Boasting over 433 million users, LinkedIn is no question the professional social network of choice--and it's growing. Whether you're a power user or a novice without a photo, your target buyers need to know who's looking at them. One automated prospecting solution turns that narcissism into a scalable source of inbound leads.

Once, twice, even several times a day, tens of millions of LinkedIn users check to see who's viewed their profile, driven by an innate need to know who's looking at them. This constant of human nature has long made "Who's Viewed Your Profile" the most used and well-liked feature of LinkedIn, so much so that being able to see everyone who's viewed your page--not just the four most recent visitors--has forever been the main reason LinkedIn users buy and maintain paid Premium subscriptions.

Likewise, whether for research or to generate awareness with potential customers, candidates, or employers, most of us already visit profiles--c'mon, you know you do it.

But what if you could scale that outbound profile visiting from handfuls each day to thousands each week?

Enter the stealthy tool

One longtime LinkedIn user and startup sales veteran has built a desktop app to let you do just that: SearchQuant.

Originally built to help a VC-funded startup find engineers with obscure programming skills, when Silicon Valley veteran Chris Zaharias first saw it, his eyes lit up:

"I was one of LinkedIn's first quarter million users and had Premium since 2006. I've done startups since Netscape in 1995, and one thing I learned is that, while you can't make people buy, if you put the disruptive value your solution brings in front of those who need that value, they'll recognize what's in it for them and come to you."

How does it work?

SearchQuant is a desktop app that's logged in to your LinkedIn account. For example, say that you sell back-office software for the veterinary industry and find that there are 55,000 people in the industry whose titles are Veterinarian, Office Manager, or Administrator. Put that 55,000-profile query in SearchQuant, and without you lifting a finger, it'll automatically visit 5,000 of those peoples' profiles each week.

What to expect

Get ready to turn your LinkedIn profile into the well-oiled, inbound prospecting machine that you always expected it to be.

If you have a good photo, a strong summary on your LinkedIn profile, and a compelling tagline (a.k.a., the text below your name on your profile), 150 to 300 people each week will notice you visited their pages and then in turn visit your profile.

From all those thousands of automated profile views, dozens of them each week will send you a connection request along with a handful who will send a personal note/email.

Results

When speaking to Zaharias, what was most compelling was the wide diversity of industries that have made good use of the tool. Whether for lead generation, fundraising, candidate sourcing, setting meetings ahead of industry conferences, or public relations, an unparalleled level of value was brought to a variety of businesses, with serious results. Check these out:

  • A competitive intelligence data startup sourced and closed a $2.4 million software sale to Oracle.

  • A fertilizer startup founder secured multiple $50,000 funding offers from AgTech investors, within two weeks.

  • A three-person ad tech sales team generated 246 leads over 7.5 months.

  • An iPad-based point-of-sale vendor used it to generate leads with restaurants and retailers.
  • A B2B conference organizer netted hundreds of paid registrations and dozens of conference sponsorships.
  • A hair stylist gets most of her business from visiting profiles of senior execs in Silicon Valley and showing her styles.
  • A retargeting startup filled 40 to 125 seats at 12 panel discussions it hosted on four continents.

SearchQuant rewards well-targeted visiting, compelling yet non-salesy LinkedIn profiles, and the investment in a Premium LinkedIn subscription that founder Zaharias thinks everyone should make.

Done well, scaled profile visiting brings value to the entire LinkedIn ecosystem: Buyers can find out about and then willingly engage with new solutions; companies get the inbound leads their solution merits; and LinkedIn sees more revenues from new subscriptions and users' profiles becoming the living, breathing extensions of their work life that they should be.