Slowly, slowly…wins the day on LinkedIn!

So hopefully by now – you have identified your DREAM clients (see my post from last month) and you are now ready to hit them with your very best pitch, right?

Wrong.

Bad salespeople move now.

And YOU are not a bad salesperson!

You are a person though, so don’t forget that this is all about building a relationship from scratch, person to person – with someone who doesn’t even know that you exist yet.

Let me take you back, to the first time you laid your eyes on your ideal partner – the girl/boy/man/woman of your dreams.

Now – did you rush in with your marriage proposal, or confessing your undying love and a full itinerary of all of your life plans for the years to come?

No.  Or if you did, you may have experienced one of these responses;

  • A slap.
  • Shouting/swearing.
  • A girl/boy/man/woman shaped blur running the other way.
  • Several Police persons advising the next course of action.

So WHY do people still insist on rushing in with a pitch straight away in business?  *Shrugs*

And that’s the chance gone – potentially forever.  What a waste!

Going back to the ‘love at first sight’ principle – I read an article recently saying that supermodels (both male & female) are less likely to be approached romantically as the asking party automatically feels inferior, so doesn’t bother and tries elsewhere.

So taking this back to business – as I advised last month – if you are pitching too early – don’t drop your aspirations, raise your game!

First Contact

There are two main ways that I go about first contact with a prospect on LinkedIn;

Introduction – If you had all the business that there was to offer from your 1st and 2nd degree connections – you’d be made!  That’s the importance of building your connections by connecting with customers, suppliers, networkers and other people you meet.  The other reason is that every connection you make, it brings potentially thousands of connections closer to YOU!  Find your prospect, if they are a ‘2nd degree’ connection (they have a mutual connection to you) – you can use LinkedIn to ask your mutual contact for an introduction!  Easy, eh? 

InMail – I subscribe to the ‘Sales Professional’ Premium Package on LinkedIn – this gives me lots of ‘InMail’ credits – as well as many other features that I use every day.  An ‘InMail’ is an email, sent via LinkedIn, right to the inbox of your prospect.  It cuts through all of the ‘gatekeepers’ right on to the screen of your intended ‘target’.  I find them extremely effective, see my notes on wording below.  If they accept your InMail, 1 credit is used.  If they reject it – you get your credit back to use elsewhere.

Keep it simple, offer value

Once the connection has been made – however you have decided to do that – then the next step is the most important.  

The first message, in my opinion (which is all I’ve got!), should not be a pitch at all.

It should be simple – a brief introduction – giving reference to the connection who introduced you – or why you wanted to connect.  

Ok, maybe not why you wanted to connect – because you want to sell your stuff!

But some good icebreakers are;

  • You wanted to connect with (insert industry) leaders as this is relevant/interesting/useful to you and you can provide them with value*.
  • You noticed that they write blogs/editorials/posts (see last month’s post about research) and wanted to connect.
  • You share interests/groups/aspirations/challenges.

Then – nothing.  No link to your business, no asking them to subscribe to anything – just casually sign off and then the connection is made in a respectful way as you haven’t pitched to them.

So for me, it’d be (I’m quite informal conversationally, but I like people to do business with me exactly as I am);

Hi Joe

I was reading your article last week in the Claims Industry magazine on customer engagement.

When I looked you up, I noticed we have a mutual connection – Marc Woodland – so he kindly put us in touch.

Thank you for connecting and have a great week!

Cheers

Nick

Then I will begin drip feeding relevant articles, content, opinion over a 3 month period to build rapport, trust and ADD VALUE.  Remember, as I said last month, the game changing business takes time to cultivate so the time invested in this process would still be a lot faster by NOT doing this.  My very best clients, before using this method, could take YEARS to convert.

These are just a couple of brief insights in to how I generate thousands of pounds of new business every month using LinkedIn – but there is so much more to cover, it’s a huge topic.

There are lots of LinkedIn specialists out there who will happily give advice, tips and tricks – and if you would like an introduction to them, please do let me know.

Or if you have a question about the process I have highlighted above, then please do drop me a tweet @NickElston_ or email nick@signable.co.uk and I’d be delighted to help you.

Next month, I’ll be taking a look at raising your profile using Social Media using some very simple techniques that I have worked in to my working day!

This will help boost all of your Sales activities as well as increase your Customer Service…so please, stay tuned!

Until then, have a fantastic month ahead!

Nick