Failing to interact with prospective clients and connections is one of the main reasons why so many people don’t get the results they want from LinkedIn.
I’ve learned over the years that LinkedIn messaging, specifically the art of relationship building is incredibly important, and it’s an approach that has worked for me as I’ve grown my own business from scratch.
The process starts with identifying your ideal client profile – the type of clients you really want to work with – and making sure that your LinkedIn profile speaks directly to them, and resonates with some of the challenges and pain points that they are facing.
Once you’ve set up your profile, you need to start interacting, by building your connections, sending personal messages and regularly engaging with potential clients. For many people, that’s the part they struggle with most – having the confidence to build and nurture a professional relationship without coming across as pushy or going in for the hard sell.
I’ve built my proven approach to social selling – my ‘4C Method for Prospecting Like a Pro’ with relationship building messaging at its very core, and I’m excited to share my tips for conversing in a natural and friendly way using LinkedIn messaging with you.
Start as you mean to go on
The first step of my 4C Method is to ‘Collect’ – finding and gathering the right people, your ideal clients on LinkedIn, using advanced search techniques such as Boolean Search. Once you’ve identified your prospects, the next stage is to ‘Connect’, ideally with between 10-30 people per day.
This is the beginning of the conversation with your prospective client – start with a personalised connection request, then follow up with a welcome message within a couple of days.
You should ALWAYS add a personalised note with your connection request – to help you with this, I’ve created a range of LinkedIn messaging scripts that I provide to people registered on my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course, including 8 different templates that you can personalise to use for your connection request.
Welcome them to your network
Once you are connected, follow up within a couple of days with a welcome or thank you message to welcome your prospect to your network. It’s a great way to get a two-way conversation going and to let them know you’re there to help and will be giving them value as you build your relationship.
Keep the message short and friendly. At this stage, you are NOT trying to sell or pitch – you need to nurture the relationship and earn the opportunity for a phone call or meeting when the time is right. Look for clues in their LinkedIn Profile to work out what to include in the message. It’s a good opportunity to offer them something free, such as a download or other resource, to make them feel good about being connected to you.
Again, the LinkedIn messaging scripts included with my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course can really help you.
Nurture, nurture, nurture
One of the reasons that some people are nervous about prospecting on LinkedIn is because they are under the misconception that the only way to do this is to ‘pitch and connect’. We’ve all seen it, and there’s no bigger turn-off than receiving spammy messages from someone who hasn’t taken the time to understand your business and your needs and interests.
Instead, my approach is to ‘Converse’ – the next stage of my 4C Method. The focus here is on building a relationship and nurturing your prospective clients by providing value to earn their trust with the ultimate goal of warranting a phone call, video or face to face meeting with them.
After you’ve sent a welcome message to a new connection, my experience shows that it’s best to wait about a week before you start sending them relationship-building messages. If you then send regular messages every 2-3 weeks, you can keep the relationship going and your prospects engaged.
Many people make the mistake of sending a connection request and then expecting things to miraculously happen. Instead, you need to build trust as part of a professional relationship with your prospective client – and that takes time.
By regularly conversing with them, you’ll keep them interested, and keep yourself top of their mind, by showing that you’re a valuable connection without going straight for the hard sell or expecting anything from them in return. As part of my Complete LinkedIn Mastery Course, I’ve built a whole set of LinkedIn messaging templates that can be used to spark up a conversation and keep the momentum going.
Move the conversation offline – when the time is right
Eventually, you’ll get to the final step of my 4C Method, which is to ‘Convert’ – to move the conversation offline by having a conversation on the phone, over Zoom, or face to face. Don’t rush to suggest this as you could burn the relationship – it’s better to wait until the time is right.
There’s no hard and fast rule, but If you’ve put the groundwork into building a relationship and providing value using LinkedIn messaging, you’ll know when it’s appropriate to do this as it will feel like the natural next step. The best way to do this is to find ways of showing them that you can genuinely make a difference to them – and offer a call or meeting to help them.
The good news is that when you get to that stage, it will feel natural – you’ll be helping them, using your expertise to provide solutions to their business issues. You can really engage with them and move to convert them to become a valuable long term client.
Track your progress
It’s important to track your progress and know how each potential relationship is coming along although it can be challenging to keep on top of this!
To help you, as part of the resources that accompany my Complete LinkedIn Mastery course, I’ve created a lead tracker spreadsheet, which is automated to track your LinkedIn messaging progress and flags when you need to take action.
How to restart the conversation with old contacts
I’ve talked about the approach I recommend for new connections, but you can also use the ‘Converse’ approach to re-engage existing connections, by using LinkedIn messaging to start a conversation around ‘trigger events ‘ – for example, if someone’s viewed your profile, has a work anniversary, a promotion, or has engaged with your content.
These events can provide a good reason to revitalise some of your older connections, especially if it’s been a while! It’s worth reviewing your notifications tab on LinkedIn and keeping an eye out for suitable opportunities to spark up a conversation.
Let them hear your voice
One little-known way of communicating with your connections is by sending voice messages on LinkedIn using the mobile app. It’s one of my favourite strategies, especially when you’ve sent a message and they haven’t replied.
It’s an effective, easy and quick form of LinkedIn messaging – it gets your voice heard and chances are they’ll listen and respond quickly! It’s worth a try – check out this LinkedIn post for more details.
Check your invites
Don’t forget that people will be reaching out to connect with you on LinkedIn – it’s a good habit to review the connection requests that you’ve been sent on a regular basis. You might get some good leads that way!
When you accept people into your network who have sent YOU a connection request, especially when they’ve taken the time to personalise their request, I recommend sending them a welcome message. Chances are, they won’t initiate the conversation, so it’s a good opportunity to get the ball rolling using LinkedIn messaging, and start the process of nurturing the relationship.
In my experience, it’s worth spending the time using LinkedIn messaging to converse with your prospective clients, nurturing and building the relationship with them in a way that feels natural and friendly. You are much more likely to close the sale if you get to know, like and trust one another!
If you’d like to find out more about my Complete LinkedIn Mastery Course, please feel free to head over to my website, drop me an email at [email protected], or message me directly on LinkedIn for further support.