Social Selling: Craft Perfect LinkedIn Messages Using Network Profiles

LinkedIn has become the most powerful research tool available for sales professionals leveraging social media. You can click into someone’s profile and uncover a wealth of information about …

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LinkedIn has become the most powerful research tool available for sales professionals leveraging social media. You can click into someone’s profile and uncover a wealth of information about them without using multiple sources. That’s a beautiful thing.

(Click Infographic to view full size)

Below, I’ve broken down ways you can use this uncovered information to draft engaging messages. I’ve shared the three key components of a spot-on message, followed by three specific messaging scenarios. Hopefully, this will set you on a path that leads to social selling success on LinkedIn.

The Key Components

To maximize engagement, it’s imperative to first understand the three key components of a well-crafted LinkedIn message. If you understand these, finding the right data within a prospect’s profile becomes a fairly easy process:

  1. Personalization – It’s not about you; it’s about the person on the other end of the conversation.
  2. Commonality – Who doesn’t love to have a conversation with someone they have something in common with?
  3. Advocacy – Isn’t it easier to engage in conversation with someone who likes to promote your thought leadership?

Though you won’t always be able to use all three, try using as many as you can in each message you send to a new prospect.

Example Message Scenarios

LinkedIn has mastered the art of giving us valuable user data at the click of a button. I’ve created three message scenario examples below, incorporating the key components to show you how they can be used with data gathered from a LinkedIn profile.

These scenarios are for leveraging 1st degree connections that you have had no, or very limited, conversation with. I will never tell you how to sell anyone on LinkedIn… As I don’t believe that you should be selling online. I’m giving you tips to get into natural conversation to build a relationship and figure out if there is value in moving it offline… Which is where the selling should start from a conversation perspective.

Example One

Profile Sections Referenced: Summary & Education

Scenario: I noticed, in the profile sections above, this connection went to Arizona State University and is an accomplished SaaS professional. Those two tidbits of information made using personalization and commonality a breeze. I used “Sun Devils!” as the message subject.

Message: “I figured I’d reach out to a fellow Arizona SaaS professional. I also noticed that you are a fellow Sun Devil! I’m a boring old Lumber Jack but my wife has transformed me into a Sun Devil… Crazy year they had. I’d love to hear about what you guys are doing over at XXX. My clients are always looking for new products to make their life easier. You never know if we can leverage our AZ networks to help each other out! If anything, we can talk trash on the Wild Cats. Thanks XXX.”

Example Two

Profile Sections Referenced: Interests & Courses

Scenario: This connection’s profile also made using personalization and commonality easy. We had the similar interests of technology and the great outdoors, as well as shared history in persogenics training. The subject I used was “Outdoors, Sales, & Technology!”

Message: “The BIG 3 – Outdoors, sales, and technology! I figured I had to reach out and introduce myself. Last week, I was fishing with one hand, and closing a SaaS deal on my cellphone in the other. I thought I was the only one on LinkedIn that had those same interests. My persogenics training tells me that we should chat sometime. I’m a huge fan of connecting with like minds! To top it off, both our tech products complement each other! Thanks XXX.”

Example Three

Profile Sections Referenced: Publications & LinkedIn Pulse

Scenario: Advocacy is an excellent component to use, especially when a connection uses LinkedIn Pulse to publish. This connection wrote a piece about sales disruption. They also published an article somewhere else, which I took the time to reference. I went with “Fantastic LinkedIn Publish” for the subject.

Message: “What a fantastic LinkedIn publish about sales disruption! It’s apparent that you and I speak the same language when it comes to sales and customer service alignment. I had a chance to read your Social Media Today article as well and I thought it was fantastic. I’m a huge fan of connecting with like-minded people in my network. Especially, thought leaders such as you who seem to have similar points of view. I just shared your article as well on Twitter so that others could enjoy. Looking forward to a future conversation! Thanks XXX!”

To Wrap Things Up

My approach is soft when reaching out for the first time to a LinkedIn prospect. I don’t believe people want to be approached out of the blue with a sales pitch, so I’m even reluctant to include clear calls to action. In my experience, the keys to crafting effective and engaging social messages are to make conversation personal, find commonalities, and become an advocate for your network. If you do these things, LinkedIn will soon become your best social selling friend.

This article was originally published here

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