LinkedIn success depends on our ability to network effectively. This can make the difference between a successful or failed business.
Don’t chase comments and likes. Finding a method that streamlines LinkedIn processes has a direct financial impact.
80% of B2B company leads that from social media come from LinkedIn.
In my case, roughly 90% of my income comes from LinkedIn.
In order to create a method, we first need to understand which actions we can take to motivate potential customers to schedule a meeting with us, and focus on repeating these actions.
A potential customer who doesn’t know us to need to go through a journey:
Studies shows that people make decisions based on emotion and justify them using logic. If you’re under the impression that this doesn’t apply to the B2B world, it’s just the opposite.”
Steps of the process:
On LinkedIn, generating awareness means exposing customers to your profile and your solution, so profile branding is critical in setting the second stage of the process in motion.
If your “about” section makes it look like you’re seeking a job instead of customers, this is the time to download the free guide to upgrading your profile – here.
When a potential customer sees your profile, will they send you a request to connect, approve your request, or answer your messages? Will they express signs of interest?
Even if the potential customer approves your request to connect, why should they choose to do business with you when there are so many competitors? If you know how to create rapport and engagement, you can help them move to the next stage of the journey. It’s much easier to create rapport on LinkedIn than on other platforms – soon we’ll see exactly how.
Because the customer journey isn’t a unidirectional funnel, we always need to remain in the potential customer’s consciousness and continue to expose them to the value we provide. This way, the moment they really need us, we’ll be right there, and they’ll know that we have the solutions.
How can this process be implemented on LinkedIn?
To network effectively, it’s important to lay the groundwork for potential customers to accept our requests; we’ll want to get on the customer’s radar as a source of value creation. A request to connect is just as it sounds: a request. If we don’t know the potential customer, we’ll want to focus on providing value and not on receiving.
The key to effectively generating awareness is the cumulative effect of all the consistent, deliberate actions we take when interacting with select customers, not in random actions.
Ways to generate awareness before sending a connection request:
- Generously like and comment on their posts for a couple of days
- Comment on the comments they’ve written on other posts
- View their profile – LinkedIn will let them know that you did
If you’ve followed the above recommendations, chances are that if the customer is somewhat interested in what you’re offering, they’ve already reached out and sent you a connection request. If not, this is the time for you to send them a connection request.
To increase the chances that they’ll accept your request, take a look at their profile and personalize your message by mentioning something you see there. Take note: only real complements, no fake ones!
To save time, I created a half-personal, half-generic template. When I come across the profiles of people who have years of experience, I know that they’ve invested a lot of hard work in building their career and are proud of that, so I like to start my requests with the following:
“Hi (first name), I saw that you have over (number) years of experience as a senior sales manager. Impressive! I’d love to connect,
What should you not do?
You shouldn’t give fake compliments that are clearly generated by a robot and don’t have genuine emotion behind them.
Rapport and engagement
“Research shows that people make decisions based on emotion and justify them using logic. If you’re under the impression that this doesn’t apply to the B2B world, it’s just the opposite.”
This principle is manifested in a more significant way when businesses deal with other businesses, because the business is done directly with the entrepreneur, the CEO, or a salesperson, so the personal interactions carry more weight.
The decisions are more heavily based on personal connection and chemistry than you might have thought.
How do you create rapport?
The creator of the art of persuasion, Robert Cialdini, explains that rapport is built through:
Common denominators – you went to the same school, you’re from the same place, you know the same people.
Compliments – you were impressed by their lecture on YouTube, you loved one of their posts, they have a unique title that caught your eye.
How do you create engagement?
Provide value, for free!
The chances that a potential customer will want to return the favor (by meeting with you, for example) will increase.
How do you create engagement on LinkedIn?
Give potential customers exactly what they’re looking for on LinkedIn: professional recognition.
You can do this by:
- Endorsing their skills
- Recommending their profile
- Expressing how impressed you are by their professional work and tagging it,
- Like and comment on their posts
- Sharing one of their posts (the post won’t get many views, but it will definitely allow you to build interest and rapport with the customer)
Congratulations, you’ve reached the stage where you can start to present the potential customer with your solution.
You’ve created awareness, interest, rapport, and engagement – now’s the time to start a conversation. Is this the right time to sell yourself? No! Start with a compliment or by mentioning something you have in common.
Wait until you get an answer, now’s the time to ask if you can send some free resources such as a blog, an article, or a webinar with content that you know will help the customer.
After they’ve said “yes” to receiving a link to a free resource, wait two days and then ask the potential customer if it helped them.
If so, ask to schedule a 15-minute meeting so that you can share some ideas that you have about their business!
Just as we said, the funnel isn’t unidirectional.
It’s possible that everything you’ve done until now hasn’t been working because you’ve been making contact at the wrong times. Now is not the time to abandon all the work you’ve done – now is the time to continue to demonstrate your value so that the customers will come straight to you at the right moment.
Now’s the time to upload content, and lots of it:
- Upload posts that provide useful tips and advice that demonstrate how the customer can achieve their goal.
- Create a two-minute clip from a webinar and upload it to LinkedIn to attract customers to the full-length webinar.
- Upload your clips to your story and see who your most devoted followers are, then reach out to them.
- Take into account that all the content in the world won’t help you bring in customers if nobody is exposed to it.
In short, to generate leads using LinkedIn, take the following steps:
- Like and comment on a potential customer’s posts before sending a connection request
- Send a personalized connection request
- Endorse them, wait for a “thank you,” and start a conversation based on a common denominator
- Start the conversation by offering free resources
- Offer a 15-minute meeting where you can share your insights about the customer’s business (not yours!)
This might seem like a lot of work, but there’s one thing that’s key to speeding up the process: Documenting and compounding awareness effect.
Open an Excel spreadsheet, copy the names of the profiles you’ve been in contact with. Then take each of the ten steps I mentioned every day.
At the end of each week, answer the following questions:
- Who accepted your connection requests? and Why?
- Who accepted your free resource offer?
- Who agreed to a 15-minute meeting?