that the email you send three days later might get opened.

When you send the email, you should use a relevant subject line that ties to a pain point that their new role might have. If you bond over something, use that in your subject line. You should engage in their posts and send them a connection request and an email.

What are the next steps? Donald outlines the rest of his process in this episode of Negotiations Ninja. Don’t miss it!

Resources & People Mentioned

Connect with Donald Kelly

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