So many times when we'll train a company, someone on their sales team will ask the question "don't you think decision-makers will get bombarded with InMails and stop listening?" That same sales rep will usually ask "when do you think LinkedIn will become over-saturated?" Most of the time, I've responded by demonstrating the Adoption Curve and argued we are multiple years from the Laggards to join. Today, I've taken a moment to think about it, and have changed my point-of-view.
There is no such thing as LinkedIn InMail Saturation!
There is only user error - where sales reps craft awful messages that don't get read, and assume InMail Saturation.
LinkedIn InMail vs. Email
Let's use email as a comparable. Email became mainstream in business by the mid/late 1990's, and took years for email accounts to get saturated with Junk. Yet, in 2012, email is still an effective communication tool if you craft a message that inspires the reader to take action. Email still works after 15-20 years. The failure of email has been poor messages with graphically challenging HTML that prospects struggle to read. Email as a communication tool is not the failure.
In parallel, InMail is not saturated even from a send/receive prospective. As a Social Selling professional using LinkedIn religiously, I still only receive 1-2 LinkedIn messages (non-connections per day). That's still 150-200x less than emails I have to surf through each day. Imagine being the decision-maker at a Fortune 5000 company who is deleting emails at mass.
Don't believe for a second that LinkedIn InMails have lost their luster. User error is what's keeping you from opening doors. Even if prospects start getting frustrated with crappy InMails and turn their back on LinkedIn messages, I guarantee there will be a new social tool ripe for effective communication.
The Bottom Line
I wouldn't worry about the medium of communication; I would worry about the style of your communication. Make sure you are talking about your clients and prospects problems and not your product. Challenge them to see their problem in a new light so they can start seeking to solve their problem with you. Here’s another article that talks about strategies on reaching out to clients and prospects. Check out – 2 Social Selling Strategies “Sphere of Influence” or “Priority Shift”.
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
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