Strategies? For my LinkedIn profile? I hear that question all the time, and my answer is a YES every single time.
As the Founder of RevGrow, my job is to help business professionals get more leads with LinkedIn and digital strategies, however, no matter how successful I am at getting the right people’s attention, they inevitably show up on the profile where they make a decision… is this person worth talking to?
The following 7 profile sections, if completed correctly will convert your visitors to phone calls.
- We live in a visual world so take advantage of the background banner. Brand your business the same way you would your website.
- Have a professional photo that makes eye contact with your viewer. Smile too! Sounds simple, but it has a big impact. You want your audience to connect with you personally, and this is a very important first step.
- Your headline should not be your title and company name, but your value proposition. This is the first impression someone has when they show up at your profile, make it about what matters to them. Think of it is your 120-character elevator pitch, focused on how you help not what you do.
- Your summary is often where your visitor will go first, and if you don’t capture them here, you might lose them completely. This should focus on your passion, mission or years in business, they don’t care… yet. Focus on the challenges they face, insights that add value, how you might be able to help and call to action asking for a phone call.
- Add case studies to the Projects section on your profile. Showcasing your success adds credibility and confidence in your ability to help your prospect.
- Recommendations are essential, as these are in the words of your clients. Have 3-5 recommendations that talk about your solution not just what a great person you are to work with.
- Add inbound lead pages to your Publications section. Offer a powerful industry insights or even a video with a gatekeeper page that asks for their name and email before they get access to your content.
The good news is your LinkedIn profile, once completed in a value-centric manner will work for you 24/7.
If you are curious about how to use LinkedIn to pique the interest of your target market whether it is from your profile or business development activities, I invite you to have a conversation. Whether or not we decide to work together, I am confident our call will offer some ideas that you can implement immediately.
To make scheduling easy, here is a link to my calendar http://ScheduleaCallwithMark.com, please pick a time that works best for you.
We all know how important it is to get the appointment, make a great first impression, and have a productive meeting with your ideal prospects.
But, what about all those prospects who seem to be a fit, but don’t have an immediate need or desire to buy your product and service? This is more common than not for many of us, especially if you sell larger ticket services and products where the sales cycle can be long.
So, what do most sellers do to remain top-of-mind with their prospects? Opt them in to receive your company’s email blasts, monthly newsletter and marketing stuff, which is all fine but certainly not enough. Some of you may set a reminder to send them a “checking in” or “are you ready to buy yet” email once every couple of months, or invite them to the annual event your company sponsors. I’ve even worked with some very talented people who are just arrogant enough to believe that their prospects will obviously think of and call them when a need arises just because of who they are, their industry expertise or company’s reputation and brand.
Building a relationship with potential clients, someone you want to do business with, goes far beyond the generic “just reaching out” message or the occasional phone call. In fact, although there are a few select occasions in which such verbiage is appropriate, it’s typically the type of message that prospects will see and delete without even considering what might be inside.
As I think back on how my very best client relationships developed, two foundational principles come to mind as illustrated by the two quotes below.
(1) “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care”. ― Theodore Roosevelt.
(2) “All things being equal, people will do business with, and refer business to, those people they know, like and trust.” – Bob Burg
Keeping these principles in mind and continuing to initiate meaningful interactions, add value and appear genuinely interested in doing business with your prospects, you can improve your chances of getting the call when a need arises or your prospect is ready to buy.
The traditional and frankly, lazy methods for post-appointment, top-of-mind nurturing that many of you use, just don’t work all that well.
Listed below are a 5 ways to add-value and build relationships with your ideal prospects:
(1) Invite them to an Industry Event or Webinar
There’s no better way to prove that you can alleviate a prospects needs than to demonstrate that you’re invested and knowledgeable of the industry they work in. Consider sending them an email and asking if they’d like to go to a particular conference or speaker series regarding new and noteworthy events occurring in their world. Not only will this grant you more face-time with the prospect, but you’ll be able to naturally segue into a discussion regarding how you can add value to their business. Remember, there is a ton of value in the invite regardless of whether they attend.
(2) Play Matchmaker
When is the last time you referred business or introduce a potential customer to one of your prospects? With the mindset that you should be adding value and building relationships, you should be able to locate unrelated needs or interests from the prospect that you can refer to another connection. It could be anything: Is their daughter looking for a new travel soccer team? You can help. Do they need new tile roofing? You know someone….or can make a few calls to help. This doesn’t just nourish your relationship with the potential client, but with the connection you referred as well. This is all value-add. This method will also build your brand as someone who is important and well-informed within the community, a true go-giver, and a reputation that is highly valuable in securing new business.
(3) Solve a Problem
Another way to show a prospective client that you’re invested is to send over a free resource regarding their industry, general business practices, or anything that they’ve demonstrated their lives can be improved by. This shows you’re a good listener, care about their needs, and want to take action to alleviate those needs. If you know your prospect is trying to learn guitar, and you know a good book on technique, sending it over will go a mile in ensuring you’re a business partner your client will like and trust. The personal touch goes a long way.
(4) Ask Their Opinion
Let the prospect know that you value their perspective by asking a quick question about something business related or otherwise.
Examples: “We’re currently trying to do XYZ to solve this problem. From your experience, would such a solution be desirable within your industry?” OR “Would you be available to sit down and grab coffee next week? I have a few ideas that are pertinent to your industry and I’d love to discuss them with someone that has first-hand experience in the field.”
This method allows you to quickly rehash your potential business value while keeping it in the form of a mutual discussion. You’re not pitching anything, you’re just having coffee and discussing how the customer’s needs could hypothetically be reached. With this on the customer’s mind, they’ll be more eager to seek your business going forward.
(5) Nominate Them for an Award
This might be the grand gesture in locking down your prospect’s business, and for good reason. Nominating them for an award goes beyond just simple words and gestures that you’re invested in them. Dropping in their name for “CEO of the year” or other industry or area awards that you respect them as business leaders and want to see them succeed. I promise, your prospect is not going to forget this when looking to take their business a step further. If people want to like and trust their business partners, then they also want to feel respected.
These are the fundamental techniques that should be used to reach out to prospects. While they differ in premise, they all follow the same basic procedure. Demonstrate your value after initial contact, engage in a constructive dialogue (not just a one-sided pitch) with the prospect, and continue to tailor your value to their needs.
In general, when seeking to acquire new business or contacts: think about how your tools and resources can benefit that person. If you find a good hypothetical outcome, then it’s safe to say your efforts will come to fruition. If not, perhaps reconsider your ideal customer and discover who your values can impact.
So, there you have it. These are just 5 ways, beyond the occasional “checking in” email, to not only add value but to deepen those key prospect relationships.
Don’t miss out on another opportunity because you aren’t the first one your prospects think of when a need for what you offer arises! RevGrow is ready to help you develop and execute a tailored, post-appointment nurturing plan so you remain top-of-mind, continue to add value, build relationships with your prospects and they call you when they are ready to buy.
If you are looking to increase revenue through leveraging the power of LinkedIn, content marketing or email without ever having to cold call again, I invite you to have a conversation. Whether or not we decide to work together, I am confident our call will be full of insights that will help you grow your business. To make scheduling easy, here is a link to my calendar http://ScheduleaCallwithMark.com, please pick a time that works best for you.
We all know how hard it is to get a meeting with a busy executive, especially if you’re using outdated email and prospecting tactics such as cold calling and direct mail that are no longer effective and drive buyers crazy.
Prospecting can be brutal, and a string of unreturned calls and unanswered emails is discouraging, to put it mildly.
So, why do we continue to utilize these old school tactics and expect a different outcome? Good question!
If you’re disappointed with the lack of results that you’re having with your prospecting efforts….then this message is just for you.
Adopting these “Four Secrets to Emailing Important, Powerful People and Actually Hearing Back” will immediately help you get more positive responses to meeting requests.
If you think about it, asking a random professional for advice or help should never work.
After all, you want them to give up precious time in their day to share their hard-earned wisdom and experience with a stranger — and a salesperson, no less.
So, why do people ever say yes to coffee dates or phone calls with reps? It’s possible the person asking got lucky and stumbled upon someone who’s incredibly altruistic. But more often than not, they reached out in the right way.
Want to make your own chances of success with snagging time on an important person’s calendar way higher? Follow these four best practices.
1) Don’t ask to “pick their brain.”
I’ve seen people involuntarily cringe after getting requests to “pick their brain.” This phrase conjures up images of zombies, vultures, and other brain-devouring creatures — probably not the best effect when you’re asking for a favor. Plus, reps already have a reputation for being self-interested and sneaky.
This phrase is also problematic because it’s about you and how you’d benefit from a meeting. That violates the number one rule of effective networking, not to mention effective selling: Make it about the other person.
Fortunately, there are several easy swaps for “pick your brain” that put the focus squarely on the person you’re attempting to book. Try one of these phrases instead:
- “Would you open to sharing your expertise on [topic]?”
- “Congrats on [achievement]! I’d be grateful for the chance to learn more.”
- “Would you be willing to give me some insight into [topic]?”
2) Be specific about what you’re hoping to learn.
If you’re reaching out to someone who could be the decision maker for a deal, they’re pretty influential — meaning they probably already have a million things on their to-do list. Do they have the mental energy to mull over open-ended questions like “How can I be more successful?” or “What do you think I should do?” Not a chance.
Specific, finite questions, on the other hand, feel much more doable. And if the person you’re asking immediately knows the answer, they’ll probably be eager for a chance to show off their expertise. (Hey, it’s human nature.)
Here are a few before-and-afters to give you an idea:
Before: “How should I gauge my progress?”
After: “Besides quota, which two or three metrics tell you whether a first-year rep is improving?”
Before: “What’s the tech landscape like in Austin?”
After: “Have you found the SMBs in Texas to be more or less willing to invest in HR software than in Seattle?”
Not sure whether you’re being too vague? Your question passes the specificity test if the person could conceivably answer in five sentences or less.
3) Explain why you’re asking.
You might think it’s obvious why you’re asking this specific person for guidance: They hold an important position in your industry, possess years of experience in the field, have a reputation as thought leader, etc.
But even if the reason you’ve chosen them is clear to you, laying it out in your message has a couple desirable effects. First, it tells the person you’re not just emailing random people — you have a specific reason for reaching out to them in particular. (If the meeting goes well, that’s when you can discuss your product.)
Explaining your choice also makes them feel good. Who doesn’t love being called an expert? Finally, since complimenting someone can make them more generous, a couple kind words will increase your odds of success.
I usually add my flattering explanation to the beginning of the message, where the influencer is more likely to read and react to it. Here are some sample lines:
- “I’ve been following your career for years, ever since you accomplished X … “
- “My colleagues and I frequently cite you as our role model for Y… “
- “Your ability to do Z is extremely impressive … “
- “After [watching you talk, reading your book, subscribing to your blog, hearing you on a podcast], I was inspired … “
4) Ask for a short meeting.
Even if you’re hoping for a lot of face (or ear-) time, always ask for a short meeting. It’s easier to get a stranger to commit to 20 minutes — and then turn that 20-minute meeting into a 45-minute one because you’re having a great conversation — than ask for a 45-minute meeting up front.
In fact, 20 minutes is the sweet spot. If you ask for 15, you’ll seem naive or disingenuous, since tackling anything of value in that time span is nearly impossible. On the other hand, 20 minutes isn’t too long — and if you create some rapport and ask thoughtful questions, your short meeting will typically go longer.
Acknowledging the person’s jam-packed schedule is also a good move, as it shows respect.
Putting it all together, here’s what your ask might sound like: “You’ve probably got a ton going on — would you be open to spending 20 minutes with me on Tuesday or Thursday next week?”
Here’s a slightly more formal approach in case that’s more appropriate: “I’m sure you’ve got a full schedule — would you be willing to spend 20 minutes talking on Friday 6/14 or Tuesday 6/18?”
So, there you have it. These are just four emailing secrets to help you immediately get more positive responses to meeting requests. If you want to really boost your game, I invite you to have a conversation. To make scheduling easy, here is a link to my calendar http://ScheduleaCallwithMark.com, please pick a time that works best for you.
RevGrow is a LinkedIn and email marketing, lead generation and sales consulting firm headquartered in Dallas, Texas.
We help business owners increase revenues by generating a steady flow of qualified leads and targeted C-level appointments, while positioning them as the authority in their field and someone their prospects will know, like and trust.
We do this by utilizing systematic and proven methods that leverage LinkedIn, content marketing, and email.
We also provide a variety of sales coaching and consulting services to help our clients get more “at-bats”, make a powerful first impression during sales meetings, remain top-of-mind with key prospects and ultimately win more business!
If you are looking to grow your business without ever having to cold call or worry about where your next lead will come from, I’d love to talk with you to see if our services are a fit.
Whether or not we decide to do business together, I am confident that our call will offer some insights that can help you expedite the growth of your business.