This is the second in a two part segment on using LinkedIn to sell premium domain names. If you missed it, make sure to check out the first post here.
Finding the Right Contacts
Probably the most effective tool LinkedIn provides for Domain Sales is their robust people search capabilities. They provide an easy way to find the right contact(s) at almost any company for your outreach.
One of the most important steps in approach strategy is to make sure you go through the right department. A premium domain is something that both you and I may see clear value in, but you can't assume that's the case with the majority of people online. Typical exposure consists of mostly GoDaddy commercials and free domain offers with hosting, so value perception can be skewed when it comes to the sticker shock of aftermarket domains. This is especially true with prospects in non-technical verticals like Manufacturing or Construction.
Since a domain name is the first, and one of the most important representations of your "Brand" that users will encounter online, you need to find someone who understands how the perception of your business can be translated into real revenue in order to justify the expense. Because of this I've had the most success with those who have ownership of the branding / marketing for a company. They understand how impression can make or break a sale before there's even a first contact, and showing them how their domain name is that first impression online shouldn't be too difficult a proposition if framed correctly.
Convincing someone in marketing of your domain name's valuation will be much easier than someone in the finance department for example. I have the greatest respect for finance folk, but usually it's their sole job to reign in spending and enforce budgetary limits. Spending money on anything even remotely risky is a big no-no, and since they have less of a chance of understanding the value of your domain you'll either hear crickets as your response, or receive low ball 'take it or leave it' offers. Using remorse or competitive loss as a sales tactic will be ineffectual since the "financial risk" (finance kryptonite) is removed from their plate just by walking away.
Also, make sure you're approaching the right level within an organization. I've found the higher the better. I start at C level (CEO / CMO / CRO... not CFO) and then work my way down. This is where it pays to have a Premium LinkedIn account since it provides access to filters that target each of these levels through their people search tool.
Now that you have a particular company you're looking to approach, go to that company's LinkedIn page if they have one, and then click the "See More" link in the section at the top right that shows how you're connected to employees within the company. Once you are on the result page that shows all employees with a LinkedIn account, use the filters at the left side of the page to restrict by level and department.
TIP #1: You want to make sure you respect professional etiquette. Give each level their due course before moving onto the next. I find I like to reach out to all contacts that make sense within the C level at once, then wait 3-7 days before moving down to the next level.
TIP #2: Don't ever give up. Make sure you keep reaching out until you receive a definitive yes / no from someone with the authority to make a decision for the entire company. It's your job to sell your property, and you'll never know for sure until you receive some type of answer.
Using InMail as your Initial Contact
Although it's a site based message tool with email notices, I've found it a great addition to traditional outreach methods like the phone call or direct email. LinkedIn members tend to place InMail in a different category to regular email, and may give it more weight thereby increasing your chances that your message will be viewed. Plus, especially when it comes to C level management, InMail notices tend to bypass the assistant gatekeepers where direct email may not.
There are a few critical points on how you construct your InMail that are very important. You need to ensure you present your message with a certain level of professionalism in order for it to be taken seriously. Depending on the property, you may be asking upwards of 7 figures for a virtual asset that costs less than a typical lunch to renew each year, so presentation is key.
Although each message you send needs to be crafted specifically towards the vertical the domain is in, and the background of the individual / company you are reaching out to, here is a broad template you can use for a generic one word .COM domain to help you with that process:
Hi CONTACT NAME,
I'm acting in capacity of domain name broker to facilitate the sale of the website name DOMAIN.TLD. You can view more about me and this domain at DOMAIN.TLD.
DOMAIN.TLD is a rare, one word, premium generic .com domain name that epitomizes the $INDUSTRY VALUE dollar a year INDUSTRY NAME industry, making it one of the most sought after domain names on the Internet.
As one of the leaders in the INDUSTRY NAME industry that I am reaching out to, this sale presents a rare and unique marketing opportunity for COMPANY NAME if you have the budget for a premium domain name purchase. The domain has been valued in the $PRICE figure range USD, but a quick move on your part could place you in a position to be the first to acquire this fantastic property at discount.
If this business deal isn't within your purview, I would greatly appreciate if you could point me to the right person in charge of Branding, Marketing, and/or acquisitions who could make a purchase decision. I thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to hearing back from you.
NAME / SIGNATURE
- Not all departments are equal. Stay away from people whose entire job it is to stay within established budgets. Focus on the creatives. Those with vision, passion, and a deep understanding of Branding / Marketing. CEO / CMO... not CFO etc...
- Approach the highest level of management you can. Start at C level, then work your way down through VP's to Director / Managers and then hungry soldiers.
- Leave no stone unturned by contacting everyone on your list until you establish a dialogue. Especially in non-technical companies, contacts may have outdated emails and never see your outreach. Never assume unresponsiveness is a "No".