As your LinkedIn network expands, you will find some connections are higher-value prospects than others. Obviously, someone with a current need for your services should be engaged immediately and hopefully closed.
Other connections may not have a current need, but may have a project upcoming in the next few months. Others still, even without a current or near-term project, may be a high-value prospect simply because they meet your ideal prospect profile.
How do you stay in touch with these high-value prospects (HVPs) that aren’t ready to close today? Be consistent and persistent…and follow these steps:
First, identify your highest-value prospects. These can be prospects with a current need, prospects with an upcoming need, or simply connections that match your ideal prospect profile. You will need to decide.
Next, keep your list manageable, because keeping your list engaged does require some work. Start small at first and target 10-15 HVPs. Once you begin working your list and get a handle on the time commitment, you can expand or contract your list accordingly. Remember, it is better to consistently work a smaller list than sporadically work a larger one.
Finally, consistently engage your HVPs. LinkedIn offers many ways to engage your connections. Here are 5 great engagement tactics.
LinkedIn notifies you of noteworthy events occurring with your connections. These can be birthdays, job changes, or work anniversaries for instance. Each time you get a notification for one of your highest-value prospects, respond with a personalized message.
Articles of Interest
When you come across articles or other materials that may be of interest to your HVPs, reach out with another short, personalized message and attach a link to the article. This is a time-tested high-touch, low-pressure tactic that works.
If you’re a 1st degree connection with someone, they may see your shares and updates on their homepage. If you can segment your HVPs into groups based on industry, shared interest, or otherwise, develop content that would be particularly interesting to each segment. Periodically publish that content to your network.
Like and Comment
Once you are connected, you may see your 1st level connection’s updates and shares on your homepage. Be vigilant and “like” their photos, images, articles, and updates. Even better, comment on their articles and updates. You will be notified when someone else comments on the same material, and you can continue the conversation.
Periodic Personalized Messages
Monthly or more frequently, send a personalized message to each HVP. If you can segment your HVPs as above, you can send a similar message to each segment on the same day which should provide some efficiencies.
PRO TIP: If you are trying to connect with a high-value prospect, but don’t think a cold connection request will work, “follow” the person. You can “follow” profiles that are outside your network and then see that person’s shares and updates on your homepage without being connected to them.
The person you are following won’t see your updates, but you can like, comment and share their photos, articles, and updates. After you have “warmed them up,” send your personalized connection request.
LinkedIn is the number one social network for B2B leads. Most people, however, don’t come close to tapping their network’s potential. Follow these steps and stay consistent. Over time, you will see your efforts pay off. Then you will become one of the few professionals truly making LinkedIn work for them.