Potential customers or future job candidates a business needs are fueling sales and talent pipelines. Each potential lead offers an opportunity. Increasing your prospects will increase your revenue. This complete guide will take you step by step to improve your prospecting for leads whether you are a beginner or experienced Sales/Recruitment professional.
Here is an Outline of the Entire Process where we share the Recruitment and Sales Prospecting Tips, Strategies, Tactics, and Software to help you find more sales or job prospects.
1. What Is the Process of Prospecting?
2. Why use LinkedIn for Sales and Recruiting Prospecting?
3. Why use Email for Sales and Recruiting Prospecting?
4. Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for Prospecting
5. Identify your Ideal Customer Profile
6. Create Targeted Searches to Find Your Prospects
A. Basic LinkedIn Searches
B. LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Recruiter Searches-Include Boolean
7. Searching more than just for “People”
8. Automate your LinkedIn and Email sales and recruiting prospecting with Outreach Campaigns
9. Use Personalization software to send custom messages with images, GIFs, and videos
10. Utilize Artificial Intelligence Content and Copywriting Software
A. Create Outbound Messages (LinkedIn and Email)
B. Create Content for Social Media Posts
C. Create Blogs and Articles
11. Create your Own LinkedIn Event to find prospects
12. Using LinkedIn InMails to reach your prospects
13. Use Gmail with LinkedIn to create Campaigns where you can connect with hundreds every week
14. Utilize Software to schedule Sales Calls
15. CRM/ATS Software to track Prospects and Follow Up
16. Software to Send Proposals that you can monitor and Address with feedback
What Is the Process of Prospecting?
Prospecting is the process of finding and qualifying potential customers or job candidates. It’s the first step in the sales/recruitment funnel, and it’s essential for growing any business.
The prospecting process involves a targeted and organized approach to identify people who are likely to become customers (or recruits). To do this, you’ll need to focus your lead prospecting efforts on gathering information about potential buyers. This means researching target industries and demographics, crafting emails or messages that appeal to leads, or even cold-calling prospects.
In addition, prospecting includes the steps of qualifying leads by talking with them further, determining their needs and interests in your services/products, and then following up with those who show the most interest. By doing these things diligently and consistently over time — as opposed to just randomly throwing out sales pitches — it gives you a better chance at success in turning Leads into Prospects and is also what makes recruitment and sales prospecting important.
Why use LinkedIn for Sales and Recruiting Prospecting?
If you are growing your business, the larger the number of quality prospects you can collect, the more sales/filled job roles you should make long-term. Provided of course that the leads are a fit for your business.
LinkedIn is one of the most powerful prospecting tools as it’s a vast network of professionals who are willing to share their information. With its advanced search capabilities, you can find business contacts by job title, industry, company size, or other criteria — and it can be used for both sales prospecting and recruiting prospecting.
Plus, LinkedIn lets you build relationships with potential customers/job candidates over time in a natural way that doesn’t feel like prospecting. This makes prospecting more efficient: instead of cold-calling leads randomly, LinkedIn helps you create targeted lists that will fill your recruitment and sales pipeline.
By using prospecting consistently as part of your sales and recruitment strategy, you’ll be able to increase the number of sales calls and interviews week over week.
Why use Email for Sales and Recruiting Prospecting?
Email prospecting is a targeted process that can help you find and qualify prospects, customers or job candidates. It’s one of the most powerful prospecting tools available, as it gives you access to vast networks of professionals who are willing to share their information. Plus, email prospecting allows you to build relationships with potential customers or job candidates over time in a natural way.
Make sure you spend some quality time crafting an engaging subject line to get the email opened. You want to get the prospect’s attention in a crowded inbox. Then include your value proposition within the body of the email.
Optimize your LinkedIn Profile for Prospecting
To make the most of LinkedIn’s prospecting power, your profile needs to be optimized for prospecting. This means including keywords that reflect your target industry and job title and tailoring your profile to make it attractive to your target market.
You should optimize your entire LinkedIn profile so that when a prospect views it they know: Who you are, Who you help, and How you help them. This will be done by editing all of the sections of your profile.
Most guides start with optimizing your Profile picture. Like all of the features of your profile, this represents you to strangers and connections. You have full control if you would like to be 100% businesslike and professional or use more of a casual photo. At FindMyProspects we advise you to take into consideration your audience and adjust the profile picture accordingly. Keep the photo well-lit, facing the camera and it does not hurt to smile. (Not Required).
Moving forward, or actually behind the profile picture is an often overlooked area where the Background image is located. Here you can choose to show the uniqueness in your personality, but we prefer to use it as a digital billboard that shows some sort of quick summary of what you are/have and what you can provide. This does not have to be a full sales pitch but use that real estate to your advantage. Some easy-to-use websites have templates for the background photo. Our favorite is https://www.canva.com/Oh, and do not forget to make sure it looks optimized on a cell phone as well. You may have to play with the image location a bit but why not have it perfect in both formats? Cell phone format here:
The Headline is your next chance to grab someone’s attention and help with that first impression. It is short but carries a big punch. You could go with your Title, Company and unique Identifier BUT why not use that as another chance to offer value? Some uniqueness may be cool also.
We like to have our clients add their titles and a short value statement to quickly summarize what they can do. When people are scrolling through they will see your name and this headline and sometimes make decisions based on that alone. Again, if you are networking only you may feel like Title and a couple of words about you are enough. If you are selling awesome software that helps people find more leads and candidates then you may want to squeeze that in there. Check out how my desktop format is different than the cell here:
The next opportunity to sell yourself, your company, or your services is the About Section. This is where you will expand on that value in your Headline. Pad out what you do, why you do it, and how people/companies can benefit from it. This is a good space to address the prospect’s pain points. You have a chance here that if someone is putting this much time into you then it is a great opportunity for them to learn about you, your business, or service and trust you. Add a website link, an email, or a demo link to a calendar here.
At this point, they may be ready to not only connect but ask you for some help. As you get down to the Experience section it also should be completed and look professional as well. Please make sure it is accurate and worth reading. Just like how you tailor a resume with keywords when applying for a job do that with your experience section so when a potential client, customer, or employer reads it they know you are the right fit.
Don’t forget to add some Skills, Endorsements and do not be afraid to ask for relevant Recommendations. As you should always be willing to help someone else out; ask for that recommendation. Never pass up a chance for someone else to recommend you which helps a prospective client, customer, or connection to trust you.
Identify your Ideal Customer Profile
Identifying your ideal customer profile is key to prospecting for leads. It defines who you’re targeting and helps ensure that you don’t waste time — or worse, resources — prospecting for the wrong people. Your prospecting efforts should be tailored to meet the needs of these profiles, so take the time to get to know them intimately.
Focus on Quality Over Quantity
When prospecting for leads, it can be easy to fall into the mindset of throwing a wide net to capture as many prospects as possible. But if those leads aren’t targeted toward your ideal customer profile, then they’re not likely to convert into customers down the road — regardless of how eager you are to increase new sales prospects.
Actionable ways to define your Ideal Customer Profile are:
1. Interview existing customers to get an understanding of their needs.
2. Use customer feedback and surveys to analyze past performance and gain insight into the types of customers that you should target in future prospecting efforts.
3. Research your competition to learn what kind of prospects they’re targeting and how they’re reaching them.
4. Utilize marketing automation tools to track prospect behavior, like company size, industry, desired outcomes, and overall goals as well as track prospect interactions with your content assets.
5. Leverage demographic data from third-party sources to further define prospect characteristics like location or income level that can help you accurately target the right audience for your product or service.
Here is a link to our full article on How to Optimize your LinkedIn Profile.
Create Targeted Searches to Find Your Prospects for recruitment and sales process
Once you have an understanding of the characteristics of your ideal customer profile, use them to create targeted prospect searches. This could be prospecting through LinkedIn profiles or using search terms on social media platforms (e.g., Twitter, Facebook) or within web browsers (Google, Bing). You want to reach your target demographic where they are in the platform.
If you already have a list of contacts, try organizing it based on prospect parameters and then targeting those prospects with tailored content. Additionally, leverage marketing automation tools to perform automated prospect searches to identify new potential customers that may fit your target buyer personas.
Lead prospecting is an integral part of any sales or recruitment process and requires thoughtful planning and implementation to be successful. To maximize success when prospecting for leads:
Basic LinkedIn Searches
Utilize basic searches on LinkedIn by searching for prospect experience, job titles, and skills. Consider always searching for 2nd Degree Connections that way you have at least 1 connection in common when prospecting for new leads.
After entering the initial keyword in the Search box then click the sub-search like “People” and finally click “All Filters” to target the search. Play around with these filters to see which produces the most targeted search. You will be limited in the Free Basic search with LinkedIn but you can Search: People, Events, Posts, Groups, and Companies just to name a few.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator and Recruiter Searches-Include Boolean
LinkedIn Sales Navigator and LinkedIn Recruiter, the paid versions of LinkedIn, have even more powerful search capabilities. Utilize Boolean strings to narrow down prospect searches to include only the most relevant results. This is especially important when prospecting for leads as you don’t want to waste time with leads that won’t convert into customers.
Active Recently or recently changed jobs are two of our favorite search features of these paid LinkedIn Accounts. Try them out as well to see your prospects that are more active on the platform.
This is a great article on Linkedin Boolean Searches.
Searching more than just for “People”
Finally don’t forget to prospect for leads through more than just the “People” search engine. Search Groups, Companies, Events, and Posts to find the right prospects.
You can search for relevant Groups that your prospects are in and join yourself. Then spend time adding value to that group to build relationships. We then recommend using this LinkedIn Tool to scrape members of the group. Add them to your Outreach Software to then create a campaign.
Enter the relevant keywords in the Search box and then choose “Posts”. Once you find a post where your prospects are active in the comments and “Likes” contribute value there yourself. If you bring enough value and have a great optimized profile it will bring in some inbound leads.
If not then just use our LinkedIn Outreach Software to scrape those people’s names and add them to a targeted outreach campaign. When you reference the “Post” your connection rates and engagement will skyrocket!
If you see a trend here then you are correct. The same concept works for searching other people’s LinkedIn Events. Research and find events where your prospects are at, RSVP to the event, and add value if you can leading up to it and during Event discussions.
After or before the event using the same LinkedIn Outreach Software above to scrape the attendees and create a targeted Connection Campaign with them. We will write more about creating your own LinkedIn Event below in this article and will have links to an in-depth article as well.
Automate your LinkedIn and Email recruiting and sales prospecting process with Outreach Campaigns
Once you have prospected for your leads, focus your outreach efforts on an Outreach Campaign to get those names out of LinkedIn and into a prospecting system or any other CRM/ATS tool. This helps you keep track of the prospects your speaking with as they move through the sales/recruitment funnel.
In addition to your Linkedin outreach, our LinkedIn and Email Outreach Software automates your prospecting campaign by adding contacts to an email list, sending emails with personalized subject lines and content, scheduling follow-up emails, and more! With this kind of automation in place, you can quickly send hundreds of personalized prospecting emails without having to write them manually each time.
Prospecting doesn’t end here though. Keep prospecting, review the performance of your campaigns, and tweak them if needed. By checking the dashboard of statistics in the software you can maximize the campaigns that are producing great results while editing the others.
To learn more our Article here goes into How to Automate LinkedIn Messages.
Use Personalization software to send custom messages with images, GIFs, and videos
After prospecting, outreach, and automation you’ll want to make sure your messages stand out in a prospect’s inbox. Personalization software like this helps you create personalized emails with images, GIFs, and videos that are tailored to each prospect.
The idea isn’t to just have the prospect click through on an email blast but rather give them enough information in the message itself that they can respond right away and start a conversation. By doing this you’ll increase your connection rates while decreasing the amount of time it takes for someone to reply.
To learn more about Personalization with Prospecting click this link to the full article.
Utilize Artificial Intelligence Content and Copywriting Software
This software is invaluable to help with so many tasks including prospecting, outreach campaigns, and even copywriting. With AI content and copywriting software, you can generate prospecting emails in no time! The software promises to write better prospecting emails than a human with the level of personalization required for great engagement.
By using natural language processing and machine learning algorithms, the software will continually get smarter about prospecting over time. This is especially useful if you are prospecting on multiple platforms at once or if you need to send out a high volume of prospecting messages quickly.
You can create ALL of your Social Media Content with some simple-to-use templates. There is a mode also where you can customize all of the inputs and outputs of the software.
Another value is creating articles and blog posts with this software. It is amazing and will need to be edited but the amount of time you save will be worth it. Use our links to get 10K FREE words as a trial.
Create your Own LinkedIn Event to find prospects
We mentioned this above when we wrote about using other people’s events to find leads. The concept is very similar except you are creating your own LinkedIn Event that will be 30-60 minutes and packed with value for your prospects.
Use your current email lists, LinkedIn connections, and contacts to start inviting people. When you use our LinkedIn Outreach Software to help with this time-consuming task as the RSVP’s go up LinkedIn’s algorithm will take over and show your event to many more prospects.
See our full article here on Creating your own Linkedin Event for more leads.
Using LinkedIn InMails to reach your prospects
We think many of the above methods are better than sending Inmails but there is value to using this feature as well. If you utilize LinkedIn InMails just follow all of the same strategies and tactics above to be successful. Then incorporate the software above to accomplish the tasks. The main one is the LinkedIn Outreach Software.
Use Gmail with LinkedIn to create Campaigns where you can connect with hundreds every week
This is a powerful feature of our software and a great way to reach prospecting goals. With Gmail-linked campaigns, you can connect with hundreds every week in an organized manner.
Simply set up the campaign and link a specific dedicated Gmail to your LinkedIn. Once you have a list of prospects’ emails add them to Gmail and then create this campaign to send Connection Requests and follow up messages. It’s fast and efficient yet personal at the same time. You will stay organized throughout the process so that you can optimize for better performance over time.
Utilize Software to schedule Sales Calls
Now that you have all of these new prospects in your CRM/ATS you should have some that would like to set up a call or demo. Don’t let all of the work you put in so far go wasted by being disorganized, Utilize a scheduling/appointment software where they can book times with you, get reminders to increase show rates, and see follow up messages.
We usewww.Calendly.com and have no complaints about it at all.
CRM/ATS Software to track Prospects and Follow Up
As we have also written about in this article you must use a CRM(Customer Relationship Management) or ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to track prospects. There will be too many to use a calendar or by hand. This software is also great for increasing follow up with prospects that don’t convert immediately.
We use www.hubspot.com and can highly recommend it. It is not the only one out there but offers a free version to get you started so you can see if this type of system works for your business or prospecting efforts.
Software to Send Proposals that you can monitor and Address with feedback
We know you will have tons of prospects asking for proposals and other documents and we think this software is a game-changer. When you can “see” when a prospect opens your proposal, monitor how much time they spend in each section, and know when they are done you can act accordingly.
Maybe they stopped at pricing. If so tailor your follow up with them about price and see if it was confusing or out of their range. This feedback the software provides is amazing.
For this, we use This Proposal Software to create both proposals and ebooks that we send to prospects.
Here is our Tech Stack of all the Recruiting and Sales prospecting tools
To simplify all of the links here are the ones we use and wrote about:
LinkedIn and Email Outreach Software– $159/mth per user to Organize and Automate LinkedIn Outreach, including Event Inviter and Email for Sales and Recruitment. Free 7 Day Trial Available upon request
AI Copywriting and Content Software– $29-$109/mth per account Artificial Intelligence to write copy that increases conversions to sales. Produces high quality content for websites, blogs, emails and ads. Plus More. FREE BONUS 10K word credit with our link.
Automation and Data Scraping Software-Starts at $30mth with a Free Version. Extract data on the web to generate sales and recruitment leads, marketing and growth. Especially helpful with tasks on LinkedIn and Facebook! Click and see what we recommend to use for scraping FB groups and sending auto invites along with many more tasks!
Personalize Sales Outreach Software w/Images– $69/mth to Personalize your Sales Outreach with images that will increase conversions. Use it in LinkedIn Messaging, Email and on Websites. Free 14 Day trial!
Content SEO Strategy Software– Starts at $49mth and has a FREE plan to grow websites, blogs etc with SEO Content Plans, workflows etc. – This is Surfer
DIY SEO Software– $99/mth per website to Improve your Google Rankings and increase inbound traffic.
Digital Proposal and Pitch Deck Software– $19/mth Create high converting proposals, also create online brochures, pitch decks and more. FREE 14 day Trial
Wrap it Up
To sum it up, prospecting for Leads is a targeted process, and utilizing software for prospecting emails, LinkedIn events, Inmails and campaigns, scheduling calls, and tracking Prospects will save you time in the long run while increasing performance and leads found drastically!
Use these prospecting tips tactics today to get started on your recruitment and sales funnel on LinkedIn now.
Finally, don’t forget that your recruiting and sales prospecting process is ongoing. Keep track of all the Prospects you have identified and nurture them over time by periodically sending engaging content that adds value to their lives. Use automation to save yourself time and that software can also scrape valuable data.