One of the biggest questions people have in regards to social selling is how do you effectively take conversations offline. Everybody understands that likes, follows, and posts are important but how do exactly engage with someone that leads to a meeting?
The answer is definitely not sending an Inmail after you connect with someone. How would you feel if you connected with somebody and immediately after you get a message with them trying to sell you something? The key is to create a little value, earn your right to a conversation, and not be “pitchy pitchy”.
Here are some key touch-points on engaging prospects on Linkedin and taking a conversation offline. The key essentially is to warm up the conversation. Let’s be honest, going in warm is a lot better than going cold, no matter what anyone says.
Send a personalized connection request
Standard connection requests will get you nowhere. Personalize your request by mentioning common connects, industry news, or something in common that you may have.
Post targeted content related to their industry
Put together some content and post 2-3 times a day. Post content that would get your prospect to click on your links. Make the content something that would pique there interest, and look at what other connects/prospects are clicking on your content by viewing “Who has viewed your posts feed”
Once you have posted some good content for about a week , the next thing to do is to reach out to your connect. Pick up the phone and call your connect or send them an email or send a message on Linkedin. Through this beginning process, you can have better conversations with your prospects. There will be a bit more familiarity and the prospect will be more open to having a conversation. There is no secret magic formula to taking the conversation offline, this is still sales and you still need to leverage the phone and email.
Once you start engaging offline, get there permission to take the conversation further to a demo, meeting, add to your email lists, trial, etc…. Do not start pitching. Do some research, ask questions, see if they are a fit, and get there permission to take the conversation to the next step.
One of the myths in social selling is that you can book meetings strictly on Linkedin and you don’t need other channels. The key is to mix in other channels after you connect and warm up those conversations. Most salespeople don’t understand Social Selling but that doesn’t have to be you. Use the steps above to have more conversations, book more meetings and get more opportunities.
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