“With a good strategy, you can create some really valuable relationships.” – Alex Smith in today’s Tip 459
How can we make connections more valuable to others?
Join the conversation below and learn more about Alex!
Alex Smith on LinkedIn
Alex Smith on Twitter
Submit a Sales Tip
Have feedback? Want to share a sales tip? Call or text the Sales Success Hotline: 512-777-1442 or Email: [email protected]
Scott Ingram: You’re listening to the Daily Sales Tips podcast and I’m your host, Scott Ingram. Today I’ve got another tip from Alex Smith. Here he is:
Alex Smith: Hey gang! As of this recording, some of you may know, I’ve been in a sales job search lately from a layoff in despite a lot of interviews I’ve had, I’m seeing a lot of companies in holding patterns recently and they’re really slow to get back. So I’ve really been doubling down on LinkedIn lately. The one thing that I’ve found that’s really working for me on LinkedIn was something that really came as a surprise and is my tip for today. More people than you realize are willing to have a conversation with you outside of LinkedIn than inside of it.
With a good strategy, you can create some really valuable relationships. I have to admit, I was a little hesitant to ask people for their time outside on LinkedIn without much of anything I can give them in return. If you think about it, I’m reaching out to quota, carrying top B2B salespeople to network and they’re willing to spend a few minutes and hop on a phone call or a zoom call with me. This despite the fact that they have a number to hit themselves and way less prospects are answering their phones and emails right now.
But when you think about it, great salespeople don’t expect a gift to get they live life to learn and just listening to you is all the ROI they need for their time. So I don’t take it lightly that anyone would want to give me their time and the agendas of our calls is really just genuinely getting to know each other. I used to think LinkedIn was purely numbers and engagement games and maybe in some way it is, but at its core, it’s still a platform comprised of people. People who all have something to offer and we can all learn from.
A LinkedIn connection is so much more than just another number and when you grow your connections don’t ever lose sight of building a connection. Growing connections isn’t the same as creating connection, growing your connections can be done in a split second. But creating connection requires intention and giving on both sides of a relationship. So I thought to myself, why can’t we all just use this time to create connection, not just adding connections.
We all have an opportunity to move beyond the onetime connection right now. I’ve had so many great phone calls with completely new people recently. I’ve had a minimum of at least five new calls scheduled each week with new connections and none of the calls started off trying to sell anything or had any other agenda from either party tied to it other than genuinely knowing people beyond their profiles. So how can we make connections more valuable to others and ourselves? Why? I thought I’d offer a few quick strategies that I’m using, would love to hear your take.
So here’s a few things that are working for me. First thing I’m going to steal is from someone that reached out to me and I loved her approach. So shout out to Sarah Marie Clerk, brand consultant for Jack Nater Consulting.
So my first tip is be genuine with your intent. Sarah was really genuine with me when she responded to my connection request and in her response she, “Hey Alex, thank you so much for your kind words and thank you for connecting. I love to make this connection genuinely valuable to you and not just another number. What is the best way I can support your growth? Are you open to a call this week to collaborate and explore our connection?” I didn’t know Sarah from anything. I’m not in brand consulting and didn’t specifically want something from her and she didn’t want anything from me, but her starting off a relationship saying she didn’t want to just be another number. Asking how she could help me and asking if I was open to a call. Really presented her as genuine. We had a really great call and I’ve used this similar approach to reach out and meet new people on LinkedIn.
Second tip, build people up through community. I’ve reached out to people from communities I’ve been on lately, whether it was hopping on a LinkedIn live, a webinar training, sometimes a few zoom calls and communities I’m in, and many of the top salespeople on LinkedIn are organizing free zoom calls right now. I’d definitely suggest getting on them, but what I do is reference the call, compliment them on what they said and what it meant to me. It really feels good to people to let them know how they impacted you. So when you ask for their time, they don’t think you have a hidden agenda, they want to go deeper on the topic with you.
Number three, the LinkedIn activity tab is gold. I used to reach out and mention someone’s profile when reaching out, but finding what people have commented on from their activity shows the other person. You really see them, you plan the same lanes, you’re one of the same tribe. You’re more of an insider asking for time than someone outside of the club banging to get in.
Reference that in your outreach. Hey, really loved what you wrote on so-and-so’s post. It made me think of X. Do you have a few minutes to talk? We’d love to run some suggestions of questions by you and given your knowledge on this and value any advice you may have in this area.
And lastly, be specific and ask for their time. You have to give them a reason for having a call. Could be making yourself a better candidate to an employer. You value their perspectives on an industry where you want to get their thoughts on a sales situation you’re dealing with. Include that in your outreach. I also like to say even just a few minutes helps I know your time’s valuable.
So that’s some quick things that I’m using. Finally, don’t even think you need to have a specific ask. It could just be you feel a genuine connection with someone’s content and you want to meet them. So tell them why. I urge you all to pick a few people you genuinely respect on LinkedIn, but you haven’t met outside of it and try to meet them. You just might be surprised who accepts the invite and the massive value that can come of it. Growing connections is a valid strategy, but I urge you to go forth and find your own connection strategy. You’ll be really glad you did. Thank you.
Scott Ingram: To connect with Alex, just click over to DailySales.Tips/459 and we’ll have a link to his profile there. I hope you’ll stop listening for just a minute and do that right now.
Then, be sure to come back tomorrow for another great sales tip. Thanks for listening!