No “Cold Call” B2B Prospecting

Executive Summary

In this 1,000 article, Paul shows you step by step how to leverage LinkedIn to make contacts with people you’ve never met before and get right through to the decision maker.


  1. A trigger point that is causing a company some pain
  2. LinkedIn Premium
  3. Targeted customers i.e. companies plus title of person with pain e.g. sales director


  1. Jot down the magic email i.e. the pain you feel the prospect is suffering, how you can fix the pain, why you’re good at this and what others say and finally, a simple and easy call to action.
  2. Into LinkedIn, ensuring you’ve signed up for the premium service, and head to “advanced search”
  3. In advanced search box, key in the company’s name and the title of the person you want to contact.
  4. From the response, sieve through until you find the person’s LinkedIn profile, the premium version lets you look at their entire profile not just snippets. Ensure it is the right person in the company.
  5. Make a note as to whom is jointly connected i.e. which of your LinkedIn connections is also connected to them, a second is best.
  6. Click on “InMail”. This is a really neat feature of LinkedIn premium and allows you to send an email using the LinkedIn engine. The prospect receives an email from LinkedIn which have been proven to have a much higher incidence of being opened.
  7. Copy your magic email from earlier. Subject line must be the problem/pain you think they’re suffering with. Ensure you drop in the email, who is jointly connected, for example “I notice that you’re also connected to Vinay Patel, he and I have known each other for 10 years”. Put this at the end of the paragraph that describes your proof of being able to solve the problem.
  8. Repeat this 10 or so times for the companies that you wish to target. It takes a little longer than cold emails, which rarely work – rarely even get through without being deleted – so it’s worth doing, but best to be selective at first.
  9. Leave to simmer for 2 days and await the results. Because the call to action is easy i.e. ping back this email with your phone number and I’ll give you a call, works well.
  10. Rejoice in the fact that your prospects will respond, some saying no thanks, and that’s fine, but some will come back and say “yes we have a need there and might be useful to talk”.
  11. You’ve successfully caught them at the beginning of their buying process as they’ve developed an itch and will seek out a scratch. And you’re there early on providing that scratch.
  12. Getting in early has many advantages. You can serve them earlier to build some loyalty, impress them so they don’t need to go elsewhere or even lay some landmines which you know your competitors can’t contest with.

Real-world Example

  • Last weekend an associate of mine alerted me to the fact that secured loan companies, those who sell secured loans to customers direct, are to be regulated in the same manner as mortgage advisers.
  • The deadline is March 2016 and today is July 2015. Clearly these companies will have an itch which my company can scratch for them.
  • Yesterday I made a list of the companies who provide second charge lending, both lenders and brokers. This is easy enough to find on the internet and took me 30 minutes. I had 20 companies.
  • Then I opened up LinkedIn. I knew from memory that 3 of the companies I had dealings with already, so a quick search of the people already LinkedIn with me brought up their profile and a personal LinkedIn email was sent to these people, along the lines of the magic email but with much more customisation such as their partner’s name and how had they been keeping.
  • These got me a 100% response later that day, which you would expect.
  • Then I tickled LinkedIn for her own magic and using advanced search, quickly found the sales director of the next company. Remember it’s the person who owns the pain you want. Yes, they may delegate it to their training manager or compliance manager, but delegation has never shed the responsibility. Besides they hold the budget, usually not training managers who often spend other peoples.
  • I sent the InMails, carefully copying my magic email, and making a reference to the jointly connected people on our profiles and I left an easy call to action.
  • Merely respond to this email with your number and I’ll phone you.
  • I sent around 10 InMails altogether.
  • The results?  Still coming in as we speak. I had an out and out rejection, and that’s fine, LinkedIn refunds my InMail. This morning I had a response from a CEO and she asked me to phone her. She gave me a number and we agreed a telephone meeting on Monday morning when she was less harassed. She is keen to bring someone in to help her. Well worth a telephone call.
  • This afternoon, I had another response who mentioned that one of my existing clients, from the earlier list had contacted them to say that Paul Archer might be able to help in this matter.
  • It’s amazing how existing clients are willing to provide referrals if we ask them. Coupled with the recommendation and the InMail, he now also wants me to phone him to have a conversation.
  • And we’re only at day two. But its Friday now closing on 5pm, so I’m going to close the office door, head to the sunny patio and enjoy a well-earned glass of wine.

PS. LinkedIn Premium also gives you the ability to look at everyone who’s checked your profile. If they’re in my sector, I always send a LinkIn request along the lines of noticed you called by, let’s connect and chat at your leisure. Once we’ve connected I send a LinkedIn email to see if they would want 10 minutes to talk about their business. This almost always works and I really do just listen to them and their business.