The video above demonstrates a fast and accurate way to build a list of business contacts using premium tools from LinkedIn and LeadIQ. As of this writing (2020), LinkedIn has become the defacto online resume database for professionals, particularly in technology fields. Of course, everyone keeps their LinkedIn resume up to date for the benefit of their employer, not because they are looking for a better job (nudge nudge wink wink). Because users have an incentive to keep their LinkedIn profile up-to-date, the overall data quality level is good.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator
In past years, LinkedIn allowed Premium and even Free users far more search options. Unfortunately, they have severely limited the number of searches and search parameters available to everyone except users of their most expensive product, Linkedin Sales Navigator. Sales Navigator pricing changes frequently, although you may be able to get a 30-day free trial.
Sales Navigator offers these advantages over Free and Premium LinkedIn memberships:
- Unlimited search results per month. This is the most important benefit, so make sure your plan is unlimited.
- More search terms for individuals and companies
- More results per page, which speeds the process considerably
As of July 2020, here are the search filters available using LinkedIn Sales Navigator:
The Secret Weapon for LinkedIn Prospecting: LeadIQ
The most common question after finding a perfect prospect on LinkedIn is, “How do I contact this person?” LinkedIn offers a feature called InMail, which is essentially useless (do you answer InMails? Our research indicates an 5-6% response rate on a good day).
The better solution is called LeadIQ. LeadIQ captures the person or list on your LinkedIn screen into a database, including their email address, then attempts to validate the email address. While not perfect, LeadIQ is the most accurate and convenient of the available methods for annotating email addresses to LinkedIn lists. Here’s a sample LeadIQ database, ready for export to your CRM or email marketing system:
The green checkmarks in the Work Email column indicate verified email addresses: these are correct 80-90% of the time. Unverified emails are correct about 40-50% of the time, and can often be corrected when you compare them to other emails at the same company. Don’t bother to send anything to the addresses marked with a minus sign!
LeadIQ offers a free product called Scout which introduces you to their benefits, but you will soon want to upgrade to a higher tier. Pricing is about $1500 per year, which is actually a bargain if you need to talk to customers. Which is the only reason you are reading this lesson!
LinkedIn invests a lot of effort to limit your ability to reach a broad audience, download lists or communicate with members outside of LinkedIn. As a result, some searches are deliberately crippled. However, there are no viable alternatives in 2020.
While LinkedIn does not have perfect data on everyone, it is the best source for market validation and sales prospects. But this is not a secret, so to rise above the noise you will have to be relevant and respectful. Check out The #1 Sales Challenge: Getting Through for more information on getting heard above the noise.