Your LinkedIn strategy is not cutting it. Here is what you should be doing.

When was the last time you accepted a connection request on LinkedIn and immediately were hit with a sales pitch from your wonderful, new connection?

Happens to me all the time.

I’m curious, if you are one of those wonderful people who use the above tactic; how well has that been working out for you?

I’m going to bet it’s not going very well.

If your current LinkedIn strategy is rooted in cold messages and spammy pitches, then you’re really hurting your image and scaring away your prospects.

LinkedIn is much more than an inbox to receive unwelcome messages from your first degree connections…the inbox is only ONE function.

LinkedIn is an excellent platform where professionals can network, share content & resources, and develop the skills needed for professional growth. It’s great for nurturing connections/prospects and promoting your personal and company brand.

But, you gotta make sure you’re doing it the right way before you go in for the kill.

How do you do that?

One strategy that works well for our clients involves developing a series of non-salesy messages that get your top prospects to open up to you and the services that you offer.

photo courtesy of flickr

photo courtesy of flickr

We don’t even think about asking for a phone call until we have made several touch-points that focus on building trust and value.

There are a few different types of messages that you can send, such as:

  • Thank them for connecting with you
  • Send a link to a helpful article (this can even be a recent blog post from your company blog)
  • Link to a interesting and relevant industry article in a group you share (bonus points if it’s a group you manage)
  • Congratulate them when they hit a work milestone
  • Introduce them to a mentor or colleague in your network

It’s important to keep these scripts short and sweet and NEVER be pushy or self-serving.

Keeping the focus on THEM will make your prospects feel appreciated and, in turn, position yourself as a likeable industry leader.

Once they are warmed up to you, ask them if they’d like to have a quick call so you can get to know each other better. Or position it as a referral call.

It’s important to note, this is still NOT the time to go into the sales pitch. Keep it casual and light. You’ll have much better luck than if you would try to drag them through the sale with your message.

Once the prospect agrees to a call, don’t ruin it by trying to rush to the pitch. Let them do the talking about their business goals and needs.

Once the prospect has had sufficient time to speak, you can segue into your pitch and discuss how they would benefit from working with you. It will happen with such ease they might not even know that you are trying to sell them!

Moral of the story: Getting your prospects to know, like, and trust you is the best way for you to get your prospects on the phone and for you to start seeing actual results from LinkedIn.

Enough with the spamming…ain’t nobody got time for that!

What successes have you seen when it comes to nurturing your connections on LinkedIn?

Good luck and happy selling!

11 Responsesso far.

  1. Thank you for compiling these concepts for business to business networking success Matt. At the core of your techniques is the concept of skilled business relationship building. I have found your referenced process also work with face to face networking. Offer insight to the other persons industry trends. Ask them how these trends are causing issues for their company. Ask them if their is someone you can introduce them to. Be interested, not to be confused with being interesting. Rather then asking them what they do, ask them why they do what they do. Keep up the thought leadership Matt!

  2. Richard Colligan says:

    I have many 1st Tier Business Executives in my Network; but, after the initial contact, there is no more interface with these executives regarding Teaming or partnering. It all seems like a big waste of time and energy! We offer to assist with the proposal process which reduces their B&P funds but no one seems very interested!

    • Josh Turner says:

      Hey Richard – IT sounds like something in your process isn’t working, or your value proposition isn’t resonating with your prospects. Just “offering to assist” (which is essentially the same thing as pitching your services) is going to get very few responses.

  3. Great strategy here Matt – thank you for the valuable process…

    The only thing that makes me ‘crazier’ than a new contact spamming me with an offer is those fake profiles that are set up, join 50 groups and immediately start spamming Clickbank offers to the group.

    LI seems to have ZERO interest in resolving that, which they could do with a simple ruleset in the tech. (X number of contacts before posting, X number of days in LI before posting to groups, a filter for any affiliate links in group posts, etc.)

  4. Matt, cracked up with your “ain’t nobody got time for that” comment. Very familiar with that video. Excellent instruction for those not sure about what to do first, and then next. Will definitely share with my network.

  5. Fuad says:

    Thank you for sharing this good article. I would appreciate it if you could share more of such useful articles with me.

    Could someone please help me out on how to delete some of my LinkedIn groups so I can add new groups.

  6. Really liked this. I get so many initial messages that are a sales pitch. I just tell them I am not interested.

  7. Neil Morgan says:

    Very succinct Matt. I have always found building trust to be the only way to make a sale and cultivate a business relationship.Being able to live with myself in the knowledge I have not bombarded a prospect with solicitations means a lot to me.There is so much insincerity in Sales nowadays.

    • Good question. I would like to know the answer as well. Daily I am “marketed to” by people who quite obviously did not read my LI profile. I ignore them and later when I have time I delete them from my contact. I have also simple replied not interested.

  8. Stan Mann says:

    I love your idea of giving a new connection a helpful article from your LinkedIn group.

    I just don’t know how to do that. I have a group. It’s filled with helpful articles, but I don’t know how to get the right link to put in my thank you message to a new connection.

    I’d appreciate your help with this.

    Highest regards,
    Stan Mann

  9. […] talk and blog a TON about how to create a LinkedIn Marketing Campaign to help you find clients and grow your […]

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