How to Use LinkedIn for Sales Prospecting in the Cannabis Industry

LinkedIn is the most popular social networking platform for business professionals, so it’s an important channel for B2B cannabis brands to focus their marketing and sales efforts. While advertising cannabis or cannabis-related brands on LinkedIn is challenging, if not impossible, there are many opportunities for marketing and sales outreach on LinkedIn. 

In fact, sales outreach is easy using LinkedIn because all of the tools and information you need to connect with your target audience are readily available to you. But be careful! Identifying a bunch of leads and sending them connection requests or LinkedIn InMail direct messages is unlikely to drive great results. 

The LinkedIn community frowns upon trying to sell to users without first building a relationship with them and making sure they’re actually interested in your products or services. Therefore, you need to take some important steps before you conduct any sales outreach via LinkedIn. 

Steps Before You Start Sales Prospecting on LinkedIn

The first thing a person will do if you send a LinkedIn connection request or InMail message to them is look at your LinkedIn Profile to learn who you are and assess the value of connecting with you. It’s critical that they find a comprehensive and active profile.

Following are five key steps you should take before you conduct any sales outreach on LinkedIn:

  1. Prepare: Ensure your LinkedIn Profile tells the right story and showcases your expertise, experience, and unique value proposition. Why? Because it’s the first thing people will look at when you send a connection request or outreach message.
  2. Connect: Connect with people you already know, including your colleagues, and ensure your profile is linked to your company’s LinkedIn Page. In other words, start building your network and social proof to back up your claims before you send connection requests or outreach messages to prospects via LinkedIn.
  3. Publish: Publish content on your Profile and share other people’s content. The goal is to show your profile visitors and connections that you provide value and are an excellent, trustworthy resource.
  4. Comment: Comment on content shared by other people to expand your social footprint and your reach.
  5. Socialize: Join relevant groups where your target audience is likely to be active. Participate in the groups by sharing content, commenting and liking other people’s content, and so on.

Steps to Get Started with Sales Prospecting on LinkedIn

You can use the basic search features in LinkedIn to find prospects, but they’re very limiting. You’re not only limited by the number of search criteria you can use but also by the number of searches you can do per month and the number of connection requests you can send. If you’re really serious about using LinkedIn for sales prospecting, then you should invest in LinkedIn Sales Navigator

In fact, you should approach your employer and ask them to pay for it for every salesperson. When the entire sales team’s efforts can be coordinated using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, your company will close more deals and increase the return on their investment.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator offers a long list of features that will enable you to take your sales prospecting to a new level. Some of these features include:

  • Sales Preferences: Set up criteria so Sales Navigator knows what type of leads you want to see based on criteria like industry, seniority level, function, geography, company size, and more.
  • Advanced Search: Use more than 20 advanced search filters to find the exact target audience you’re looking for. 
  • Actions-Based Search: Search by specific actions, such as when new content is posted, by entering keywords to find people who have posted or engaged with content related to those keywords.
  • Saved Searches: Save searches to use in the future. This saves so much time and effort. 
  • Alerts: Set up alerts to be notified when the triggers you identify happen, such as a person changing their job, posting new content, commenting on a post, and more.
  • Groups: Use the advanced filter to not just find groups but to find people in groups.
  • Lookalike Audiences: Search for your target audience, select a lead, and click the “View similar” link to get more than 100 leads who are similar to your target audience.

These advanced features make it easier to find the right prospects and identify opportunities to connect with them (e.g., when they post content, when they comment on another person’s content, and so on). 

Key Takeaways about How to Use LinkedIn Sales Prospecting in the Cannabis Industry

The key to using LinkedIn for sales prospecting in the cannabis industry is first to understand how to find the right people. If you start sending connection requests and sales outreach messages to everyone, you won’t get good results. 

Instead, you need to find people who are likely to be interested in your products and services. Among that group, a small percentage will be ready to buy, which means LinkedIn sales prospecting takes time. You need to be visible and active, so you’re top of mind when someone is ready to buy.

With that in mind, here are key tips and next steps to start sales prospecting on LinkedIn: 1.) set your sales preferences up in LinkedIn Sales Navigator, 2.) create target audience lists, 3.) find lookalike audiences, 4.) join groups, 5.) set up alerts for trigger actions that could provide opportunities for you to send a sales outreach message, and 6.) be active. 

Did you know that many of the verified contact profiles in the Cannabiz Media License Database include links directly to individuals’ LinkedIn Profiles? Schedule a demo and see how a subscription can help you jumpstart your sales prospecting and reach your business development goals.

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