How can you actually get business from LinkedIn?
You connect with people, you send messages, and you share content – but how can you translate connections into appointments, phone calls, and sales opportunities?
LinkedIn is an incredible business development tool, but many people make one of two mistakes
- Rushing to ask for a sales opportunity (and scaring off prospects)
- Being too passive and waiting for people to come to you
Neither method is going to help you achieve your goals.
The best LinkedIn marketers have a plan in place to nurture relationships, whether they are brand new connections or people already in your network. So, let’s talk specifically about how to message people and how to get them on the phone. People are busy and may not have time for a coffee meeting, lunch, or an office visit. In many instances, it’s appropriate to ask for a quick 15-minute phone conversation.
2 examples you can use to craft your initial LinkedIn message
- For brand new connections – After they’ve accepted your invitation to connect, follow up. Try sending a message like, “Hi, thanks for connecting! I really like getting to know my network and seeing what their business has to offer so that I can share their information and make referrals. Are you willing to jump on the phone for 15 minutes and just have an introductory call?”
- If you’ve been playing a passive role with your LinkedIn connections – You could send a message like, “Hi, we’ve been connected on LinkedIn for some time now, but haven’t actually spoken. Do you have 15 minutes to jump on the phone so I can learn more about your business and the work that you do, so that I can help in sending business your way and pass your name along to my contacts who may be interested.”
Next, prepare for the call. Once you’ve scheduled a call, don’t wait until two minutes before the call to do your homework, and don’t forget to jot down some notes.
5 steps you can follow to prepare for a LinkedIn introduction call
- Take a look at the company website and social media accounts and note what service they offer, where they are located, who they serve, what size is their company, etc. As you do this, you’ll see opportunities, and maybe think of questions you can ask to better understand their company. You’ll get much further in the conversation if you ask a more direct question about a specific aspect of their business than if you just simply say, “Tell me about your business.”
- Take a look at their individual LinkedIn profile and personal social media. This is where you’ll learn what their interests are, who you might know in common, and what motivates them. This gives you the opportunity to start the conversation on a friendly topic. Don’t be looking for sales in this first call, simply get to know them.
- Have an idea of how you can help based on the information and research that you’ve gathered. It may be something that you sell/offer, or it may be a referral to someone you know, or you could refer someone to their business.
- Know how the connection found you. Was it someone you reached out to on LinkedIn, was it a referral, or maybe a marketing campaign? This keeps you from starting from scratch when you’re on the phone.
- Think about how you’re going to transition to the next step. Your goal is to get a second opportunity. It might be a second phone call, or the opportunity to meet in person. Think about what you can offer (not sell!) the person – the solutions you have or the introductions you can make and use that to segue into a second call or appointment. Try saying, “I really didn’t know what we’d cover today or where today’s conversation would go, but based on what you said about XYZ, I’ve got some ideas and I’d like some time to talk to you about them. I don’t want to take up more of your time today, but do you have time for another call or can we meet over coffee to discuss this further?”
The odds are if you’ve had a sincere conversation, and truly understand the issues, you will get that appointment.
Be sure to download our handy guide “How To Get Calls With Your LinkedIn Connections,” which includes sample scripts that you can customize, and an action plan to get your connections off LinkedIn and on the phone.