Are you having trouble connecting with your prospects with LinkedIn messaging? Are you unsure of how to reach out to new connections, or reconnect with previous connections? You are not alone. Many people are told that their business can thrive with the help of social networking and utilizing LinkedIn in particular, but without specific replicable steps for how to create those personalized, professional messages individuals can feel lost.
Conversation Starters on LinkedIn
So how can you apply similar tactics as a sales manager or sales rep to your connections with LinkedIn messenger? It’s all about crafting the right conversation. Thankfully, LinkedIn offers what are called conversation starters that have proven rather effective for the last two years.
Conversation starters are scripts that can be used to help start off your private message. You shouldn’t rely on standard messages when you send something directly to a potential customer because chances are they know them as well as you do. Rather than use the generic, use conversation starters as a guide. From those scripts, personalize the message based on whatever knowledge you have as the sales rep about the person you are targeting.
When you compose a new message in LinkedIn for your selected recipient, you select the light bulb icon, which will show you different options that are available for conversation starters. These starters are particularly beneficial when you are trying to reconnect with someone whom you haven’t communicated with in quite some time. You can kick-start an effective message in a personalized fashion with minimal effort.
As the sales manager or sales rep you can also monitor your notifications area for any special occasions that would help you initiate a private message. People like to receive acknowledgement for events varying from a birthday to a professional achievement. LinkedIn helps you to recognize special occasions for all of your connections. This creates an opportunity to communicate with people for specific occasions. If you see in your notifications area that someone has a birthday, someone is celebrating a milestone in their career, or someone has taken on a new position, use that time to initiate a conversation. In fact, when you click on that special occasion under the notifications, LinkedIn will open a new message to that contact and it will typically offer a customized starter for the message such as, “congratulations on your new position”.
From there, of course, you can add your personal message after that starter. When doing so, it is important to make an offer to which the contact can respond. For example if you want to send a message of congratulations to another sales rep you know, you can use the brief starter provided for you by LinkedIn, and then follow it up with a more personalized message such as:
“Congratulations on your new position. How are things going? Since we last spoke I’ve been working on a new presentation for managers who want to increase the performance of their sales team. Would it be helpful if I send you a copy? If so, forward me the best email to use.”
Prompting a response by way of answering a question is a very effective way to encourage engagement with your prospective client.
Moving to Your Company Platform
One of the most important things you can do to establish a meaningful connection is to veer the conversation away from LinkedIn after you have started it and target that towards your company. This could be moving the potential client to email marketing campaigns, nurturing campaigns, a landing page, or some other call to action. You want to create your LinkedIn messages based on your end goals.
Developing scripts that you can use regularly. Your scripts shouldn’t be content that is simply copied and pasted like a mail list, in which every contact gets the same information. Instead, this should function more as a framework that guides your writing.
1. Say two things about that person and then one thing about yourself.
2. Ask permission to move the conversation to another platform.
Consider this example:
I noticed that you are (job title) at (Company Name). I hope this new role is going well.
I help businesses just like yours improve their sales record. In fact I recently delivered a brand name project for an organization very similar to yours.
I would love to send you ______. Is (email address) the best email to use?
Using this script will allow you a jumping-off point to customize for every connection you have. Consider this customized option:
I noticed you are the new manager for Small Town Advertising. I hope your new role is working out well.
I help businesses like yours to improve their sales numbers.
We recently delivered a project at another bank similar to yours, in nearby Albany.
I’d love to send you the free Leak-Free Sales Funnel checklist. Is john@smalltownadvertising the best email to use?
For many of your connections you will have to exchange more than one message like this before that connection gets comfortable moving away from LinkedIn. To that end, you can develop a handful of scripts to help you follow up in situations where it is required.
For example, one week after writing the first email to your connection, mentioned above, you might follow up with this message on LinkedIn:
I hope you are doing well. I thought I would check in to see if you found (content) helpful.
I am currently delivering a project addressing Authority as a Blog Writer. If this is something that might be helpful to your business, I’d love to talk with you about it.
I can call you at any of the following times next week:
[date and time]
[date and time]
[date and time]
Let me know what works for you. I look forward to hearing from you.
Getting the Most You Can Out of LinkedIn
Overall using LinkedIn can really help your company to connect with more prospects. But it isn’t enough just to use the tool. You have to know how to use the tool effectively. You need to know how to craft more specific and concise messages based on the prospects you are targeting. Decision makers are inundated with sales messages on a daily basis.
To rise above the noise you must stand out by narrowing your focus, getting specific, and showing value by illustrating how you can uniquely solve your prospect’s problem.
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