If you’re like me, you’re always trying to figure out how to get better results from Linkedin. On one hand, you don’t want to look like a LinkedIn spammer. But on the other hand, you don’t want to be passive to the point of wondering why you have so many connections if nothing ever comes of them.
So, what’s the best way to approach prospects (and potential strategic alliances) on LinkedIn to maximize your chances of creating productive connections?
Wonder no more! Here’s my 3-Step Formula for Contacting Prospects on LinkedIn. (Note: this is not a “mass connection approach.” This is a very deliberate, 1:1, approach to connecting with potential Right-Fit Clients™ and other important alliances.
Your goal is twofold: first, you want to create a connection; second, you want them to notice and remember who you are – maybe even respond with a personalized “thanks for the connection.”
Personalizing your connection request is important … and usually pretty easy. Take 30 to 60 seconds to look through your prospects LinkedIn profile. You’ll likely find something worth mentioning – something you have in common or that you find interesting. If this quick exercise doesn’t reveal much, then go to their website.
A personalized connection message will often turn into an immediate LinkedIn conversation that may allow you to shortcut this entire formula.
I recommend you wait about two weeks after connecting with a prospective client or prospective alliance, before reaching out to them again.
What value can you provide to this person before asking them to hop on the phone with you? Send them a message of value, such as a report or link to some information they will likely find helpful.
Let your confidence shine through, but keep all of your messages on the short side. Resist the urge to say too much in each message.
*Step 2 assumes your prospect connects with you in a timely manner. If 3 to 4 weeks go by and your prospect does not accept your connection request, give it another try, but don’t say anything that they might interpret as an attempt by you to make them feel guilty for not responding to your first message.
“I recommend you wait about two weeks after connecting with a prospective client or prospective alliance, before reaching out to them again.”
While I’ve spoken with a number of people who have skipped Step 2 above, I’ve had more success with this slightly softer approach.
Dig deeper so that you can personalize your connection even further. A hypothetical message might go something like this…
“I just had the opportunity to go deeper with your profile and explore your website as well. I’d love to learn more about your recent trip to Greece. That’s on my bucket list.
Let’s see if we can schedule a quick, 10 to 15-minute, phone call over the next week or so.
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May I have my assistant reach out to you (or your assistant) to schedule this short phone call so we may get acquainted?”
This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. You should test all three of these steps for yourself to determine the best match for you and the people you’re trying to reach.
See what works best for you and the folks you’re trying to reach. And when I say “works,” I don’t mean feels most comfortable, I mean produces the best results.
Personalization = Relevance = Results
I think you can see that at the core of this approach is the personalization of each step. The more personalized, the more relevant your messages will be to your prospects. And the more relevant they are, the more effective they will be.
What Do You Do Now that Works with LinkedIn? (I really want to know!)
What steps or other ideas would you like to add to this formula? I’d love to hear from you. Please leave your comment below. We can all learn from each other. Thanks!
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