Mark Hunter of The Sales Hunter

Mark Hunter

Founder of The Sales Hunter

Mark Hunter, “The Sales Hunter,” is a leading sales thought leader who has used LinkedIn to gain speaking engagements in South America, Europe and Asia. He posts regularly to his 31,000 followers, as well as having articles on Forbes.com and collaborating with other well-known sales leaders. He is author of “High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price,” and blogs regularly at his site


My Winning Lead-Gen Strategy For How To Use LinkedIn Groups

All of my work focuses on the topic of “high-profit selling.” What’s interesting is that high-profit selling is directly dependent on the quality of your prospecting.

Expert session

Tactic that has had the biggest impact on Mark’s success

Use of lead-gen strategy for how to use LinkedIn Groups

Result if you follow the steps in Mark’s session

Build relationships within the right types of LinkedIn groups to generate more leads and sales

Full session with video, notes, audio and discussion inside EHQ Club. Learn more

Expert session snapshot


First of all, you got to make sure that you maximize the number of groups that you can belong to. Now, when I say maximize the number of groups, there are four types of groups that you’ve got to belong to, if you want to prospect successfully on LinkedIn.

Group number one, you’ve got to connect with local business groups in the area that you want to business in.
I happen to live in the Midwestern part of the United States. So I connect with naturally business groups that are in the Midwestern part of the United States. Even though that’s not a big piece of my business, I still connect with them, because they’re people that may be more loyal to me. And I can have a conversation.

With second group, you want to talk to who are the academic groups, who are the colleges and universities that you either went to or you associated with? Again, very, very critical, and you’ve got other people that are talking about this.

So I don’t want to run down too deep. But here’s what I found. What happens is people are going to connect back, people are going to as you prospect with them, they’re going to be checking you out. And you want to see where you run in the same circle as people they run with. That’s why I say I want to spread my groups round.

So group number one is local business groups to academic groups. Three, what are the industries where the people you want to connect with are hanging out? This is your biggest single block of groups that you want to belong to. Who were the people that you want to sell to? Where are they at?

You jump into those groups. And I’ll come back and I’ll share with you exactly how to use that just a bit.
But the fourth tier, or the fourth set of groups are your peer groups.

Now I’m in sales. So naturally, there are some sales groups that I want to belong to. Now, some people say, Mark, why do you want to belong to groups that are your competitive set?

I want to blog my competitive set because I don’t feel I have any competition. Anybody in sales, who feels they have competition, I don’t care what you sell. You could be selling the absolute biggest commodity. If you feel you have a competitor. You’re defeated already. I want to be able to stand apart and stand alone.

So those are the four types of groups that I want to belong to now.

Let’s kind of, let’s run down this road a little bit here because one of the challenges that I want to do is I want to take, and I want to connect with people who are in that sweet spot group.

In other words, the sweet spot group, these are the ones where the people I want to connect with are hanging out. Now, let’s you know, I love LinkedIn. But we’ve got to kind of be frank about LinkedIn. LinkedIn started out is let’s not kid ourselves, it’s really the unemployment job board.

Okay. And you know, that was good for the first couple years and then we got into a lot of HR people and recruiters got into that. And then sales people got into that.

And still, to this day, if you look at the really, the profile, let’s not kid ourselves. The biggest piece is, it’s recruiters, HR people and sales people. Now LinkedIn is doing a great job adding a number of additional tools to get additional people in there, but the real estate iOS, CIOs, a lot of those people that you want to be selling to, regardless of your industry are on LinkedIn.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t prospect with them. Because what happens is there people are on LinkedIn. And I’m going to jump forward just a teasle that I can tell when I’m about ready to get a piece of business.

Because you know why they’re lower people are all over my profile, I monitor very closely who’s viewing my profile. And what I’m going to see is I’m going to see that they’re out there looking at my profile, and I can almost guarantee it, that within 24 hours, my telephone is going to ring and I’m gonna have a conversation with them.

Now. Okay, let’s back up. How do we get to that point, because you can’t just have a robust profile and see who’s going to see it, you got to actively engage. What I want to do is I want to take that third fear of groups remember, this was a set of groups of people who you want to be prospecting with, one of the groups that they belong to.

What I’m going to do is I’m going to take those groups, and I happen to use Saturday. Now I’m going to share with you why you Saturday. LinkedIn can be a place that you can spend five, six hours very quickly. And suddenly you step back and you go, whoa, what did I just do?

I have a little expression. Bad sales people have shoeless kids. Okay, you can take that the bank, bad salespeople, shoeless kids. So believe me, you’ve got to be prepared to say I’m going to use my non selling time to be out there on LinkedIn doing some of these things.

And what I do is on Saturday morning, I will go out to some of these groups and I will post questions. I will ask questions. Don’t go posting an article, don’t go doing that. What I like to do is I like to say, “hey, I like to pose a question”. Will say I’m in the labor business, will say I’m in the staffing industry.

And you’re working in the United States, there may be a new labor law, there may be a new labor regulation of some sort. And you pose a question says, “hey, I just saw where this new regulation was coming out. Would I be interested as to how people are going to be handling it?”

See, what you’re doing is you’re now being seen as one of them. So what happens is, as people come back in, and they won’t do it necessarily immediately, because LinkedIn is an elongated tool. What I mean by that is, you know, I can’t expect, it’s not like email, I get a response back immediately. It may take me an hour, it may take me a day, it may take me a week, it may take me a month.

But I posed that question out there. As people respond back, I’m naturally immediately going to a like that response. I’m going to comment on that response, and I’m going to go to their profile and I’m immediately going to connect with them, I want to connect with them.

Now what I’m doing as far as I’m building my list of connections, which is great. But now what I’m doing is I’m showing an interest in that person. What I want to do is I want to take that person, and they may be a nobody that you think. But this is what’s interesting. They work for a company that you do want to get into.

So I want to make sure that I’m connecting with them. Then what I’m going to do is when they connect with me, I’m going to send them back and in, I’m going to send them back a LinkedIn message, thanking them for invite, but I’m not going to sit there and say, gee, it was great to connect with you all.

Please, that is so stupid. I get five or six of those every day. And I tell you what, those people in my book are village idiots. They’re not going to get any business. If they do get business. It’s going to be from unemployed people looking for somebody to talk to. Okay, I’ll get off that soapbox.

Now, I want to send them back a value added message. Hey, great to connect with you. And thanks for sharing that inside, I’m going to share with them an additional piece of information. I’m going to share with them some sort of and what I’m doing is I’m just starting a dialogue. That’s all I’m looking to do here at this point.

Now, some of you might be saying, Mark, this is going to take a long time. Yeah, it can take a long time. But here’s what’s good. You’re connecting with them in a platform that is uncluttered by other messages. Now what do I mean by uncluttered by other messages?

If I pick up the phone, call them. They’re not going to answer my phone. If I send them an email, it’s one of 1000 messages. But if I connect with them by way of LinkedIn, it’s when they’ve chosen to be on LinkedIn. See, and they’re going to respond to me. What happens is I get a more engaged discussion.

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