A question that I am asked more than any other in my workshops is whether, as a wealth or asset manager, you need to pay for LinkedIn, so I am going to try to answer that question here. I will focus on comparing the free version of LinkedIn with Sales Navigator, LinkedIn’s multi-feature platform for individual users. There is a middle-tier premium version, Premium Business, but the differences compared to the free version are marginal. I hope you find the comparison useful.
I’m not going to cover every feature, only those I consider particularly useful for wealth managers, so if you click on this link you will find a quick overview from LinkedIn of their different plans. Here is my breakdown of the free features versus Sales Navigator (‘SN’):
- Who’s Viewed your Profile – the free version of LinkedIn allows you to see the last 5 people who viewed your profile, SN lets you see everyone in the last 90 days
- InMails – SN allows you to send up to 50 InMail’s per month to people you aren’t connected to (0 on the free version). InMails allow you to send much longer messages and attach documents and presentations, and (generally speaking) people are more likely to open and read these than a standard email
- Advanced search filters – SN contains 48 different filters to search for leads. In addition to the filters on the free version, there are filters such as job function, seniority level, postcode radius and company size, amongst others. This is very useful for micro-targeting leads if you have a particular target market
- Extended network access – SN allows you to see your 3rd line network and beyond, the free version only gives you visibility to your 3rd line network
- Bespoke news feeds for leads – after saving leads to a custom list, SN creates a dedicated news feed just for those leads, which removes the noise from the standard LinkedIn news feed. I really like this feature as this news feed will offer suggestions to get in touch with leads e.g. they have posted an interesting article/post, or we have both liked the same article/post, plus notifications about job changes, work anniversaries, etc
- Saved leads – once you have run searches for leads, you can then save as many searches as you like. You can no longer save searches on the free version of LinkedIn
- Lead & account recommendations – after you have run several searches, SN will recommend leads and accounts to you that meet your search criteria
- Notes & Tags – similar to most CRM’s, you can add your own notes and tags to your lead list. Not that useful if you must use your ‘native’ in-house CRM anyway
- TeamLink – if you are part of a sales team, SN’s TeamLink feature will ‘pool’ all of your team’s networks and suggest the most effective route to a new lead. Very useful if you’re not competing with fellow team members!
- Salesforce CRM integration – if your firm uses Salesforce, you can sync your SN activity with that CRM system
In conclusion, for the ‘average’ LinkedIn user who dips in and out of LinkedIn a few times per month, the free functionality will be more than sufficient. However, for those users who are actively seeking high quality, qualified leads from LinkedIn, I believe Sales Navigator is worth the £69.99 per month investment, as most wealth and asset managers would probably only need to sign-up one new client per year to easily cover this cost.