As wonderful as LinkedIn can be to find and connect with your ideal prospects, most of us have no idea how to actually turn them into paying clients.
This is the first of a few articles on how to do that. This is based on the ideas of a few LinkedIn gurus and my own trial and error on LinkedIn.
First of all, I’m not going to get into anything about writing a great LinkedIn profile, identifying your ideal clients, or using Sales Navigator. A ton of very good, reliable information is just a Google search away on these topics.
No, I’m going to focus on what almost nobody has figured out: How to make connections that turn into selling conversations. It sure eluded me since forever.
Making an initial LinkedIn connection
Apparently this is rocket science, since, according to my LinkedIn gurus, almost everyone does it wrong.
This is how to do it right:
When you make an LI connection, send a personalized note saying something about the prospect, not about you.
Look, 90% of LI connection requests say nothing. Zero, zip, nada. So why should I connect with someone who gives me no reason to connect?
Then, other people make a connection that’s all about them or some kind of pitch about their services. And frankly, that’s just rude. You haven’t even met me yet and you’re selling to me? Seriously? Don’t do it.
So, let me give you a step-by-step on doing it the right way.
First, locate someone you think might be a good client for you. Look at their LI profile. Then select something in the About section of their profile and mention it in your connection note. It might look something like this:
Hi Christine, your profile intrigued me. As someone who’s an expert on narcissistic abuse and gaslighting syndrome, I’d love to connect! Cheers, Robert M.
This is a real person. I simply showed an interest in what she does professionally and asked to connect. Here’s another:
Hi Diana, your LI profile impressed me. I loved this: “spearheading a movement to propagate new models of leadership based on personal and collective awareness and empowerment.” Wow. I’d love to connect, and it seems we have many connections in common. Cheers, Robert
How hard was that? It took less than a minute!
One LI guru wrote, “Using this approach, you can make 10 new connections a day in 30 minutes or less.”
Now, when you make connections this way, a whole lot more people are going to accept your invitation to connect.
But so what if you make a lot of connections?
A ton of connections won’t get you a ton of clients. You’ve got to work at building a relationship by continuing the LI interaction.
Next, send a Welcome or Thank You note once your connection has been accepted.
Again, virtually nobody does this and those who do, often do the exact opposite of what works.
“Diana, thanks for making a connection with me on LI, I look forward to getting to know you on LI,” is simply lame.
“Diana, thanks for connecting, I thought you might be a perfect fit for my marketing coaching services,” is coming off too strong and too fast.
No, you want to engage this person and ask something that is likely to get a response:
“Diana, I took a look at your website and resonated with everything I found there. Bringing consciousness and awareness to companies is the leading edge of business. Exciting stuff. In your video, talking about play and curiosity resonated with me 100%!” Has it been challenging to get this message across and get buy-in from companies?”
So, this message took a little longer to write. I looked at her website and commented on what her company was doing and then asked a question. Nary a mention of what I do. Look, I have no idea if she could be a client or not at this point. I just want to start a conversation and see what happens.
Here’s one way to think of this: Ask to Play.
This is the opposite of selling or trying to impress. Show sincere interest, make comments that reflect that interest, and ask a question that invites engagement.
It’s the equivalent of saying: I notice you, I like you, I’d like to play with you.
This is not complex or complicated. It’s natural and easy. Look for prospective clients on LI who reflect your values and interests. Then engage them in this way.
OK, that’s it for today. Willing to give this a shot? Next week, I’ll talk about the next steps in the LI connection/interaction process.