Last week I shared some ideas about connecting on LinkedIn. Today I want to share in more depth about having “human conversations” through LinkedIn Messenger (as opposed to robotic conversations).
The first thing to realize is that very few people are actually having human conversations on LinkedIn.
Instead, what happens, more often than not, are pitches and spam. And this is simply stupid because it doesn’t work.
If you connect with someone on LI and they accept your connection and then you immediately pitch them or try to get a “15-minute meeting” with them, it’s offensive, obnoxious, and annoying. No wonder people get tired of LinkedIn.
Instead, to have conversations and build a relationship, you need to be patient and take your time. You need to turn on your conversational charm.
A conversation is like tossing a ball back and forth. You receive some information and you toss it back playfully with a comment and a question. And it’s actually fun. No kidding.
You show interest in the other person. You let go of your agenda to make something happen — to score in any way. And you don’t even mention directly what you do or what your professional services are about until they ask you.
People who are not interested in doing this kind of engaging and relationship-building will drift away; those who become engaged will often want to go deeper.
Here’s an actual LinkedIn conversation with “L.A.” to give you an idea of what I’m talking about:
MONDAY – L.A.
Great to get your email and suggest linking up via LinkedIn. I’ve been following you now since I first got my machine in the 1990s! Getting Marketing Action was my first online buy!
TUESDAY – Robert
Hi L.A., Well, I have a lot of followers that know me but I don’t know many of them! Yes, keep posted to my articles about LinkedIn that I’ll be writing for a few weeks! How are you attracting clients now? Cheers, Robert
WEDNESDAY – L.A.
Mainly through social and physical networking, Robert.
THURSDAY – Robert
So many are doing social networking and not a lot of physical networking, which I believe is very important. In my group program today we talked a lot about the importance of having more conversations (usually by phone) to anyone and everyone in our network. But a lot of people resist that, do poor follow-up etc. It’s something we all need to master. Cheers, Robert
FRIDAY – L.A.
I couldn’t agree more. It seems that people think email is a good substitute but it always keeps people at arm’s length.
FRIDAY – Robert
I was never a wonderful in-person networker for some reason and now, as I live in a fairly remote area, I’m stuck behind my computer all day. But LinkedIn, Zoom, and the phone keep me connected with my network.
Who are the ideal clients for your book writing services? Can you point me somewhere such as your website? Cheers, Robert
FRIDAY: – L.A.
My ideal clients are female, have a coaching service as part of their business, been in business a number of years and have an active social media presence but have yet to write the book inside them. My website is www.website.com and due for a rewrite! Thank you for asking and taking an interest. I enjoyed looking at your website – Action Plan Marketing and looking at your More Clients Club. How many people do you have in the Club and are there live sessions?
MONDAY – Robert
Right now the Club is rather static. We have 150 members or so and they have access to all the programs in the Club for $9 per month. No live sessions anymore, but I’m working on some new ideas. My main program is the Marketing Action Groups where I work intensively with participants. We have consultants, coaches, trainers, writers, etc. Cheers Robert.
OK, so that’s what I call a good LinkedIn human conversation. Is L.A. a perfect prospect for my programs? I don’t know and I’m not worried about it either. She is clearly familiar with my work and I’m interested in what she’s doing. And each exchange took less than a minute. But this is the kind of exchange that builds a relationship. And with a relationship, possibilities open up. Without a relationship, it’s a dead-end.
Imagine, after she connected with me and I said something like the following:
“Hey, L.A. thanks for connecting with me on LinkedIn! By the way, are you interested in attracting more clients? I have a great program that would be perfect for you. Here’s a link to learn more. http://weblink.com. And hey, why don’t we jump on the phone and chat?”
Wouldn’t that be a complete turnoff? Yet that’s what I see over and over again. Yuck!
And perhaps, just as bad, people connect and I engage them as I did with L.A. and then — crickets. No response at all (often called ghosting). Therefore any possible connection or benefit to either party drops to absolute zero.
And this is easy! If you have LinkedIn message notifications turned on you get an email letting you know you have a new LI message. Then, click, you go to LI and answer it in a few seconds. How hard is that?
So, my challenge to you is to actually have human conversations on LI and get to know some people. But stop with the pitching and ghosting already, OK?
And who knows, some of those people may become clients or help you in other ways in your business. That’s what happens when humans have conversations!
P.S. By the way, as with all marketing, you choose whom to follow up with. And if you don’t want to connect with someone, that’s perfectly fine as well. Just make your connections as authentic as possible.