LinkedIn prospecting: know these 6 points and ignore all the crap

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There’s a lot of crap advice when it comes to LinkedIn prospecting, so I’m going to give you the major points without the BS. (Almost) everything else you are reading on this topic is crapola.

For those of you who are new to my blog/podcast, my name is Sara. I am a CFA® charterholder and I used to be a financial advisor. I have a weekly newsletter in which I talk about financial advisor lead generation topics which is best described as “fun and irreverent.” So please subscribe!

Sara Grillo, CFA is a highly fun and slightly crazy marketing consultant based in NYC.
I am an irreverent and fun marketing consultant for financial advisors.

There are two strategic goals of using LinkedIn:

  • Use LinkedIn postings to develop new connections long term, people who see your stuff over time and then ask you to connect because you are attractive to them in some way related to business.
  • Use LinkedIn messenger to develop new connections right away, people you want to get as clients.

There are six things you need to do right, that most people do wrong, to achieve these two goals.

#1 You’re only as good as the questions you ask on LinkedIn messenger

There is a fundamental misconception about how to use LinkedIn messenger. Most people use it as a bullhorn to broadcast their products or services. This is entirely wrong.

You get the, right, these spamming vendor proposals right after you accept the connection request? And how do they make YOU feel?

The objective of the whole exercise is to get people to talk and tell you their story. When you listen to people tell a story, when you really listen, they tell you what their values are. Once you know they value you can understand them and only when people feel understood do they trust you.


Use LinkedIn messenger to get people to talk (instead of you talking) and to do that correctly you need to ask killer questions. This is true not just to LinkedIn prospecting on the messenger app, it applies to any selling situation.

#2 Always use the Two Sentence Rule

You are figuratively shooting the prospect in the head over LinkedIn messenger if you blather on and on. Get to the point and then shut up.

There is a particular method of communication that I created specifically for messenger apps. It is called the Two Sentence Rule, please learn it and use it 100% of the time when prospecting on LinkedIn messenger.

#3 The transitions are where you are likely to mess up on LinkedIn messenger

The most delicate part of any conversation when you are talking to a prospect on LinkedIn messenger is the middle. After you build some rapport how do you move the person into talking about how you can possibly help them?

It’s in the transition. most people mess this up by trying to transition the prospect before they are ready to transition. And that is because you didn’t ask the right questions (ding ding ding, see point #1).

If you want to excel at LinkedIn prospecting you need to know how to transition. Read this article about how to begin, transition, and end a LinkedIn sequence.

#4 Take care of LinkedIn like you would take care of a client

I see people go about their postings into the LinkedIn feed with absolutely no clue as to how the science of it works. Don’t be one of them.

You need to learn how social media algorithms tend to work (don’t worry, not too technical) because you are getting nowhere until you learn to give LinkedIn what it wants. You need to know how to take care of LinkedIn’s needs like you would take care of a client’s needs; treat LinkedIn as your client. I cover some of these points in this blog.

#5 The top of your LinkedIn page matters the most

The title is the most important piece of information on your LinkedIn page.

Then the headshot, the banner behind you, and the About section.

If you get the top of the page right it doesn’t really matter what the bottom says because they probably won’t even scroll to look. But you have to set the various elements up right. Here are some LinkedIn profile page tips .

#6 Postings only work when they convey authenticity

I could sit there all day, literally sit there all day, staring at the crap that people put out into the LinkedIn feed. By that I do not mean it’s unintelligent stuff, or that it looks bad.

It’s just not real. It’s not relatable. The voice sounds monotone and not even like a human person voice!

There are a variety of ways you can speak in a real way to your LinkedIn audience and I explain how in this blog about how to make a good LinkedIn posting.

Restrict your postings until you learn how to make them not sound like crap.

Sara’s upshot on LinkedIn prospecting

What’d ya think? Was this helpful?

If yes…

Learn what to say to prospects on social media messenger apps without sounding like a washing machine salesperson. This e-book contains 47 financial advisor LinkedIn messages, sequences, and scripts, and they are all two sentences or less.

This is a book about financial advisor LinkedIn messages which contains scripts you can use to get new prospects.

You could also consider my financial advisor social media membership which teaches financial advisors how to get new clients and leads from LinkedIn.

The Sara Grillo membership is a social media program for financial advisors - but only the cool ones.

Thanks for reading. I hope you’ll at least join my weekly newsletter about financial advisor lead generation.

See you in the next one!

-Sara G

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