Maybe you’re pivoting your businesses into a digital reality using LinkedIn and other platforms to connect with your prospects. As you take your sales strategy online, there are some things to consider.
When you connect with new people online, what is your game plan?
Think about who you want to connect with and why you’re reaching out. You can use the instant messaging (IM) feature to write a short intro with your connection request on LinkedIn to make it more personal if you so desire.
Here are some things to consider as you dive in:
- Connect with people you’re genuinely interested in – think quality, not quantity
- Build a network of people who want what you have – they’ll read your posts
- Partner with people where you can create a win-win situation and leverage your networks
- Allow the relationship with each person you connect with to blossom naturally. Just as when you meet someone in person, there’s no rush to cram everything in the first hour of the meeting. Let them breathe!
- Be brief and honest as to why you want to connect, don’t pretend; they’ll know
- When a new contact accepts, think of this person as a cold lead whom you can invite into a conversation without making any assumptions. A brief “Hi, thank you for connecting” can be a way better start than asking someone to check out your products or download a free offer.
Stay away from auto-responders
Getting flooded with auto-responder messages the second you say “yes” is the best way to turn your prospects against you or put a bad taste in their mouth. Don’t be that person.
You know how much it irks you when people want to connect with you under false pretenses. Be the person who qualifies your lead before pitching a prospect that isn’t asking for it in the first place.
It’s a fine line between asking questions and initiating a fishing expedition. Take it easy, and don’t go deep sea fishing, asking unsolicited questions with an agenda immediately.
Since you already researched the prospect’s profile before sending your connection request, you’ll have an idea of why you want to connect; start there, and don’t forget to share who you are. Friendships are a two-way street, after all.
You’ve been there before with people approaching you with an agenda you can smell from miles away; again, your intent is what it’s all about.
When people attempt to sell you without any true interest in connecting with you, you walk away or, in this case, hit the “unfriend” button. And you know the effort it takes to cold-start a lost lead.
Sales is a dance
Be the salesperson people remember for your genuine interest in your prospects AND clients. Be interested and pay attention to details. Take the time to build trust and get to know the person — it’ll pay off in the long run. Promise.
And just like you don’t force someone to dance with you in real life, at least not without consequences, the same goes for sales.
If you’re a pro at sales, you know how fun and playful the game can be. What dance are you inviting people to?
Add your personality and think of ways to contribute without asking for a thing. Warm them up just like you would with a live person.
Consider the questions you’re already using when connecting with people; what gets them talking? Start jotting them down as you identify your sales mojo flow.
I’d love to hear your favorite questions and what you create with your new friends.