Question: We are looking to have our sales team to more connecting on LinkedIn. Any tips or tricks to get prospects to connect with us on LinkedIn?
I’m always extremely pleased to hear when companies start investing in social. For many B2Bs and SMBs the first step for going social is LinkedIn. Given that the network is almost 100% dedicated to business it is easier for many “Bosses” to get behind some time and energy being spent there. Having said that, just going there and making connections isn’t going to lead to much (if any) business, but it is a start, so let’s look at how we can get you connected with a few more of the right people on LinkedIn.
- Identify: Who do you want to connect with and why? I see many people on LinkedIn just connecting with any and everybody that will say yes. While this may be good for the quantity of connections this won’t likely lead to business opportunities. If you have a somewhat established network a great way to connect with a company is to search the company and then see if you know anyone there. If you do, then asking for a referral or introduction is a great way to meet the right person in the company. However, if your network is small then you may have to dig a little bit deeper.
- Be A Groupie: For those who have established networks then groups may seem like common sense, but many new or inexperienced LinkedIn users don’t think about the power of groups. I recommend joining geographic, industry and interest related groups where you can read, comment, post and share ideas. This is a great way to expand your network and connect with like minded people or businesses in your area. Once you become a little more active you will likely see connection interest coming your way. As you network with more similar people this will also help you to connect to the companies you are trying to reach. Side note: Make sure to connect with people who you meet face-to-face and those who you already work with. This is important for building your LinkedIn Network foundation.
- Personalize Your Message: In some parts of LinkedIn they recommend connections and when you click the connect button it merely sends out a generic invitation. While this may be okay for making connections with people you know well, I never recommend this when connecting with new, unknown or prospective clients. It is so important to take even just 30 seconds and say who you are and why you feel a connection makes sense. This gives the other person a sense of why you may be connecting and it is a good opportunity to start off on the right foot. I look at those generic requests as lazy and usually it is a good indicator that they aren’t that interested in connecting.
- Stay Active: From having a complete profile to regularly creating and sharing good content, people tend to look at the profile of those that request connection. Whatever it is you do, make sure that the message on your LinkedIn profile is compelling from the first sentence. Who are you, and why should anyone care! Many will say that LinkedIn is just a big resume site and to some extent it is; consider that the resume to sell to someone may be as important as the one to acquire a new position.
LinkedIn is a powerhouse for making meaningful connections that could lead to long term business partnerships. How is your company connecting with prospects and customers on LinkedIn?
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