Listen up salespeople!
There shouldn’t be any debate on why you need more LinkedIn Connections. If you’re using LinkedIn as a place to house your resume, you need some help. Today, LinkedIn needs to be one of the main ways you find, educate and engage buyers throughout their buying journey.
And this is why having less than 500 LinkedIn Connections is a dangerous thing. I’ve discussed the reasons why in a previous post but having more connections is always generally a good thing.
Let me explain my reasoning below.
While I advocate for quantity, I’m not a fan of the LinkedIn Open Networker (LION) approach. This is less lion and more whimper in my opinion.
Having a larger network by connecting with just about anyone really doesn’t help your cause. If you do this, your LinkedIn network will soon resemble a hot mess. A network full of people that have no possibility of being engaged or educated by your professional expertise is, in my humble opinion, a futile exercise.
It puzzles me that many sales pros equate the size of their network to success. Although true, quality should be your number one goal and priority.
Connecting and networking with quality potential buyers, supporters, advocates, clients and influencers is the main goal.
Yes, it will take you a longer time to build a network that’s full of quality connections but the payoff is substantial. Taking my personal example, I’ve increased the size of my network from 660 in September 2013 to nearly 4400 today. The overwhelming majority of these are potential buyers.
This effort has taken me nearly 22 months but the fruits of this exercise have paid off immensely.
Here are some quick examples:
- I’ve connected to prospect decision makers (Jill Rowley calls them Future Advocates) and my content has allowed me to educate them behind the scenes. This effort alone has accounted for more sales meetings and pipeline opportunities than I would have ever thought.
- Influencers have shared my content and that has led to introductions to people I hadn’t known before. More meetings and opportunities were the by-product.
- Clients have referred me to more people by sharing my content! How exciting is that?!
I can go on but those snippets fully capture the spirit of social networking. Connecting for the sake of having a bigger network, then, isn’t worth the time or effort.
Using Social Networking to Achieve Sales Objectives
I’m not using social media and networking to connect to random strangers that have no correlation to my sales objectives. This may sound harsh and too “salesy” to some but it’s not meant to be. Remember, LinkedIn is not Facebook.
The reality is simple my friends but here is the stark reality: you have a finite amount of time on a daily basis to help (over)achieve your sales targets. So why focus this finite energy we have on connecting with someone that you’ll never clearly do business with now or in the future?
The Bottom Line
The entire objective of having more LinkedIn connections, then, is really about utilizing your time effectively, growing both the quality and quantity of your network, all while being able to achieve your sales objectives.
Connect and serve those that need help now or in the future.
What could be more win-win?