How To Be a Jedi Search Master and Generate Leads on LinkedIn

how to market and sell on linkedin

I’ve been hearing a lot lately about B2B companies successfully marketing through LinkedIn. In fact, this is such a growth area that companies like Linked In Selling are filling up a social media marketing niche devoted to this platform.

If you’re not ready to sign on with an agency to generate leads from LinkedIn for you, you’re probably at least ready to do some exploring yourself so you can get a feel for the potential.

The first step in learning how to market through LinkedIn is to become an expert at using its search tool. This is the single most important LinkedIn skill for sales professionals to master.

However, even before attempting to master LinkedIn searches, you must understand where your best prospects are coming from right now. When you have sales success, where does the conversation begin? Who are the best people for you to speak to in a company? Do an honest, unbiased analysis of this. When you have that information in hand you’ve completed your first important step in learning how to use LinkedIn for sales leads. Without that information, you’ll be wandering in the dark.

Your next step within the LinkedIn platform is to focus your search on “people” and navigate to the advanced search page. You’ll find the icons you need to click at the top of your LinkedIn homepage.

Search___LinkedIn step one and two

LinkedIn’s standard advanced search gives you a lot of filters you can use to zero in on the kind of people who give you the best odds for making a sale. But you should consider at least their entry-level premium membership if you think generating leads through LinkedIn has potential. I should also say that you can upgrade your membership for a month to try it out and then downgrade if you don’t feel the extra expense is worth it.

The screen shot below shows you the standard filters as well as the seven additional filters you’ll get if you upgrade. Let me give you an example of how the premium filters could prove useful.

Search___LinkedIn main screen

With the standard filters you can target people who work in a specific industry. However, there’s a good chance that the product or service your company sells fits best with companies of a certain size. You can narrow down your search results by company size with one of the premium search filters.

Explore all the filters. For example, people who are actively involved with or following any LinkedIn groups related to your industry might prove to be very valuable contacts for you.

Once you have found some leads on LinkedIn, the obvious next step is to make contact with them. If you have some shared contacts, one of the best ways is to get an introduction via your shared contact, or at least get that person’s permission to mention him or her when you send an “in-network” message or invitation to connect to your prospect.

However, you may want to contact this person outside of LinkedIn if you have a good sales email or other preferred means of contacting prospects. In that case, navigate to the person’s profile page and click on the “Contact Info” link. Very often people will list their email addresses and sometimes even a phone number is given.


Finally, bring others on your sales and marketing team into this “experiment.” The more minds you get studying how to find leads on LinkedIn, the more likely it is that you’ll be successful…and in a shorter period of time.