Networking effectively online is just as important as offline and in my experience so many people get LinkedIn networking wrong.
During November last year whilst conducting some sales research I came across a new selling technique which really grabbed my attention and I wanted to share the idea with you.
It uses LinkedIn and it’s becoming popular and successful in the USA, which likely means it will reach our shores soon! I’ve listed below the simple four-stage process:
- Connect with your new person. We have a guide on the right and wrong way to connect on LinkedIn. If you’d like a copy, drop us a DM on LinkedIn here.
- Upon acceptance of the connection request, send them a short message thanking them for accepting your request. Do not, I repeat Do not attempt to sell here. Add value yes. Share a resource or guide here, yes. But do not go into sales mode!
- 5 to 7 days later, write to the new contact a short handwritten note, yes a handwritten note! Outline in this note what you do and why they could benefit from taking 10 mins out of their schedule to talk to you.
- Take a photo of the note and send it via LinkedIn message.
Small and medium businesses using this method are experiencing an upturn in responses and subsequent conversations which is the core goal you should have. You are highly unlikely to be able to sell to someone via LinkedIn but if you can start a conversation, that’s a good aim.
What appeals to me is that by taking the time to write the short note you’re making yourself and your organisation ‘stand out from the crowd’, it’s more personal and you are demonstrating that you have taken the time to write this note specifically for this person.
If you also include something about them in the note, such as congratulations on a recent achievement or mention a connection you both know, that makes it even more personal.
For me, it is mixing “old & new” and coming up with something very different to what the 95%+ are doing, and this method ticks all those boxes. Within business and sales, we have to stand out and be memorable but be memorable for the right reasons.
You don’t have to limit the use of this strategy only to new contacts. Go ahead and try it with current contacts in your network. Before sending them the handwritten note though, I’d recommend something along the lines of the following:
“We are connected on LinkedIn, but we hadn’t really spoken in the past. How has the last month been for you and your business? Is there anyone in my network that you would benefit from an introduction to? Wishing you a great day ahead.”
Doing this shows that you are thinking about the other person and not just about what is right for you. Selfish salespeople fail.
If it starts to work on LinkedIn, why not try applying the same method from your company’s Facebook account?
With some thought, this process could also be added to your CRM and your Sales Funnel.
This method is something that could be quickly implemented at zero cost by your Sales Team and added to their prospecting schedule.