I've lost track of just how many times I've won new business, simply by being curious. You see, every day, I check who's viewed my LinkedIn profile. It's a simple task but has, on countless occasions, provided my business with significant results.
Take John (not his real name). John is a senior partner with a national legal firm and one day last year he viewed my LinkedIn profile. I spotted he'd looked at my profile and asked myself the question, I always ask - 'Why?'
Why? Is a question I ask whenever...
Now, when it comes to people viewing my profile 'Why?' is a question I ask whenever the viewer is my target and my target is the type of person I already do business with or would like to do business with. Whenever a target views my profile, I go into proactive sales & marketing mode.
John had viewed my profile, so I invited him to connect and he accepted. Then I asked him, if the reason he'd viewed my profile was because social media training was of interest to his company - after all, he'd looked at me. John said yes, though I should speak with Jane (not her real name either), his head of brand marketing, who was also on LinkedIn. I asked John if I could mention his name when contacting Jane, to which he agreed. Within 6 months, we were doing business with this law firm.
What a great client retention tool!
Next there's Fred (you guessed it, not his real name). Fred was a client of ours 2 years ago and he had also looked at my profile. There was no particular reason for me to get in touch with Fred but LinkedIn had decided otherwise or rather, as it turned out, Fred had. So, how would you approach this situation?
For me, approaching Fred was straightforward - just say hello and ask how he's doing? In fact, the online conversation went something like this; 'Hi Fred, you popped up on LinkedIn today, hope things are well with you and that the team are still applying everything they learned from our LinkedIn training a couple of years ago?' Fred's response; 'Hi Steve, doing well thanks. I've got some new team members and they need help with LinkedIn, do you have any dates available next month?'
Ok, so Fred was looking but my question to you is, would he actually have approached me about his need for training that day, week or even that month?
For me, sales is all about turning an interest into new business today, not tomorrow. Fred is undoubtedly like many of your customers - they'll look at you, intend to enquire further and then challenges, business, family, life will step in and their need of your services is now ranked 3 on a scale of 1-5. They might get in touch but it's unlikely to be today, tomorrow or any time soon, unless you take the lead.
Tools, such as LinkedIn, present you with sales opportunities unlike anything you have had access to previously. However, if you are not prepared to respond to the signals and pro-actively follow up these powerful signs, then LinkedIn and social media will simply not work for you.
Be business ready - I might just be looking at your profile today!