Written by Sean McPheat |
Many people we train on using LinkedIn have many contacts but have not used those contacts to increase their sales opportunities.
For some, LinkedIn is an unused asset gathering dust on their hard drive.
What would be one way that you could use those connections to increase sales opportunities?
Well, you always would start a conversation when you meet someone at a networking event, so why not do the same kind of thing, but online?
But you should always think through what you want to say and how you want to come across to them.
The best way is to share your insights and experiences with people.
Find a comment that one of your connections has made and return the comment with something of real value.
Show the connection that you appreciate their thoughts and reciprocate with something that would make them see you as a great connection to keep tabs on.
Commenting is a great way to nurture a relationship on LinkedIn.
The receiver will get an email as well as a notification on LinkedIn to say you have commented.
They are much more likely to read your comment on LinkedIn than on a cold email, so make sure your comments are worth reading, rather than just a simple ‘I agree’ or ‘Good point’.
Who should you want to comment with?
All your connections are in your Connections Hub (along the top black bar under My Network) and all your LinkedIn communication is all in one place on each person’s profile.
From here you can set a reminder, make notes and see previous emails all in one place.
For each connection, you can update your communications and add them to a tag that allows you to contact them with a specific offer or specific news item.
Imagine that you have seen some really interesting industry news, something that you think would be useful to one, some or many of your contacts.
Many websites have a ‘share’ button that allows you to send that article or news item with people on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ or LinkedIn.
Search for that button, click on it, go to the LinkedIn button and choose the people who you would like to share the article with.
Write a personalised note that shows you were thinking about those people when you read it, and tell them why you think it’s important they see it and read it.
Don’t worry; the recipients won’t see who else you are sending the article to.
You’re bound to get some appreciative comments back and that shows the contacts have read and digested the material.
It also shows that you are a valuable connection and that opens many doors to future contacts.
Make sure you build the value up with your connections before you contemplate trying to sell something to them.
If you make the approach too early, you run the risk of sounding like every other salesperson and be seen as pushy.
LinkedIn gives you so many opportunities to build relationships – use it wisely.
Originally published: 2 August, 2016