Microsoft has not always made great improvements to their acquisitions. Skype, for example, developed so many bugs and crashed so often than I just stopped using it. But when they acquired LinkedIn, they made a lot of changes that ended up being for the better.
LinkedIn went from a ghost town where you stopped in once a month to accept requests (if that often), to a thriving community. As a result, more people have started showing up and it’s exciting because we finally have a social platform that is designed to facilitate business.
And what are people doing?
They're popping on board and the first thing they do is try and sell you. The very first message is often along the lines of:
“Hey, do you want to buy my product? I build websites, I do this, here's the price buy from me, buy from me!”
Now, I've noticed that people don't even wait to connect anymore before they send you the pitch. They're sending the pitch inside the connection request. It’s the equivalent of walking up to someone at the bar and just straight up asking “Wanna get married?”
That’s not how you sell in real life, or on LinkedIn!
Here’s how you can make LinkedIn work for you to help grow and build your business.
The first thing to recognize is this: your LinkedIn profile page is basically your marketing. That is where you're going to have the really sick copy and you're going to make yourself look epic and very attractive. That is your online persona and as you connect with people, as you build real relationships with them, they will go to your profile and look it over. If it's built well, then you will start to get conversations.
We have to stop thinking about Linkedin as a sales pitching platform. Or at least, redefine what sales is.
Sales is simply an exchange of value.
It's simply the exchange of “I'm going to give you some value in exchange for you giving me some value. I'm going to give you a product or service. You're going to give me money or vice versa.” But think about this: time is money.
When I say that you've got to start with stage selling, what I'm talking about is not selling them into a $10 and then a $15 and then a $20 deal.
Your first sale is to get their time, and it's not even trying to get their time for the sales appointment. That's too big of a bite.
I had someone recently who was pitching me really hard on hopping on board with what I'm assuming was their upline based on the way the conversation was going. But he wouldn't give me any information and I finally just straight up told him, “I am not going to block out a half hour on my calendar when I have absolutely no information.” And that was the end of the conversation.
If your goal on LinkedIn becomes to start a conversation, think about how many people you could start and run a conversation with every single day. Because, if your profile is set up correctly, you just have to start the conversation.
Your whole goal has to be to get the first sale. The first sale is just a piece of conversation and if there is room for a sale down the road, trust me, you will find it through the course of your conversation. So set your page up, then focus on just getting conversations, going, ask questions, being curious, getting to know people.
LinkedIn is not so much about selling people and pitching people as it is about networking.
This is basically the largest networking event in the world you've been invited to and there's a whole group of people trying to come to the party and crash that party by doing these hardcore pitches.
I don't want to scroll through an insanely long introductory message on LinkedIn just to realize that someone’s just trying to pitch me.
So start with a quick question. It doesn't have to be that hard, but when you set up your page right and you focus on building relationships, you focus on asking questions, it's amazing how much farther you will get with your entire LinkedIn experience – and you'll make a lot more fun for the rest of us who are on there for networking and connection purposes as well.
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If we can spread this concept across the globe, we can make LinkedIn a really powerful place to go network and connect with real people, good people, and even find some business.
Want to try the free LinkedIn Challenge that helps you to optimize your Networking experience on LinkedIn and promotes a better community on the site? Check it out here: