1. They see it as a one-way door. Someone told them you use the function inviting your contacts with email addresses to connect. You hit that button. You go to a firm-approved archive, select articles to post. This can be done with an auto-scheduling tool. You assume people interested in doing business will contact you.
Instead: Let people know there is a human at the other end. Invite people from your social, alumni and business circles. Thank them for accepting your invitation to connect. The ball is now rolling.
2. They use brute force and the assumptive close. You can use a tool that sends out massive numbers of invitations to connect daily. Your message says something like: “I sell (product.) If you are interested in buying (my product), please accept my invitation to connect.” They assume everyone who accepts is an interested prospect. It’s robocalling, reinvented.
Instead: You are both busy, yet understand getting to know new people broadens your knowledge base. When personalizing your invitation, give a logical reason to connect. Mention the number of connections you share.
3. They don’t build networks. I come across people with 67 connections. 500+ seems to be the threshold qualifying you as “serious.” I assume these folks with 67 connections were attending a training meeting. Everyone pulled out their smartphone, set up a profile and clicked a few keys to invite the other people in the room and a few friends to connect.
Instead: Think about the people who would benefit from seeing your name often and reading interesting articles. Invite them. Think about people with the potential to be great clients if they saw you as a resource. Invite them.
4. They don’t have a plan to turn a prospect into a client. Suppose everything worked right! You invited a college alumni friend to connect. They accepted. They messaged back. What’s your plan? If you go for the close after not speaking for 10 years, you are unlikely to get a positive answer.
Instead: How are you going to cultivate them? Draw them out? Learn about their needs and propose a solution?
5. They let messages and notifications pile up. They got busy. They haven’t visited for a month. They have dozens of messages and a hundred notifications. They feel awkward about saying: “You wrote me a month ago. I just saw your message.” They skip it.
Instead: Build LinkedIn as part of your daily routine. It might be early a.m. or after work, not during prime time. Visit only once a day. If you have a backlog, chip away at it.
6. Their firm has restrictions. Your firm might not allow you to comment or send messages. Posts might be restricted. Birthday greetings might be limited to “Happy birthday.”
Instead: Default to email. Assuming you can send this message, let them know your firm has rules on LinkedIn use, but email is fine. Supply your email address so they don’t need to hunt. Firms usually archive emails.
7. They don’t see the point in commenting on others’ posts. Your daily feed has lots of posts. They flow like a river. You don’t take the time to read their articles or message. You wonder why no one comments on your posts.
Instead: Assuming it’s OK with your firm, read and comment on others’ posts. They will likely comment back or thank you. Often, they reach out and ask you to connect. Now you know someone you didn’t know before.
8. They think everyone is selling to them. This used to be a complaint about Chamber business card exchanges. You attended and discovered everyone wanted you as their client! Yes, posts often about a product. Invitations to connect might be salesy.
Instead: Try to get your posts to be educational and informative. Establish yourself as a subject matter expert. Get your posts in front of the right people. Don’t leave doors closed. When I get an invitation that has a sales message included, I explain there isn’t a business overlap, but I’m glad to connect.
9. They don't want to put in the time. You can spend hours on social media! Many don’t see the point. Where will business come from? Posting, commenting, answering messages and reviewing notifications takes time.
Instead: Is your LinkedIn activity taking valuable time away from your cold calling schedule? No. Unlike other forms of prospecting, catching up on LinkedIn can be done in off hours and on weekends.
You’ve seen the statistic: 17 minutes. That’s the time the average LinkedIn user spends on the site monthly. By comparison, the average user spends 58.5 minutes daily on Facebook. That’s a big difference in usage.
But you’ve seen other statistics. Plenty of millionaires are on LinkedIn. Young millionaires. People today check you out online before doing business. LinkedIn is a site for professionals. Financial advisors are professionals. Why aren’t more using the site? I think I have some answers.
You can make the case that LinkedIn is the 21st century replacement for the cold call. Everyone needs at least one strategy to fill the prospecting pipeline. In the gallery above, I outline some of the LinkedIn mistakes advisors are making and what they should do instead.
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