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LinkedIn Prospecting: Turn Connections Into Sales

“I’ve started sending potential prospects a LinkedIn connection request. What should I do once they accept? Do I now have the right to call and pitch my services to them?”

My short answer to your LinkedIn prospecting question is this:
Don’t make them sorry they accepted your LinkedIn connection request.
Let’s turn the situation around… Do people send you LinkedIn connection requests? How would you feel if everyone that you accepted, called and pitched you their products, services or asked to set up a time to discuss what they have to offer?
Get the picture?

SO, WHY CONNECT ON LINKEDIN THEN?

First of all let me say that LinkedIn is a sales persons dream as it is a great way to grow your lead list on your own without being at the mercy of the marketing department.
But the key to turning LinkedIn connections into actual sales has less to do with just “making the connection” and more to do with what happens next.

NURTURE BEFORE YOU HARVEST

LinkedIn offers several ways that can allow your connections to get to know you from the comfort of their own cubicle.
Utilizing the channels LinkedIn has to offer (such as starting group threads, participating in discussions, providing status updates etc) allows you to post problem solving information specific to your targeted audience.
And as they see you “problem solving” on LinkedIn, trust begins to grow – providing you actually know what you are talking about (The reverse effect will happen if you don’t know your stuff – so look before you leap)
When using LinkedIn this way you start to become viewed by your targeted audience as what’s called an SME (SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT) in that particular field.
So as you continue to grow your connections, and you work on offering helpful advice through LinkedIn’s channels, eventually you will be on the receiving end of having your prospects / connections raise their hand asking to set an appointment with you so that they can learn a little bit about how you may be able to help them solve their problem.
– Michael Pedone
Michael Pedone is a straight commissioned sales person with 20+ years experience selling by phone. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – an online sales training company that shows inside sales teams how to eliminate call reluctance and close more sales.

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