Open your Outlook and count all the emails you sent to new prospects this week.Let me guess, you didn’t receive 1 of 5 emails returned back to you with next steps.

Why is that? Because email is the black hole! If your sales team still thinks emailing new prospects is going to stand-out – good luck. Your reps and 7 of your competitors thought emailing your prospect today was also a good idea.

How are your sales reps going to stand out?

Simple, LinkedIn has a 7x open rate over traditional email. 7x… imagine your sales reps having this level of sales productivity. In fact, both Sales for Life and our clients have seen a 20% LinkedIn message-to-next step with LinkedIn InMails. Incredible results!

BUT, you don’t just log into LinkedIn, type out a message and assume a prospect will return with “absolutely, let’s meet next week!” Perhaps you’ve even tried 5 or 10 LinkedIn messages and gave up.

Why didn’t your first LinkedIn messages work?

  • You randomly messaged a prospect without thinking Social Proximity
  • Your profile screams sales, not thought-leader
  • Who are you, prospects haven’t seen any thought-leadership (curated) from you
  • Your message was long, boring and uninspiring
  • There was no call-to-action in your message

Ok, so what do we do to improve?

Make a game plan around your best client success stories

Everyone loves a great story – including your prospects. Go into your top clients’ corporate LinkedIn page and click Followers. Here is a hunting ground for people who want to hear how you solved problems for that client

Make your profile scream “I solve problems for people just like you!”

Add applications that highlight your thought-leadership, show recommendations and erase anything that sounds like “I hit 127% of plan last year”. This is now your first impression, just like shaking a prospects hand used to be.

Be an invaluable resource to your prospect

Most sales reps say they are too busy to create storied content… so why not curate (aka. repost other amazing articles). Use tools like Feedly and to find stories that make you look like a leader. It only takes 10-15 minutes a day.

Make a <100 word message that rocks

You need a subject line – thus use your client success story in the subject line. Then, make your message follow this flow – on half sentence to 1 sentence each:

      • A trigger statement about them and your connection
      • The value you provided that client success story
      • Proof in the pudding with a link to a story or YouTube video
      • A next step
      • Pick a Date, Time and/or TimeTrade

Don’t say “it would be nice if we can talk sometime” or “would you be free for 15 minutes”. CRAP! Indicate that you’re available at DATE, TIME – and if that time isn’t available, choose an additional time (that you suggest). You need to drive the next step at ALL times. I use TimeTrade to shorten the back and forth of calendaring.

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

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