Until recently, anonymity on LinkedIn was a complicated concept. Although LinkedIn offered its users the possibility of visiting profiles anonymously, previous visits through LinkedIn Sales Navigator would immediately become visible after the option on the LinkedIn website was turned off. Now, LinkedIn is finally making a new feature available to all Sales Navigator users, allowing them to visit profiles of other LinkedIn members in stealth-mode.
LinkedIn Sales Navigator enables its users to choose how they wish to visit other profiles separately from LinkedIn, ensuring permanent anonymity. For the LinkedIn website itself, the options remain unchanged: complete with name, headline and location, without name but with reference to the company or completely anonymous.
But why choose to be undercover at all? At first glance, this seems counterproductive to the modern selling approach, which advocates connectivity and openness. Modern Selling, however, is first and foremost about reaching your prospect at the right time and with the right message. A strategy that takes some preparation.
Prepare your message
When you’re planning on approaching a lead via Sales Navigator, it is wise to familiarize yourself with common interests. Finding common ground can ensure an organic acquaintance, making it easier to establish a lasting connection. When the time for reaching out is almost due, make sure to call up some recent posts and seek out joined connections. Visiting a profile anonymously enables you to make the necessary preparations.
Passing on leads
Sometimes colleagues discover interesting posts from potential leads in their newsfeed. Passing on these potential leads to the sales department is a great example of efficient collaboration. By having the option to visit the profiles anonymously, sales managers can determine if a lead has the right potential, before they take action.
Disadvantages of the stealth-mode
By anonymously surfing through the profiles of other members, you rob yourself of a crucial trigger point in the modern selling process: the return visit. Often curiosity and the interest in a profile visitor win, and will induce a return visit. With a well-groomed profile that positions you as a trusted advisor, you will attract attention and pave the way for an interesting new connection. A profile visit will give you great grounds for reaching out and engaging in a conversation too.
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