Discover how LinkedIn has made organising your contacts, nurturing leads and prospecting much easier with the introduction of Contacts
If you are a regular networker, you will inevitably attend multiple events, constantly meet new people and have a bulging address book stocked full of industry contacts, prospects and influencers.
When it comes to following up with these contacts, LinkedIn Contacts allows you to store information, such as how, when and where you met your connection and who introduced you. Read on to discover how you can use LinkedIn Contacts to benefit not only your personal networking, but multiple areas of your business.
1. Maximise your networking
After attending an event, you are likely to connect with individuals on LinkedIn and the key is always to add value where possible using the ‘pay it forward’ mentality. For every new person you connect with, use Contacts to note down their key challenges and a few pieces of personal information. You can then refer back to this information at a later date and suggest another one of your contacts who may be able to assist them, suggest an activity that you both would enjoy, or share a piece of content that is directly helpful to them – it is writing on the back of a business card for the digital age.
Successful networkers stand out from the crowd, and Eloqua’s Jill Rowley summed this up perfectly when she said: ‘Every person I meet, I connect to on LinkedIn. Before a meeting, I’ll look up each person and find a piece of information I’ll relate to them with so I will stand out from the crowd. They will remember meeting me.’
Top Tip: If you import or sync your calendars with Contacts, shared calendar events are also shown. This allows LinkedIn to show you when other connections are attending the same event. This is particularly useful if you would like to plan to speak to a particular attendee at an event – you can then create reminders and note down potential conversation starters based on what you have discussed before.
2. Be alert to sales triggers
If you are a regular LinkedIn user, you may have noticed the messages you receive when one of your connections gets a new job, has passed a work milestone or when it is their birthday. This is one of the benefits of Contacts: providing you with social signals and alerting you to your connections’ activity.
Your sales team will constantly be on the lookout for new sales triggers and potential inroads to generate new business. Use the information from Contacts, such as when a connection moves jobs, which could be a precursor to sending them a congratulatory tweet or link to useful content to begin the conversation, particularly if you have already established a relationship with them.
Top Tip: Use features such as LinkedIn Advanced Search to build a picture of the total DMU around your connection and potential opportunities for connections.
3. Painting a picture of your prospects
The benefit of using social media is that it is centered around personalisation and targeting, allowing companies to tailor their approach to each individual prospect. LinkedIn Contacts allows sales teams to record information of how and when you met individual prospects, allowing sales teams to record information on the individuals’ key challenges and opportunities.
As sales professionals, you do not want to hassle your prospects into buying from your company, so the Reminder feature on Contacts is a useful one. Create a reminder and set it to alert you in one day, one week, one month or to recur. You can then use it to notify you when to follow up with prospects.
Top Tip: When nurturing your prospects on LinkedIn, avoid the hard sell at all costs. Opt instead to simply like their status updates, comment on a LinkedIn Group discussion or share a useful piece of content that relates to them – using Contacts to record all of this activity.
LinkedIn Contacts is a tool that, if used well, can pay dividends for networking and in the sales process. Are you a regular user of LinkedIn Contacts? Let us know your thoughts and remember to tweet us @BlackBerry4Biz