Why you need to be so careful when using LinkedIn Lead Generation Agencies

The drive for growth and to build our companies is one that never stops but it leads me to the subject of this morning’s email. When we want to grow our businesses, we have 2 choices.

We can either wait for business to come to us which is called Inbound Lead Generation (IGL) or we can go and find that business which is called Outbound Lead Generation (OGL).

We all would prefer IGL leads as it’s so much easier. We want people knocking on our door saying ‘hey can I do business with you’ but in reality, it’s hard to achieve that consistently. More often than not, we have to go and find new business and this is especially true if we want to achieve targets or goals.

Put simply, if your ship doesn’t sail in, you have to swim out to it!

If you sell a service or product to other businesses then LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to share your knowledge and engage with new potential customers. I connect with people on a daily basis on Linked In and when there are people who I want to build a further relationship with (note I didn’t say sell to!) then I take these actions.

  • I ensure my profile on Linked In is in public mode so that the person I am trying to engage with can see that I have looked at their profile. If you are active on Linked In then its likely they will get these notifications and so I want them to think ‘who is this’?
  • I will then look to comment or like on a post on their page. Not because I want to be cheesy and sickly but because I want to show I am interested in them. I don’t stalk them but I do try and engage with them.
  • I will try and connect with them but only once I have engaged a few times. I don’t just try and connect straight away.
  • Once I have connected, I will look to message them but in a personalised way. You can see the message below for an example of what I sent out this week. It was targeted and focused on adding value to that person and their team.
  • I spend at least 1 to 2 hours per week trying to do this. It takes time and there is often no reward for doing it but I know it’s the right thing to do and the right way to engage.
  • I do this work with a simple thought in my mind. ‘What will this person think about me and my company’? And if I can’t make them think ‘they are potentially interesting and helpful’ then I won’t do anything

Many companies get asked by experts on Linked In or agencies on Linked In to do marketing for them. These people will randomly try and find people and then will message that person without taking the time to look at their profile or what they do.

They then reach out without doing any of the work I mentioned above and assume things.

In the last week, I got the following connection request message from a fellow Sales Trainer who I know about but who I had never connected with.

Be very careful with Linked In Agency Approaches...

Don’t get me wrong, I am all up for connecting with like-minded people and I think there are not enough sales trainers to do the work we need to!

But what doesn’t work is lazy sales approaches (no doubt done by an agency) which are driven by a need to win business at seemingly any cost. If they had connected and said ‘Let’s connect as a fellow Sales Training Professional’ I would have said sure. But that message?? It’s lazy and has a templated format which is naff.

I was going to call this out publically on Linked In and tag this person in to say ‘Come on we can be better than this’ but I haven’t so far. Do you think I should?? Or do you think the message is fine and there is nothing wrong with it?

Let me know either way!

I would love to get thoughts from you on whether you think I should call this person out. If we are not connected on Linked In by the way then let’s do it! Here is my profile and below is a simple guide on How to Approach someone on Linked In, in the right way. Download it and let me know what you think of it.

So if you are keen to drive new business and find new customers then take the approach I have outlined. If you really dont have time to do that and want to use an agency then be VERY CAREFUL about how you ask them to engage and what work they do before they connect.

Otherwise you could end up looking stupid and create a brand reputation which you dont want!

How does Linked In marketing work for you? What are the things you hate about the way people connect with you and what does work? How do you like to be approached by someone new? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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