LinkedIn Selling – The 1 Thing to NOT Do!
As a sales trainer, and coach, I get lots of people reaching out to me on LinkedIn and asking me to connect.
Since I use LinkedIn to post content, I want the broadest audience possible, so I accept all invite requests. Sometimes the request results in nothing.
Occasionally (seldom) someone reaches out and says something like, “Thanks for accepting my request. Let’s find some time to speak and get to know each other to see if there might be ways we can help each other’s business grow.”
WAY more often, however, after I accept an invite to “link” I immediately receive a message like, “Thanks for accepting my invite! I work with coaches like you to help them generate more leads and increase their income.
My proven system has helped millions of coaches generate trillions of dollars within the first 10 minutes of using it. Click on my Calendly to set up a time to discuss.” (I may have exaggerated the millions and trillions, but you get the point) I often equate sales to dating. This approach is like me walking up to a woman in a bar and saying, “Hi, let’s skip all the time-wasting stuff and head back to my place…now.”
It’s direct. It’s to-the-point. It doesn’t work.
Selling, unless you’ve got what people want and they can’t get it anywhere else, involves developing a relationship of both like and trust. Where’s the like and trust in that approach? Does someone honestly believe that because I clicked “Accept” I like them? Trust them? I don’t. I’m assuming this technique works a certain percentage of the time, because it gets used so often, but I suggest that when using LinkedIn to sell (and I consider it the salesperson’s best friend when used intelligently) you establish a relationship before you bring up the subject of me doing business with you. LinkedIn was originally designed to be face-to-face networking done online.
A way to dramatically expand your network and your reach to get more introductions. I’m not sure who first tried this “hit you over the head” technique, but I believe that investing the time to get to know a connection first will pay large dividends.
Be empathetic. Be caring. As Dale Carnegie said, “It’s better to be interested than interesting.” Show some interest in me. If we go back to the dating example, buy me a couple of drinks. Have a conversation.
Take me on a date or two and THEN maybe we’ll head back to your place. Use LinkedIn with finesse and you can reap significant sales rewards.