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11 LinkedIn Prospecting Mistakes Costing You Valuable Future Customers

Courting a romantic interest and connecting with a potential customer are similar in many ways. You have to anticipate their needs and take the right steps to build a long-lasting connection. Otherwise, the relationship will fizzle out before you know it. 

To take your business to the next level, it’s crucial to identify prospects and get them interested in your products and services. However, cold emails and unsolicited calls hardly ever make a positive impression. 

In today’s digital world, it’s time to leverage social networking platforms to your advantage. In particular, LinkedIn has emerged as one of the most effective ways to nurture and strengthen customer relationships. 

Whether you are new to the platform or your past attempts to win over buyers have failed, here are some blunders costing you valuable prospects. Let’s dive in. 

Weak Personal & Business Profiles

Your profile is essentially the face of your organization. When you send someone a connection request, they are likely to check out your personal profile and business page. Make sure your profile is up-to-date and follows the best practices. 

From using engaging language to a high-quality headshot, every aspect of your profile should be optimized. Moreover, incorporating relevant keywords in your business page makes it easily discoverable. 

Neglecting Prospect Research

Thanks to the internet, we have access to an abundance of information. So what’s stopping you from researching your prospects?  Knowing more about the prospect before reaching out is a crucial step that many people overlook. 

Take your time to research and understand what your prospects need. You can easily find relevant details on LinkedIn and other social media platforms. This will save you time and embarrassment of pitching the wrong products or services.

Product-Centric Approach

Many LinkedIn sellers are so focused on selling their products that they forget to think about the customer’s requirements. Why should a prospect with no prior knowledge of your organization buy your product or service? 

Centering your pitch around blatantly pushing your products is not a sustainable prospecting approach. Rather organizations should discover any unique problem faced by the potential customer and offer a suitable solution. This is necessary to catch the buyer’s eye and nurture a long-lasting relationship.

Rushing to Make Contact

Sending a message as soon as a prospect accepts your connection request is a common LinkedIn faux pas. As previously mentioned, connecting with a prospect without any knowledge about their business or requirements is wasteful. Messaging straightaway is no less aggressive than unsolicited calls and spam emails. That being said, don’t wait forever to make the first move. 

You have to show the prospects that you’re in it for the long run and not just to make a quick sale. So, take time to prepare your pitch. Remember, first impressions count. 

Connecting with Wrong Prospects

Just because a prospect belongs to the relevant industry doesn’t mean they are eligible. It’s possible that the timing is not right or selling to the prospect is simply not profitable for your business. Look beyond the obvious to determine if the prospect is suitable. 

Moreover, prospecting is not a one-time task. It is something that you need to consistently work on. Even if you are in talks with valuable buyers, you cannot afford to abandon prospecting. A constant flow of qualified leads is essential for the success of your business. 

Disregarding Personalization

A prospect is unlikely to pay attention to a generic message. You haven’t taken the time to learn more about the prospect, so why should the prospect take the time to pay attention to your pitch? 

The aim to establish a symbiotic relationship. Set your message apart from the rest by personalizing it to address a prospect’s specific problems or needs. 

Sending Long-Winded Messages

Let’s be honest, no one has the time or the attention span to go through a long-winded first message. Instead of beating around the bush, try to keep your messages succinct and scannable. You don’t have to put all your cards on the table in the first interaction. Stick to a pitch that gets straight to the point and offers value to prospects. 

The goal should be nurturing a lead and potentially booking a phone call. Well-thought-out and concise messages are also a way to showcase that you respect the prospect’s time. 

Inconsistent Efforts

Consistency is vital for success on any social media platform and LinkedIn is no different. If you check your LinkedIn profile every couple of weeks, you are probably missing out on coveted opportunities. For example, if you are talking to a prospect, you cannot make them wait for days for a reply. 

Timely responses will maintain the momentum and take you one step closer to closing the deal. Therefore, make it a habit to check LinkedIn at least once a day. 

Failing to Utilize Sales Tools

Many people use LinkedIn for job opportunities and recruitment. And there is no doubt that it is an effective platform for those purposes. But LinkedIn also has various tools that facilitate prospecting and sales. 

Every seller should learn how to use Sales Navigator. This is a social selling tool that will help you identify the right prospects and build valuable relationships. 

Underestimating Automation

When you’re just starting with LinkedIn prospecting, doing everything manually may be feasible. However, as your operations grow, it’s imperative to explore automation tools for LinkedIn to save time and effort.

Expecting Overnight Results

Building a presence on LinkedIn takes time. That’s why you need a well-planned strategy in place and consistent efforts to ensure your leads convert into customers. Rather than prematurely abandoning strategies, give them time to show results. 

Final Words

While this is not an exhaustive list of common LinkedIn prospecting mistakes, it is a good place to start. Linkedin boasts a whopping 740 million members, which further highlights its potential for your business growth. In addition to potential customers, this is also an excellent platform to connect and learn from top industry leaders. If you don’t have a presence on LinkedIn, it’s time to rectify that. 


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Stefan Smulders is a SaaS Entrepreneur | Bootstrapped to €3M ARR in just 1year | Founder of Worlds safest software for LinkedIn Automation Expandi.io | Vegan | Father

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