If you’ve come here, it’s because you want to know more about prospecting on LinkedIn. Lucky for you, this guide covers everything you need to know on the subject.

What is LinkedIn prospecting? What are the advantages of prospecting on LinkedIn? And how can you do it effectively?

In this guide, I’ve compiled all the information you need to understand how to prospect on LinkedIn.

What is LinkedIn prospecting?

Prospecting on LinkedIn means using all the means at your disposal on the social network to develop business opportunities – the famous leads – and boost your sales.

LinkedIn is an ultra-comprehensive tool that enables you to approach your prospects in many different ways:

  • inbound: via actions such as LinkedIn posts or company pages.
  • outbound: via actions such as outreach messages on LinkedIn and ads.

This guide will focus mainly on prospecting actions on LinkedIn, i.e. everything to do with your personal branding, but especially your outreach actions.

Why prospect on LinkedIn?

Today, LinkedIn is the leading professional social network.

Quite simply, it has no valid competitor.

The statistics are edifying:

  • LinkedIn is 277% more effective at generating leads than Twitter or Facebook (Source: Hubspot);
  • BtoB digital marketers have found that 80% of their leads on social networks come from LinkedIn (Source: Business LinkedIn )
  • More than 40% of social media traffic on websites comes from LinkedIn (Source: LinkedIn Business)

As you can see, this is the ideal hunting ground for social selling and outreach campaigns.

Here are some of my statistics from prospecting campaigns on LinkedIn, to show you what you can expect in terms of returns:

Between 30% and 40% of the people we contacted automatically on LinkedIn with La Growth Machine responded to our messages.

Isn’t that nice?

But prospecting on LinkedIn isn’t that simple, and you still need to know how!

That’s what I’ll explain in the next section 🙂

How do you prospect on LinkedIn?

Segmenting the entire market you’re targeting is complicated.

But, believe me, it’s worth the effort!

That said, the task needn’t be daunting if you follow these steps:

  • Step 1 – Choose the right LinkedIn subscription
  • Step 2 – Find your leads’ e-mail addresses on LinkedIn
  • Step 3 – Find your leads’ telephone numbers on LinkedIn
  • Step 4 – Optimize your LinkedIn profile
  • Step 5 – Activate your social selling strategy on LinkedIn
  • Step 6 – Build sales prospecting messages
  • Step 7 – Respect outreach limits on LinkedIn
  • Step 8 – Measure your performance with LinkedIn KPIs

I’m going to go deep into each step to really try to get you to understand how to do LinkedIn prospecting well. 👉

Step 1 – Choose the right LinkedIn subscription

Before you start prospecting, you’re going to need to choose the right LinkedIn subscription.

Above, the different LinkedIn subscriptions

LinkedIn offers 4 premium plans in addition to its free Basic offer:

  • Sales Navigator: the plan of choice for people looking to prospect or generate leads on the platform.
  • Recruiter: the preferred plan for in-house recruiters.
  • Career: the plan of choice for individuals looking to find a job or raise the profile of their LinkedIn profile.
  • Business: a business plan with interesting marketing features.

If you’re looking to prospect, 90% of the time, I’d recommend Sales Navigator, which is an absolute must-have in your prospecting tool stack.

The same goes for in-house recruiters: Sales Navigator is often more effective than LinkedIn Recruiter for this precise use-case, as the prospecting method used by headhunters is very similar to that of a B2B salesperson.

Step 2 – Find your leads’ e-mail addresses on LinkedIn

Once you’ve chosen your plan – and if you’ve been listening to me, you’ll have chosen Sales Nav – you can start finding the emails of your LinkedIn leads.

How does it work?

Well, you’ve got three ways of doing it:

  • Manually retrieve the emails: this is the most time-consuming and tedious method, but it has the merit of working. This is what the screenshot above shows you. You can still use this method for picking, for example.
  • Use a scraping method: via Google Sheets, with a Script, or using a Chrome extension like Web Scraper. This method may work, but it can be a bit anarchic if you’re new to it.
  • Use a third-party tool: La Growth Machine allows you to scrape your leads’ e-mails, although it’s not a tool dedicated solely to this purpose. It’s something we do, but our real value is in the part that follows, i.e. outreach.

Whether you use one or the other of these methods, the objective is the same: to find data that will be the first point of contact with your lead.

Another way of doing this, or as a complement to email, is to collect your leads’ telephone numbers.

That’s what I’ll explain next!

Step 3 – Find your leads’ phone numbers on LinkedIn

In this section, we have the same objective as above, except that we’re going to focus on your leads’ phone numbers.

For salespeople, cell phone numbers are a great way to diversify your outreach channels as part of a multi-channel strategy.

And do you know what? LinkedIn gives you this data too!

How do you get it?

As with emails, there are several methods:

  • Manual: in the contact information of your lead’s LinkedIn profile. Method explained in GIF above.
  • In-house scraping: with Web Scraping or Google Sheets using Google Script, for example.
  • Scraping with a third-party tool: Evaboot, La Growth Machine, Phantombuster or a similar application.

Here again, you can use La Growth Machine as a scraper, or rather as a tool for enriching an initial file of leads – obtained with Sales Navigator, for example!

Step 4 – Optimize your LinkedIn profile

You now have a solid base of leads to contact.

Before moving on to outreach, remember to lock in all your personal branding signals on LinkedIn.

Because when your lead receives a message from someone he doesn’t know, he’ll have the reflex to click on your LinkedIn profile. If it’s incomplete, it’s a recipe for failure!

How do you optimize your LinkedIn profile?

There are a number of points to bear in mind:

  • profile photo: make sure your profile photo shows you smiling and well branded.
  • banner: make sure your cover photo reflects your brand elements, such as logo and graphic charter.
  • catchphrase: this is one of the only texts your prospect will read. Make sure they understand who you are and what you do in 30 seconds.
  • up-to-date information: if they decide to scroll further down, it’s vital that your information is up-to-date and clear, so that they understand what you’re all about.

Now that all that’s in place, I’ll tell you how to start social selling alongside your prospecting.

Step 5 – Activate your social selling strategy on LinkedIn

When people talk to you about social selling on LinkedIn, you might be thinking, “Isn’t that the same thing as prospecting?

Yes, but not quite.

To be clear, social selling encompasses all the techniques borrowed from marketing and sales to enable you to sell on a social network – in this case, LinkedIn.

As the graphic above explains, the customer journey is as long as it is varied: few prospects take exactly the same path from information search to sale.

With this in mind, social selling on LinkedIn involves a number of actions:

  • LinkedIn posts: make visible, educate, engage and sell through publications.
  • Webinars: with the same objectives as LinkedIn publications.
  • Outreach: classic cold prospecting messages, via LinkedIn.

Most of the time, prospecting alone won’t be enough: it’s the combination of several marketing and sales actions that will tip the balance in your favor.

Step 6 – Build your sales messages

We’re finally at the moment you’ve all been waiting for: LinkedIn messages.

When we talk about messages, we’re obviously talking about LinkedIn prospecting messages.

When it comes to LinkedIn messages, two things count:

  • the format (the form): all the set-up and actions that will make your approach feel natural. For example, simulate visits to your LinkedIn profile before sending a message to your lead, send an initial short message immediately followed by a slightly longer message, etc…
  • copywriting: your actual text. This is the key element of your outreach strategy. From the LinkedIn hooks to the closing, from the value proposition to the tone of voice, copywriting is a particularly hard soft skill to master.

Here’s how to personalize your messages using La Growth Machine variables:

Be careful, however, not to exceed the outreach limits on LinkedIn… that’s what I explain just below.

Step 7 – Respect the outreach limits on LinkedIn

If you automate, you run the risk of falling foul of LinkedIn, which, as a good guarantor of UX on its platform, doesn’t want its users to be spammed.

To this end, LinkedIn has set up very specific LinkedIn rules concerning the number of connection requests and the number of outreach messages.

To keep things simple, just remember these weekly limits:

  • Connection request: 100 – 150 per week.
  • Profile visit: 80 per week.
  • LinkedIn messages: 120 per week.

If you exceed these limits, you run the risk of several sanctions, ranging from a simple warning to the outright deletion of your LinkedIn account.

Step 8 – Measure your performance with LinkedIn KPIs

Once you’ve validated all the above steps and your prospecting campaign is up and running, it’s time to measure the first effects.

Measuring performance has several advantages, but if you have to pick just one, keep this one in mind: it’s the best way to test, learn, and iterate on your campaign.

Because yes, even if you’re very confident, you may have missed some small details. Errors in segmentation, copywriting… and the LinkedIn KPIs of your prospecting campaigns reveal just such errors.


That’s all for this guide.

I’ve tried to give you as much information as possible to help you really understand how to set up a prospecting strategy on LinkedIn.

You’ll notice that for each step, you can do without La Growth Machine. However, it has to be said that our tool lends itself very well to LinkedIn prospecting, and can be a great help to you.

Don’t hesitate to try it out – it’s free!

Automate your LinkedIn outreach with La Growth Machine
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Happy prospecting!