LinkedIn is a powerful tool for B2B companies. If you are not yet a LinkedIn power user, or are still in the process of setting up your LindedIn profile, start here. This article goes into how to gain the most benefit from the advanced features of LinkedIn Premium.
Before we dive into the details on this topic, we also suggest you check out Insightly, our recommended small business CRM. Insightly is an inexpensive, easy to use, contact and task management system. Visit Insightly to learn more.
What Is LinkedIn Premium?
The basic features on LinkedIn are free. However, users who upgrade their account to LinkedIn Premium, get a bunch of added features that are not available via LinkedIn’s free account. This includes the ability to message and see the full profiles of people you are not directly connected to, advanced search functionality, the ability to build lead lists, save searches and more.
Who Is LinkedIn Premium Right For?
LinkedIn has premium products for recruiters, job seekers, and sales professionals. Since my articles are focused on how to obtain business from LinkedIn, I am going to focus on LinkedIn premium for salespeople.
Does the price tag of your product or service warrant tracking down and networking with individual clients directly? If so, and if you sell to businesses or business professionals, then you should consider LinkedIn premium.
What Does LinkedIn Premium Offer?
There are three levels of LinkedIn premium for salespeople: LinkedIn sales basic, sales plus, and sales executive.
With the free version of LinkedIn, you can only see and search the full profiles of people you are connected to, or one person removed (the connection of a connection). The true power of LinkedIn premium, is the ability to see and search the profiles of people to whom you are not closely connected.
With all three levels of LinkedIn premium, you can see the profile information of your 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections. For a LinkedIn user with 100 connections, that is going to be millions of additional profiles that they can search and see. (you can learn more about 1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree connections here)
All LinkedIn premium members also:
Get additional search functionality:
Have access to the contact manager for all 1st, 2nd & 3rd degree connections. Using the “tags” feature of the contact manager is a great way to create prospect lists.
See everyone who has viewed your profile in the last 90 days. (With the free version you can only see the last 5 people that have viewed your profile.
Are alerted when someone new joins LinkedIn that fits one of your search criteria, or updates their profile with matching information.
Can send “introduction requests” to people who you are connected to, to introduce you to people who you are not connected to.
After selecting “get introduced” a window will open showing the people you are connected to, who are also connected to the person to whom you want an intro. After selecting the person that you would like to make the introduction, another window opens. This window allows you to send that person a message on LinkedIn asking for the introduction.
With the sales plus and sales executive packages, you also get the ability to send InMails. An InMail is like sending a private message over LinkedIn to one of your connections. The difference is, that you do not have to be connected to them in order to do so. You can think of InMails as a way to send an email to a prospects inbox, without having to find out their email address.
Here are some tips to maximize the effectiveness of your InMails:
- Use LinkedIn to see who you know in common and mention those people in your InMail.
- Keep the message short. When you send your inmail the recipient will get a notification in their email inbox. This notification will include the subject line of your InMail as well as the first 255 characters of your note. Keeping your inmail under 255 characters will allow them to see the whole note in their email inbox and will increase your chances of a response.
- Don’t try to sell anything on the first contact. Instead use it to start a conversation. Ask for advice, opinions etc.
Another good thing about InMails is that if the person you reached out to does not respond within 7 days, you get the “InMail Credit” you used refunded back to your account.
LinkedIn Premium For Sales Teams And Sales Managers
LinkedIn offers two nice additional features for sales managers that are purchasing LinkedIn Sales Plus or Sales Executive for members of their sales team. The first is teamlink, which allows the members of your sales team to see who on the team is already connected to one of their potential prospects. This can be especially powerful in a large sales organization.
The second is a dashboard where the sales manager can administer users, and see the LinkedIn activity of their sales people.
The Bottom Line
For salespeople who sell big ticket items to businesses and business professionals, LinkedIn premium is a no brainer. The extra sales that result from the effective use of a LinkedIn premium account should more than offset the cost.
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