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LinkedIn LinkedIn Network Sales Navigator

Organic vs Influenced Referrals

We all want referrals.

We spent countless hours networking in real life in the hopes more people will get to know us and what we do and will refer us to others.

We invest time on social networking, sharing, and engaging on LinkedIn with the same hope, someone will see us and our content and refer us to others.

Doing these steps routinely can create what I call organic referrals.
However, organic referrals alone are never enough.

However, we need to execute another process – Creating Influenced referrals.

Influenced referrals are purposefully asking the influencers of our target audience to introduce us for a conversation.

We can’t create influenced referrals unless we are building our networks with both our target audience and their influencers.

This takes time and a constant set of activities of networking, engaging, and inviting these influencers into conversations.

These conversations must be focused on the influencers. Ask questions, listen, and learn about them, their roles, experiences, and anything else they are willing to share in order for us to get to know them better.

We also must be willing to help these influencers. Helping them in different ways is one of the tactics that create relationships with people who may be willing to help you. Maybe with a referral.

As you get to know these influencers and they get to know you more, in time you’ll uncover the opportunity to talk with these influencers and ask them if they could help you. You must ask if they are willing to do so.

Their positive reply is a statement not only to you but to them as well that they will help you, where relevant, appropriate and possible,  by introducing you to the person you want to get into a conversation with.

Once someone introduces you to your target audience it’s important that you return to the influencer and thank them for the introduction.

Organic referrals are truly fabulous things.

Influenced referrals are also fabulous things. And, you are more in control of the frequency and the results.

How often are you seeking influenced referrals?

Categories
LinkedIn

Basic LinkedIn Prospecting Processes – 2020

Prospecting on LinkedIn is the process of finding the right LinkedIn Members to consider moving to LinkedIn Connections and then into conversations relevant to your business or career goals.

Prospecting is not just for salespeople. There are lots of different roles in all industries where prospecting could be beneficial. Possibly for future clients, employees, business partners, resources, mentors, friends from the past, and peers to learn from.

Basic LinkedIn Prospecting is a set of practices I use to grow my LinkedIn Network and build some level of a professional relationship with my growing LinkedIn Network. These basic prospecting tasks can be used by any LinkedIn Member focused on growing their business or achieving their career goals.

Here are the six primary steps you should consider when doing Basic LinkedIn Prospecting:

Step 1 – Before starting to prospect on LinkedIn, I recommend you make sure your LinkedIn Profile is written well, telling the viewer who you are today and what you do in your role. A clear LinkedIn profile can help the people you are prospecting for to be more informed of your relevance to them and your business.

Step 2 – Additionally, building a strong LinkedIn Network with people you know, can help you discover even more people you may want to know.  This is synonymous with the 6 Degrees from Kevin Bacon story. However, it works even better. The more 1st level connections you have, the more 2nd level LinkedIn Members you can get to. Furthermore, the more relevant 2nd level LinkedIn Members you turn into 1st level connections, the more 3rd level LinkedIn Members become 2nd level LinkedIn Members. This amplifies the ability for you to connect with even more relevant LinkedIn Members.  I recommend consistently working to connect with LinkedIn Members you know. Use your ‘Rolodex’ or client list, peers, friends, neighbors, association membership lists, etc to determine who these people are.

Step 3 – Research companies relevant to your prospecting and business goals. Begin building a list of the companies, and even individuals that you need/wish to connect with. This list of companies and individuals should be a living list. You’ll remove names from the list as you disqualify them and add new names to the list as you discover new companies and individuals relevant to your business goals. You may have multiple lists based on different business and/or career goals.

Step 4 – Find relationships between your existing LinkedIn connections and the companies / LinkedIn members you want to connect with. Where possible, reach out to people you know and ask them to introduce you to the right people at your target companies, or with specific LinkedIn Members you wish to get into a conversation with and ultimately connect with on LinkedIn. I recommend asking for these introductions via either email or telephone, not via LinkedIn message.

Step 5 – Create a consistent LinkedIn Engagement routine. With a Strong LinkedIn profile and a growing list of LinkedIn Connections, engaging on LinkedIn will significantly increase the opportunity of being seen, being trusted & respected, and possibly contacted for business/career conversations.

Step 6 – Continue researching, connecting, and engaging on LinkedIn. Find opportunities to help your LinkedIn connections and to get into relevant and mutually beneficial conversations with them.

Practicing these Basic LinkedIn Prospecting tactics can help you to become more efficient with the individual activities and to be able to grow your LinkedIn Network focused on your goals.

Categories
LinkedIn

How much time does it take?

I get asked often, “How much time should someone spend on LinkedIn?” I don’t want to answer this question because it’s not focused on a goal.

I would prefer to answer this question, “How much time should someone put into using LinkedIn in order to create real business results?”

Sometimes I answer the question this way, “Consider reinvesting 10-15 minutes every day using LinkedIn to build your presence, your network, and your reputation. Look at the other related tasks you’re doing today that don’t create the greatest results and invest that time into using LinkedIn instead.” (Example – extended cold calling)

This is hard for people to do because they are comfortable with those other tactics, even if they are not creating real results.

This is hard for people to do because they are not sure yet of the right way to use LinkedIn. They have not experimented enough or been taught the proper use of LinkedIn.

The best answer is this, “I strongly recommend LinkedIn Members who want to create real business value need to integrate the use of LinkedIn into other relevant business processes.” (Example – I never cold call without first doing research on LinkedIn.)

There are lots of actions you can do using LinkedIn. Which ones are right for you is directly influenced by your goals. Here are a few ideas:

  • If you are recruiter you may need to invest more time doing research on candidate Profiles and less time on 1:1 engagement and content sharing.
  • If you work a captive book of business (i.e not hunting for new clients), you’re more likely going to spend time sharing and engaging on relevant content and less time using the LinkedIn Search tools.
  • If you are an inside salesperson focused on current clients, you may spend more time on 1:1 engagement and content sharing than you would on market/industry researching.
  • If you are in marketing you’re likely going to spend more time researching companies, relevant content and influencers and less time searching for people or engaging on content.

These are just a few of the diverse ways different people in different roles could be using LinkedIn.

Look at some of the different functions available within LinkedIn:

  • Refining/updating your LinkedIn Profile.
  • Commenting on and/or Liking Content.
  • Sending new LinkedIn Invites.
  • Managing LinkedIn Invites.
  • 1:1 messaging using text, images, documents, audio, and video, etc.
  • Sharing and engaging on content in LinkedIn Groups.
  • Research of LinkedIn Companies and Content.
  • Reading relevant and useful content.
  • Researching other LinkedIn Members
  • Analyzing your LinkedIn Insights (Profile views, Content activity,
  • Managing LinkedIn Notifications
  • Prospecting through LinkedIn Search
  • Sharing content in your LinkedIn Company Page
  • etc, etc, etc

I sometimes say LinkedIn is like a swiss army knife. Knowing what all the different blades are, helps you to determine which one to use when, and/or at all.

You don’t need to do everything all the time. You use specific areas of LinkedIn based on the specific task and/or goal.

Back to how much time should you spend using LinkedIn, and doing what?

Initially, I recommend investing a minimum of 15 minutes a day reviewing the different ‘knives’ and deciding what steps within LinkedIn could create the greatest initial value for you in your role. Then once you know how to use the tools, align your use of LinkedIn with other business processes while you continue to invest 15 minutes a day learning more about the tool and how you could again, integrate another LinkedIn activity into another business process.

Fact – if you don’t find a way to integrate the use of LinkedIn into other business processes, you will never completely adopt LinkedIn as a business tool in your role.

No one is truly successful using LinkedIn as a ‘stand-alone’ business tool

Categories
LinkedIn Networking

Business Card Process

I do not hand out business cards like they’re candy.

I remember way back in my past, my boss nearly peed his pants when he saw within a month I had handed out an entire box of 500 business cards. He immediately bought me another 1000. I’m sure most of those business cards ended up in the trash, a desk drawer or in a pile with 100’s of other business cards.

I’ve seen it many times. This may even be your desk. A bunch of business cards in a rubber band stacked up on the left or right side of your monitor. Maybe piles of cards in your desk drawer. How does this help anyone?

Today, I only give out my business cards when there is an intent or opportunity for a future conversation.

I’ll often say to the person, “Let me tell you my expectations when I give you my card. I expect you to send me an email and follow up to our meeting and if you are using LinkedIn, send me an invite to connect there.” No one has ever given my card back because of these expectations.

When I receive a business card from someone else, this is my process:

Step 1 – I put them into my personal contact database. I use Google Apps, so they go into my Google Contacts. I enter in their Name, Company Name, email address, phone number, maybe address and a note reminding me where/when we met. These contacts are synced to my phone, therefore I have access to them all the time & everywhere.

Step 2 – If they are relevant to my business, I may add them to my business contacts as well. Everyone I meet is not relevant to my business, however, many are.

Step 3 – I look for them on LinkedIn and send them an invite to connect. I always put a relevant and friendly note in the invitation.

Step 4 – I send them an email in context of where and how we met. If there is an intention for the next conversation I remind them of what we decided or I share dates/times so we can schedule.

Step 5 – If relevant I will look for them on Instagram and/or Twitter. Depending on the developing relationship I will follow them there. Sometimes, but not every time, I may look for them on Facebook and invite them to be friends there. I don’t do this for every new connection and we have had to laugh together in order for me to send a Facebook Friend Request.

Step 6 – I then throw away their business card. I now have their contact information in my contacts, possibly in my business contacts, we’re connected on LinkedIn and maybe following on each other on Twitter, Instagram and maybe even Facebook.

I do this every evening because I can’t tolerate a big pile of business cards to process. That would be overwhelming for me. A little at a time is far easier for me to process.

This activity helps me to connect at multiple points so I can stay aware of them and they of me.

It helps me to be able to stay top of mind with them as they see my content on social media.

I can use the social media connections to find even more people I may want to know about and to get introduced as needed.

Do you have a purposeful business card process? Could this process be useful for you?

Categories
LinkedIn LinkedIn Network

Purposeful LinkedIn Networking

In one way or another, you have access to nearly 610 Million people who are on LinkedIn. Even if these LinkedIn Members are not active on LinkedIn, purposefully networking on LinkedIn is a powerful way to get into the right conversations with the right people, at the right time.

I routinely remind my clients of two important business process facts of LinkedIn Networking.

#1 You do not have to connect with every Tom, Dick, and Betty on LinkedIn. No disrespect to all the Toms, Dicks and Bettys on LinkedIn, they could be fabulous people. I’ll tell them as well, not to connect with every George, Harry or Sylvia on LinkedIn either. I use a very deliberate philosophy to decide who I should connect with. Relevance is at the core of this philosophy. I use the word relevance broadly around life, business, career, community, industry, role, interest and curiosity.

#2 There are two people you should connect with on LinkedIn (and in life). I urge everyone who wants to get the greatest value from their LinkedIn Network to make a new connection every day of their life. The more you network on LinkedIn the easier it becomes to network on LinkedIn.

Many years ago LinkedIn used to show the size of our 2nd level network. Back when I only had a few thousand connections I remember this number being close to 13Million people. Today I am fortunate to have a large and highly relevant LinkedIn Network. As I research new LinkedIn Connections today it has become far easier to connect with them.

The old quote of “6 degrees from Kevin Bacon” has morphed into my quote, “2 degrees away from my Most Important Viewer”.

Here are the two people you should connect with on LinkedIn:

(A) People you can help

These are the people you could help in some way or another.

Maybe it’s your ability to encourage, motivate, inform or educate them through the content you share and the ideas you bring to relevant conversations.

Maybe you can help them through a direct conversation over a LinkedIn or email message or even a quick phone call.

Maybe you can help them by alerting them of future opportunities you discover from your LinkedIn Network that they could benefit from.

Maybe they need help connecting with that a LinkedIn Connection who could be the most profound connection and conversation they have ever made.

(B) People who can help you

These are the people who can help you in some way or another, either in business, life, community or career.

Maybe you can get encouragement, motivation or educated from their content and engagement in relevant conversations.

Maybe you can get into an open and mutually beneficial conversation with them via LinkedIn message, email, quick phone call or visit.

Maybe as your relationship and reputation grow with them, they would be able/willing to introduce you to your next great LinkedIn Connection, (i.e. a potential client).

Maybe these LinkedIn Members are actually your Most Important Viewer (target audience) and again, as your relationship and reputation grow with them, they would be open to a direct business conversation which could turn a LinkedIn Connection into a prospect or better yet a client.

You can adjust my definitions of People you can help and People who can help you as you wish to best fit your specific business or career goals. However, don’t disrespect the core definitions by driving them down to ‘people I can sell to’.

If you are not networking on LinkedIn for mutual benefit, as we should in life, I can guarantee you’ll get far less long term value from networking.

One of the truly rewarding aspects of networking with these two people on LinkedIn is that often one becomes the other. Sometimes you don’t see it happening until the person you thought needed your help introduces you to someone they know well who needs your services, products or skills. And, maybe that person you connect with who became a client, personally needs your help with their own goals.

Two additional important aspects of networking on LinkedIn, which I am committed to are:

  1. My research (searching) on LinkedIn is focused on people who can help me. This is typically influencers or my Most Important Viewer.
  2. I immediately engage with everyone I connect with on LinkedIn. I think it’s a huge missed opportunity when LinkedIn Members fail to do this.

The amount of time I invest in my immediate engagement is based on the potential value this LinkedIn Connection could have to my business goals. Often those I can help will get a friendly LinkedIn message thanking them for the connection and letting them know I will help them in any way I can. Those who I believe can help me (often the influencers or my Most Important Viewers) may get a phone call or business email message thanking them for the connection and inviting them to a conversation regarding their business goals or needs. No sales pitch, ever.

I strive to live by my edit of “Networking is finding, developing and nurturing relationships that mutually move people forward through life.” As I discovered the potential of networking on LinkedIn I encourage all LinkedIn Members to do the same.

If your sales team needs to understand and start networking on LinkedIn purposefully, let’s talk.

Teddy
336-283-6121
info@burrissconsulting.com