Everyone wants to know how to turn LinkedIn connections into business. Many advisors are good at getting first-level connections, but what do you do next?
What Not to Do
Earlier I wrote an article on “How I added 100 LinkedIn Connections in 22 days.” To determine the right way to move to the next step, it’s important to learn from others what not to do.
1. The assumptive close. Some of the invitations you receive start closing in the invitation text. “We do (this.) If you are interested in having us do (this) for you, please accept my invitation to connect.” Accepting the invitation to connect implies you are agreeing to do business.
2. Start selling immediately. You accept an invitation to connect. A sales pitch immediately follows. While it aligns with the logic that LinkedIn is a business network, not a social one, it’s the equivalent of handing out your business card to everyone you meet. It sets the wrong tone.
3. Untouched by human hands. You have an automated program available through work. You visit an archive of approved articles. You select a few, then schedule future dates for posting. You are waiting for people to get back to you.
All three above examples lack the personal touch.
How to Engage With New LinkedIn Connections
I believe people do business with people they like. Are comfortable with. People demonstrating expertise. That requires some cultivating. Here’s what I do:
1. First thing in the morning. It’s easy to obsess over social media. I think of it like the U.S. mail. It arrives once a day. Each morning I visit messages and notifications, catching up on everything that arrived since yesterday. It’s prospecting but doesn’t consume the day.
2. Thanks for connecting. When people connect, I send a short thank you. I use their first name. If I invited them, I say “thank you for accepting my invitation to connect.” If I accepted their invitation, I say “Thank you for inviting me to connect” or “thank you for connecting.” I vary the text, but if their name is James, I might ask if they prefer James or Jim. I wish them a good week or a good weekend. Sometimes people message back immediately. The human touch is obvious.
3. Follow the LinkedIn prompt. LI tries to make this easy. They often say “Start a conversation with your new connection.” Referencing that is a good reason for starting a conversation.