If you’re a sales rep that owns the entire sales cycle (from prospecting to close) I know how hard it is to spend half of your day building lists of prospects when all you want to do is close deals.


Now that the August sales slump is coming to a close, to help our fellow salesmen (and ladies) every week in September we’ll be giving you prospecting ideas so you can focus on what you do best – knocking your quota out of the park! Subscribe here to get updates via email.


This week’s suggestion should help you generate at least 100 leads. There is one caveat though – you have to be an active LinkedIn user. If you’re in sales but not on LinkedIn you’re missing out on one of the best free prospecting tools available on the web. So, sign up now and connect with everyone you know. Literally everyone. This alone will help you leverage the tool for introductions to a huge number of people, because believe it or not almost all of us are only 2 or 3 degrees of separation from some of the most important people in the world.


As a sales professional you’ve probably heard of trigger events. One of the easiest trigger events to track is a job change. More likely than not your sales pipeline consists of thousands of decision making contacts that for one reason or another have gone dry. If you’re diligent about connecting with these contacts on LinkedIn you can start tracking their career progression.


When one of your contacts gets a new job it can be a great time to reconnect with them, because like most of us, in the first few months of their new job they’re actively looking for ways to bring value to the organization they’re joining – and guess what – your product can help them with that!


Make a list of people that you’ve had no contact with for at least 1 year (hopefully you’re already using a CRM like Salesforce to track this information). Then, search each contact on LinkedIn to see if they have a new title or joined a new company. Since most of us don’t stay in the same exact role for more than a year or 2 this should yield a long list of names.


To instantly double the size of your new lead list, go back through each name that you just added and find the name of the person that has replaced your contact in his previous role.


Now pick up the phone and call every single person on this list. Your old contacts will be happy to hear from you in this trying time in their career when they need to prove themselves, and calling on the people that replaced them will be one of the warmest cold calls you’ve ever made. They’ll thank you for providing them with insight about the shoes they’re filling, and the company they chose to join.