“One of the processes I have developed and adopted in my use of LinkedIn as a business tool is to Engage Immediately with my LinkedIn Connections.” @TLBurriss
This may seem daunting, however it’s not as difficult or time consuming as you may think. And, the results can be impressive when done properly.
Using this engage immediately best practice requires you define the following:
#1 – Who is your Most Important Viewer. This is important because you should not engage with everyone the same way. This would be a waste of time and create the wrong results.
#2 – What is your purpose for the immediate engagement with each new LinkedIn Connection. The purpose should be unique, yet relevant.
#3 – How will you immediately engage with your new LinkedIn Connections
You should categorize your LinkedIn Connections into three primary groups:
A – Most Important Viewer or Target Audience – these are the connections you feel are the most relevant to your business and who could become clients.
B – Influencers – these are the LinkedIn Connections who are not likely to be clients, yet could introduce you to future clients.
C – Everyone else – these are people you could help, potential resources, people with good ideas and insights, yet initially you do not see them as an influencer or Most Important Viewer.
Defining your purpose for immediate engagement with each new LinkedIn Connection, includes an overall goal and individual goals based on the three primary LinkedIn Connection categories.
The overall goal is to begin developing trust & respect with each new LinkedIn Connection. The more trust and respect you can build with your LinkedIn Connections, the more they will like you and be interested in either doing business with you, helping you or both. We start to build this trust & respect for the most part by making the first conversation all about them and getting to know who they are and what they do.
The individual goals focused on the LinkedIn Connection categories are:
A – Most Important Viewer – While working to build trust and respect you want to also inquire about their business and move them to an initial conversation that can drive them into a deeper conversation about the work you do relevant to them and their business. Review your new connections LinkedIn Profile and do your research on them before pushing them too hard into the conversation. They may be ready to get into a deeper conversation, yet they also may not be ready. It may take a few conversations to get them into the business discussions.
B – Influencers – You should work to build trust and respect with these LinkedIn Connections as well. There is likely no real value in going much further with this category of LinkedIn Connections initially, unless you know who they could introduce you to already. Then you may want to engage at a higher level and look for an opportunity to get into a deeper conversation.
C – Everyone Else – Again, yes, you will want to work towards building trust and respect with this category of LinkedIn Connections as well. However you generally will not want to pursue any further conversations with these LinkedIn Connections initially.
I use these LinkedIn Connection categories to keep me focused on my goal, however sometimes I discover that my initial perspective of a LinkedIn Connection is incorrect. Sometimes a LinkedIn Connection in the Everyone else category ends up in the Most Important Viewer category and visa-versa.
How will you Engage Immediately again depends on the LinkedIn Connection category type. Here are 6 different ways to engage immediately and whom I will use them with:
Telephone – For Most Important Viewers only
I want to call all of my new Most Important Viewers. If I get their voice mail I’ll just say thank you for the LinkedIn connection and alert them to me contacting them again in the near future. If I get them on the phone, I’ll make the conversation all about them until I am given permission to talk about myself, at which time I share with them from a high level the work I do with people and business like them and I ask for a time to talk in more detail later. I strive to be polite with their time since I did not have an appointment with them.
Email – Most Important Viewer without phone number and Influencers
I send a thank you note to their business email address and alert them to my contacting them again in the near future. I will also offer for them to contact me if they want to have a conversation about how I help businesses and individuals like them before I get back to them. If the new LinkedIn Connection does not have a business email address listed I will spend time trying to find this for my Most Important Viewers.
LinkedIn Message – Everyone Else, and Most Important Viewers & Influencers who are active on LinkedIn.
This is my last resort for immediate engagement because most people will answer the phone, listen to voicemail and read email before reading LinkedIn Messages.
If I use this method to immediately engage, I again say thank you for the connection, For my Most Important Viewer and Influencers I will alert them to me contacting them again in the future. For Everyone else I add, “Please let me know if I can help you in any way”, with no commitment by me for next conversations.
Tweet – If my Most Important Viewer or Influencer has an active Twitter Account I will follow them there. I will tweet to them again thanking them for the LinkedIn Connection.
Text Message – Sometimes for my Most Important Viewer and Influencers I will send a Text message. However I am still experimenting with this initial engagement at this time (4/2018)
Knowing who your Most Important Viewers are, your purpose for immediate engagement and the best way to do so are important if you are going to develop trust, respect and even like with the right LinkedIn Members. This is a key part of growing your business through your LinkedIn Network.
Do you have a process? Does it work for you? Can you improve it?
If you want to discuss your LinkedIn business processes and how I could help you improve them, let’s talk.
LinkedIn Coach & Trainer