When I was in corporate real estate in 2004, LinkedIn wasn't really that popular. We used one specific trigger event OVER and OVER that worked to book new meetings! The concept was simple – call a decision-maker in building ABC, and mention insightful tips about their building & landlord… Then mention that I’m “in their building next week (date/time), and are free at (time) to talk about their upcoming lease”. I don’t know what it was, but CFO’s and Presidents of companies all around Toronto felt abridged to invite you to share your insightful news.
Fast forward nearly 10 years later, and I’m on a call with Tata Communications sales force training “Sphere of Influence” Selling in LinkedIn. Roy Hilliard, a telecommunications expert of 10 years, chimes in and tells his fellow sales reps about his current LinkedIn success. His success brought back a flood of memories, but Roy offers so much more value to his conversation. Roy is engaging prospects that are demonstrating trigger events that:
1. Give him a compelling reason to reach out (capital raise, management change, provider change)
2. Using content with empirical evidence that paints a picture for the prospect.
Roy has booked meetings with some of the world’s largest insurance companies, all with a great call-to-action – “I’m in City ABC next Thursday, talking about XYZ with fellow insurance companies, how does your 2:00 p.m. look for 20 minutes?”
Why is Roy’s approach so effective?
1.Roy understands that his message is highly unique with no competition
Simple Statistic – LinkedIn InMail’s outperforms Email 7-to-1 as a message-to-conversation ratio. Roy knows a CTO gets 500 emails a day, but only 4 LinkedIn messages a week. How does Roy stand out…? By being unique.
2. Roy is able to leverage HIMSELF as a brand, rather than a cold email
Now that the CTO has received Roy’s message, he has the ability to “size up” Roy’s ability to deliver on his insights. By the way, check out Roy’s profile; he has a great personal brand that clearly demonstrates to a prospect that he understands telecommunications & the insurance business. An email has a coldness factor that is faceless, without these “due diligence” opportunities for buyers. Caveat Vendator – if you’re not socially engaging… You can only assume this approach will backfire on you.
3. Roy knows that a definitive call-to-action for his time forces a decision
The fundamental success of Roy’s message is the definitiveness of the timeline. Picture your cold calls or emails that ask “are you free sometime for 15 minutes…” FAIL!!! Roy’s message implies that he’s a busy professional that has value to offer, and “if you want to have a personal conversation with a real human about this, I’ll taxi to your office to help you out”. This gives the buyer two choices… Yes or no. There is no MAYBE. It’s remarkable how powerful putting someone to a definitive decision can be.
The Bottom Line
If you don’t want to be left behind the 8 ball – you need to start to take action. The following dozen blog posts on utilizing Social Selling strategies using LinkedIn can help you start. If you are really looking for some hidden gems on how you can attract a very specific prospect, I recommend you check out 42 LinkedIn Tips. Find the topic of Social Selling interesting? Click below to book a time in my calendar to explore further!