I see SO MANY companies getting it wrong when it comes to their sales approach on LinkedIn. It’s hard to put into words the number of rubbish connection requests and purely selfish messages I get from people and I cannot tell you how much this approach is NOT the way to network effectively on LinkedIn. Take the 2 messages I got in the last week below.
Both focused on themselves. We do this, we do that… blah
One even talks about sales teams! If they had taken the time to read my profile and see what we do, they might have thought, umm this isn’t for them. Or if they did think it was, at least address this in the message.
They are not thinking about me or how I would feel but just doing what is right for them with a blanket approach.
There are 2 trains of thought on this. One is that Sales is a numbers game and so its about spraying as many people as possible in the hope something will land and stick. The other is that to achieve real sales success, you should identify your ideal target audience and then focus on engaging with them in a way that makes them feel important and not just another number.
So here are 3 things I encourage you to do with Linked In Networking and engagement and 3 things not to do if you want to build a brand that is trusted.
I have put these tips together in a Guide to LinkedIn. If you’d like a copy, drop me a DM on LinkedIn here.
DO THESE 3 THINGS
When you have connected with someone, start to comment, like and even share the posts they have created. Add insights into what they have posted and whilst it won’t make them rush to speak with you, it will make them intrigued as to who you are.
Whilst we don’t want to be stalking someone, joining some groups that they are a member of and then adding value in these groups with helpful ideas and comments (not just trying to sell) can help build a picture of you in their mind. You DO NOT WANT them to think you are a self-obsessed person who only does things to suit their own ends. You want them thinking ‘who is that person again, they are helpful and share ideas of value!’
Ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date and will resonate with them IF they go and look at who you are. You want to ensure that when they view your profile they think ‘they could be helpful’.
DON'T DO THESE 3 THINGS
Do not reach out to them and assume things. I continuously have people popping in my LinkedIn inbox assuming I’d be interested in their service. Instead, talk about a potential issue that your target market has and explore that in a conversation.
If you use a marketing agency to do LinkedIn outreach for you, be very careful that they know how to do this effectively. Many will tell you it’s a numbers game, but it will affect your brand if you try and sell to people who don’t want it. I actively will choose not to do business with people who I think approach Linked In selling in this way.
Don’t expect to get before you give. If you are going to message someone, focus on sharing a guide/resource, and be comfortable sharing a significant number of these before you get something in return (if at all).
So many business people message once or twice and then expect something in return and then don’t message anymore. This just tells me and the other person that you weren’t really that bothered about working with me to solve my problems, but that you were just focused on what was right for you.
If you’re looking for a response right away and don’t get it, keep going. If the vision you have is clear and you know the audience well then you should want to keep supporting and adding value to them.
The best salespeople really get inside the heads of their target customers and know the problems and challenges they face. They are focused on solving these problems and share ideas and thoughts on how to do this first and foremost.