How to NOT Make A Fool out of Yourself on LinkedIn

It’s so simple, but it’s so true.

Whether you’re looking to send an InMail message, a connection request, comment on a post, share in a group, WHATEVER IT IS … the key is to focus on the mutual benefit of what you’re doing.

Will anyone else benefit from what you’re about to do or is it all about you?

It’s a message I share with my 7 1/2-year-old daughter all the time. She wants to go outside and ride her scooter. Our next-door neighbor wants to go to the park. My daughter is beside herself, not quite understanding why the next-door neighbor is not understanding the importance of scooter riding.

“But it’s what I want to do!”

Precisely. It’s what she wants to do. She’s not thinking of the next-door neighbor and what she wants to do. It’s simple, but it’s so important and it applies to sales.

What is “appropriate” sales behavior on LinkedIn?

So often, I see people posting advice about what to do and not to do on LinkedIn. I’m one of those people. It is action-oriented advice, looking at the method and not the intention.

“Don’t ever ask people to buy from you in the first message!”

“Don’t ever use a connection request for sales!”

“Don’t ever post an article link in a group!”

Here’s the thing: there are valid points to each of those arguments. I get that. But the intention behind the actions is more important than the actions themselves. If I reach out to someone and ask them to buy from me because I recognize a clear need that person has, my genuine desire to help will come through.

If, on the other hand, I reach out without reading someone’s profile — therefore knowing nothing about the person — and ask him or her to buy from me, I’m going to come off like a self-absorbed jerk.

The actions are the same, but the intention is different.

I truly believe this is the difference between success and failure in sales. If the intention is to form a working relationship with someone based on both parties receiving a clear benefit, the strategy will work.

Sometimes that means nurturing a relationship because reaching out to someone to be his or her business coach without ever having a conversation is a bit forward. On the other hand, it may not be.

Hear me out.

Let’s say you are a business coach for female entrepreneurs who have a podcast. That is a narrow scope and you can find those women without ever reaching out to them. This is so important in the LinkedIn lead generation game!

This provides the opportunity to conduct a thoughtful, relevant reach-out, but only if you think through the process and have a genuine desire for a mutually-beneficial relationship.

Example of a thoughtful reach-out:

Hi Sally! My name is Chrissie and I’m a business coach for female entrepreneurs who also have podcasts. I have a ton of experience in this segment and believe I can really help you leverage your podcast for your business. Are you interested in a quick call so I can learn more about you?

Now, this is a forward reach-out. You can change the final line to any variation of the following to “tone it down”:

  • Are you interested in this article I wrote that details how to do this?
  • Are you interested in connecting on LinkedIn to learn more about each other?

Example of a self-absorbed (and bait-and-switch) reach-out sequence:

Hi Sally, I’d like to connect with you to learn more about your business.

Once Sally accepts the message, the almost-immediate follow-up message includes a full sales page worth of services and a statement (not question) of, “Let me know when you’re available for a call next week.”

If you’ve ever received a bait-and-switch like this (and you probably have), you feel dirty for having experienced it. It’s low, intrusive, and not effective.

These types of interactions have turned people off from the idea of sales on LinkedIn, believing the platform should be solely for relationships. While I understand their post considering the tactics being employed on LinkedIn, I completely disagree.

The idea of being on LinkedIn is to form business relationships, yes, but that might mean services are exchanged. The key — as always — is to know your audience, recognize whether they need what you’re selling, and convey your mutually-beneficial relationship.

Whether that’s through inbound or outbound marketing is irrelevant. The key is recognizing the person you’re trying to sell to as a valued person and developing a relationships that will serve both of your interests.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Does LinkedIn have a connection request limit

Does LinkedIn Have A Connection Request Limit?

Back in the day, LinkedIn was intended to be an intranet of sorts … you were only supposed to connect with individuals you knew. Try to connect with someone “outside of your network,” and you’d get a not-so-friendly slap on the wrist.

That has changed the past two years since Microsoft purchased LinkedIn. Now, LinkedIn is meant to be a networking tool. You can reach out to individuals you don’t know personally to expand your reach – much more beneficial for business owners and job seekers!

I have based my business on this practice, helping individuals connect with relevant professionals on LinkedIn as a way to grow their businesses. I see connection requests as a great way for professionals to grow their networks while engaging in active lead generation. In my opinion, using InMail for cold reach-outs sends a warning to the recipient, which is: I’m trying to sell you something!

I generate a lot of interest with my lead generation service, but have had the same question asked multiple times over the past week:

“Does LinkedIn limit the number of connection requests you can send out?”

The answer is yes and no. There isn’t a publicized limit, but LinkedIn does pay attention to whether your connection requests are converting. In other words, if you are sending request-after-request-after-request and people aren’t accepting (or worse, they’re reporting you), your account may get flagged for spamming.

Here is what LinkedIn has to say, word-for-word:

“If you’ve sent a large number of invitations, your account may be limited from inviting more members. This is generally due to many of your invitations being rejected or ignored by the members you’ve invited. We recommend you send invitations only to people you know and trust to be part of your network, as stated in the LinkedIn User Agreement. Having only quality connections in your network greatly improves the relevance of content shown in your feed, surfaces more appropriate matches in your searches, and better guides other features to help you discover opportunities on LinkedIn.”

Does this mean you can’t send connection requests to individuals you don’t know? Absolutely not. The key is to send relevant connection requests.

What constitutes a relevant connection request in my book?

The relationship must be mutually beneficial.

This, to me, is Sales 101, but it is critical to recognize that what constitutes a mutually-beneficial relationship is always relative to the business making the request and the person receiving it. There is a spectrum of “sales asks” on LinkedIn, ranging from connecting as a way to network to connecting as a means to sell. I will use three “for instance” examples to illustrate my point.

Example 1: The direct sell

Let’s say you manufacture desks. You want to connect with furniture stores on LinkedIn to ask if they want to stock your desks in their stores. Because you know before you reach out that they have a vested interest in purchasing desks, it is a reasonable reason to connect. In fact, the person you’re reaching out to may be thrilled you did. They are on LinkedIn as part of their profession and you are connecting with them to directly benefit their job.

Example 2: The information share

You also may connect with someone outside your network to share relevant information. If you are a financial advisor specializing in real estate, you may send connect requests to real estate professionals on LinkedIn with a note letting them know you publish articles they may find relevant to their business. This helps them by providing them with information and helps you by expanding your reach.

Example 3: The survey request

It is reasonable to connect on LinkedIn as a way to increase knowledge of your target audience. If you are a business coach, perhaps you send connection requests asking individuals what they look for in a business coach or how they find their business coaches.

With all three of these examples, though, one thing is critically important:

The note you include should be truthful.

Whether you’re looking to sell directly, share information, or request information, be honest about what you want. There is nothing worse on LinkedIn (or sales, for that matter) than a bait-and-switch. Don’t tell someone you want to learn from them only to send them a hard pitch 48 hours later.

Approach your LinkedIn strategy realistically and truthfully, knowing what you want to get out of your cold reach-out strategy and staying true to that goal.

Finally, know that every single professional and industry is unique. You may work in a field made up of people who hate to be solicited. That happens. If that’s the case, go with a networking strategy for connection requests and use InMail for your sales pitches.

The point is that no two situations are identical and it’s critical to approach your situation as a unique one. Know yourself and your audience and stay true to both. That is the best way to be successful on LinkedIn and to avoid being flagged as a spammer!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

What’s the Proper Etiquette for Prospecting on LinkedIn?

Do you know LinkedIn could be a big lead driver for your business, but aren’t sure how to get started? Have you “tried a few things” but aren’t sure whether you’re headed in the right direction? I recognize a lot of people are in that spot, so I asked my network to post their LinkedIn questions.

I hope they help you as well – please post additional questions in the comments section if yours isn’t addressed!

Q: After I’ve made a new connection and introduced myself, what’s the etiquette for following up? Is it simply a question of commenting on their posts and articles or should I be doing more?

There is a spectrum of ways to follow up, depending on your lead generation strategy. If you are reaching out to schedule a discovery call, you will want to follow up to ask if the person is willing and available for that call. If, on the other hand, you are nurturing long-term relationships, you can just follow up with a thank you. Try to avoid overwhelming the person with an immediate, “Here’s my free download!” or “Join my email list!”

I do recommend keeping track of these people in a spreadsheet, though, so you can follow up later with relevant content. Let’s say you design websites and your target audience includes marketers looking for website help for their new or existing clients. If you write an article about website design best practices, you can share it with a potential lead with a note of, “Hey XX! I just wrote this article and think it might be relevant to you or your audience. If you like it, I would love it if you could share it!”

This way, you’re not only helping the potential lead, you’re getting your content out there to another relevant network and it’s a soft ask. In my opinion, this is a win-win-win.

Q: In your pro opinion, when does it make sense to use premium levels of LinkedIn (ie. Sales Navigator) for lead gen?

Look at whether you intend this to be a primary way you generate leads. If you have another source of steady leads, you may simply want to browse through LinkedIn to find relevant connections and track your outreach through a spreadsheet.

If you want this to be a more robust way of generating leads, however, you’ll want to pay for the premium service because it allows you to track leads and easily engage with them, whether you’re connected or not.

You can look at the value of a lead vs. the cost of the service, but I would wager that anyone looking to generate leads on LinkedIn has a client value above $79.99 (the cost of Sales Navigator). Many people won’t see a return for months, though, because it’s a nurturing process, so looking at whether this will be a primary source or leads is the important thing.

Q: What is the proper etiquette (for lack of a better word) for prospecting on LinkedIn?

Connecting on LinkedIn should always be about a mutually-beneficial relationship. If you reach out to someone, do so with the intention of creating a relationship that will benefit both parties instead of reaching out with, “buy from me!”

The exception is if you can tell without reaching out that the people you’re reaching out to already need what you’re selling.

For example, you’re selling doorknobs and you’re reaching out to door companies. They need doorknobs. You don’t have to ask if they need doorknobs — there is a clear need. It’s easy to reach out and say, “Hi, Door Company! I’m reaching out to see if you are in need of a new doorknob vendor. Our product is superior because A, B, C.”

Note, though, that even when you are reaching out with “buy from me” it is a mutually beneficial relationship. Door Company needs doorknobs. You need to sell your doorknobs. It’s a win-win.

Q: Isn’t that the best way to “sell” anyway? Through engagement and connection and the sales will follow.

Yes, it is, but there are two things here.

  1. People don’t actually do that. There is some bad “selling” going around. I’d wager everyone reading this has been on the receiving end of bad selling.
  2. Relationship building is more important on LinkedIn, because you know who you’re talking to when you reach out. It’s easy to completely ruin a potential relationship from the beginning if you don’t have the proper tone as it pertains to your audience.

If you advertise on Facebook, Twitter, Google ads, or you have a content marketing plan on your website, you can see traffic, but not who is looking at your content. This is the one platform where you see who is looking at your content or messages AND who they are as a professional.

Q: I’ve wanted to start posting articles to LinkedIn, but, wasn’t sure if they needed to be written ‘differently’ than how they are on my blog… can they be re-purposed word for word, or, is that frowned upon?

Totally not frowned upon. The question is whether you are writing for the same audience in both spaces. I am working with someone who owns her own nonprofit school. On Facebook and with her website blog, she is speaking to the parents of current and potential students.

On LinkedIn, however, she is speaking to other businesses with the hope of garnering donations and interest from local entrepreneurs willing to mentor her students (her school engages in personalized learning with many hands-on, real-world experiences).

With her blogs, we can tweak the same message to make sense for the business audience compared to her parent audience.

Q: What’s your best tip for someone starting out with cold outreach for lead gen using LinkedIn?

Check your business for these two things before you create your marketing plan:

  1. Is your audience on and using LinkedIn? If they aren’t, you’re not going to get very far.
  2. How will your audience want to be sold to? Will they need to be nurtured along with multiple touch-points or can they be asked, point-blank, whether they want your product or service?

Q: What are your thoughts on thanking new connections? If yes, how do you do it tactfully?

I think it is important to be truthful and non-intrusive at the same time. I will often say things like, “Thank you for connecting – please let me know if any LinkedIn needs come up!” or “I’m excited to connect – I look forward to learning more about your business!”

When I am executing LinkedIn on behalf of a client with a more straightforward ask, I will follow up by asking if they are open to a discovery call and whether they have availability. The most important thing is to be a real human and not a sales robot. Stay true to yourself and your business while holding a real conversation.

People can often see through a “plan” being executed to a tee vs. someone having a real conversation. It’s why I manually work lead gen on behalf of my clients, I don’t automate the process. When I type in a response, it comes across as a conversation instead of a copied-and-pasted response.

Q: What is the most important thing to optimize on my profile before starting to reach out and connect to potential clients and collaborators?

Look at your profile as your own personal sales page. The same way you would optimize a sales page before launching a new product, you do for your LinkedIn profile. The three most important components to doing that are:

  1. Headline
  2. Current experience
  3. Summary

If you expect your audience to search for what you’re providing, embedding keywords would be at the top of the list as well.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Are You Leaving Money on the Table By Not Using LinkedIn?

LinkedIn could be a gold mine for you and your business, especially if you are business-to-business and offer premium services. Unlike other social networks, LinkedIn provides the ability to talk to the decision-makers of businesses you are targeting. What’s more, people are on LinkedIn to talk business. You don’t get that with Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

How do you know if you’re leaving money on the table? Ask yourself these three questions:

1. Is my LinkedIn profile optimized?

If you have a half-filled-out profile, you are leaving money on the table. Period.

Your LinkedIn profile should serve as a lead page for you and your business. It should follow inbound marketing practices and include specific keywords related to your business. A friend and business associate of mine, Maggie Patterson of Scoop Industries, told me that following my advice to add keywords to her profile resulted in significantly more attention to her profile.

It makes a difference.

Additionally, having a profile that guides curious individuals through your initial sales process will be the difference between them reaching out with an inquiry and clicking away to something else.

2. Does my business offer premium services?

Let me put it to you this way: if you stand to make thousands off of a single conversion, you can’t afford not to invest in LinkedIn for your business. Nowhere else in social media marketing can you achieve what you can with personal, one-to-one reach-outs on LinkedIn – a platform created to talk business.

I am working with one client that needed just two conversions over the course of a year to consider the work put into LinkedIn a success. We achieved that in less than two months. If your business offers a premium service, the pressure to convert immediately goes away, resulting in a much higher likelihood of conversion.

Why is that? People are more likely to buy from those not pressuring them to buy. It’s that simple.

3. Is my sales team struggling with cold calls?

If you have a sales team cold-calling with little success, consider optimizing their profiles and conducting reach-outs on LinkedIn. It is a less intrusive process than cold-calling, allowing the potential lead to consider the conversation and respond on his or her own time.

The key is to reach out with the intention of setting up a discovery call. Don’t reach out and provide a link to buy. Instead, work to spark a respectful conversation with potential leads.

If you don’t want to invest in LinkedIn profile optimization for sales team members that might leave your business, invest in optimizing your own profile and pay for a business summary. That way, your sales team can add the business summary to their profiles and personalize their full profiles to their own liking.

Another option is to have members of your sales team conduct reach-outs with a higher-level executive’s profile. Often times, the weight of an influencer will generate more interest, especially when combined with a solid content strategy.

So … how did you do?

Are you leaving money on the table? That’s actually great news!

For a couple thousand dollars per month, your business could conduct regular, personal reach-outs to your target audience. If you are interested in developing a strategy like this, take a look at my B2B LinkedIn Lead Generation page and reach out for more information.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Do You Want to Leverage LinkedIn for Your B2B?

I am asked a lot whether LinkedIn is the “right” tool for a B2B. My answer is almost always “it depends.” One thing that separates me from many other professionals is that I want the best for your business first, regardless of whether you choose to work with me. If LinkedIn isn’t the best option for you, I don’t want you to use it.

So, is LinkedIn the right option for you? The best way to determine that is to jump on a call with me, but here are a few cheats to try to figure it out for yourself:

Ask Yourself: “Is my audience on LinkedIn?”

It’s simple, but it’s critical. If you are targeting a group of people who don’t like LinkedIn, you may struggle with results. That’s not to say your target has to spend a lot of time on LinkedIn. I have clients who have had great success reaching out to individuals who spend little time at a computer.

The key is to look at the connections of the people you are targeting. If your ideal client has fewer than 100 connections, no headshot, and next to nothing in his or her profile, you may want to avoid LinkedIn. Again, this isn’t a dealbreaker, but it’s one thing to consider.

Ask Yourself: “Can I easily identify my target audience?”

This is a big one.

The first thing someone is going to do when you reach out is qualify whether you have a legitimate reason for reaching out. You have a split second to catch his or her attention before being written off as a spammer.

This is why people who target a specific geographic location can often have more success than those who target behaviors or industries. If you start by saying, “Hi, I’m reaching out to local businesses to ask …” you are instantly relevant. Yes, some people will still be annoyed, but it’s a far cry from reaching out with something along the lines of, “Do you need a new website?!”

If you provide bookkeeping services for influencers who have little time to focus on anything other than influencing, you have that same relevance. “Hello, I see you are a big-time influencer in your space and I would love to chat with you about the bookkeeping services I offer.”

On the other hand, if you are target people who are dissatisfied with their websites, you can’t know that without asking. That drastically increases the time and energy you will have to expend before you uncover your ideal target and it makes for a tough ask. Think about it: by approaching them, you have to assume they hate their website. And what if they are the ones that designed it?

Ask yourself: “Are those within my target audience disgruntled?”

I once worked with someone whose target audience was angry. Every fifth person I looked up had “don’t contact me or I will publicly shame you” written within their profiles. It was so stressful!

If the people you are contacting have a chip on their shoulder when it comes to cold reach-outs, there’s a good chance you’re going to fail miserably at your LinkedIn sales endeavor. You’re probably best to settle in with a nice, safe inbound marketing or SEO campaign and call it a quarter.

Ask Yourself: “Will my leads make me enough money?”

Personalized reach-outs take time, which means money. This is true whether you’re conducting them yourself or hiring me to do it — time equates to money regardless.

It’s important that what you’re selling will make you enough money to make the reach-outs worth it. This can happen in volume or value. Convert many lower-tier services a month to cover the cost of outreach or convert one high-end service a month to cover the cost – either way works.

Okay, you say. If time is money, is it better to just go with ads?

If you are selling on LinkedIn, I see one reason to leverage ads instead of personalized reach-outs and that is if your ask will insult your audience. As mentioned above, if the only way you can approach your audience is by asking whether they’re dissatisfied with their current way of doing things, ads may be a better approach.

So, what do you think? Are LinkedIn reach-outs the way to go for you? Do you have any questions? Ask them in the comments below!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

This Kind of Lead Generation Advice Drives Me Crazy

I love lead generation. To me, it’s like a code to be cracked. I work with all types of businesses with many different goals to determine what marketing strategy and lead generation tactic will work best.

That’s why it drives me crazy when anyone touts that one type of lead generation strategy will work across the board.

I recently came across a professional on LinkedIn who made a bold statement about nurturing leads. She posted a pitch someone made and — I’ll be honest — it was a bad pitch. In response, she posted about the importance of nurturing people into becoming leads.

I agree that is a good tactic, but I don’t necessarily think it is a good tactic all the time.

Here’s why.

Let’s say you are trying to sell to Person A and Person B. Person A hates being pitched. She feels uncomfortable and irritated when anyone tries to sell to her. Person B considers her time valuable and prefers that people get to the point. If she is being sold to, she’d prefer to be asked point-blank whether she wants the product or service.

Clearly, attempting to sell the same way to both people is a bad idea. Person A needs to be nurtured. The pitch has to be disguised. Person B wants the opposite. Just cut to the chase.

Great, you say, but I can’t read people’s minds. How does this help me?

Here’s the thing: you can predict which type of person you will be pitching based on your service and target audience. If you are a vendor for hotel chains, for example, nurturing your potential leads probably isn’t necessary. You can reach out to the decision-maker or gatekeeper at the hotel with a direct, customized ask.

Research the chain and mention important business details. Maybe you recently stayed at one of their hotels and loved the service. Once you’ve written your personal note, you can simply ask, “Do you need [what I’m selling]? If you do, let’s set up a call. If not, it was great to connect!”

On the other hand, you may be an accountant for entrepreneurs. That type of relationship tends to require more nurturing. Instead of reaching out and asking someone to sign up for services, you may say, “Hey, Person B, I see you have your own business. Fantastic! I work with business owners as a CPA and would love to connect with you in the event you need help in the future. Thank you!” Then you work your inbound marketing strategy with blog posts, interviews, and other tactics.

The key here is personalization to both the business and individual. The service you are providing makes a difference and so do the people you are reaching out to.

The point is that it’s all relative, which is why I dislike professionals saying one way is the only way. It’s all about uncovering the right code and executing.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her atchrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Should You Leverage LinkedIn Cold Reach-Outs for Your B2B?

Are you considering cold reach-outs on LinkedIn for your B2B?

In some instances, leveraging Sales Navigator to conduct cold reach-outs is better than using targeted ads: they are more personal and direct.

My process is as follows:

  1. Search for your target audience on LinkedIn
  2. Filter those results to see who is most active on the platform
  3. Send unique InMail messages or connection requests to individuals who fit your ideal client
  4. Engage those who respond to set up a discovery call

Simple right? For the most part, yes, but there are factors that can impact the effectiveness of the process. One I speak about in today’s video, and it is: how many reach-outs do those within your target audience receive each day?

The truth is that I have worked with clients who receive an insane number of InMail messages each day from individuals trying to work with them or sell them something. It’s overwhelming.

That means that it will be much harder to get that person’s attention, so you either need to leverage a different sales tactic or get creative.

Connection Requests

One way to test the effectiveness of LinkedIn reach-outs for your business is to use connection requests. I find that connection requests get through to professionals with a lot of LinkedIn noise better than InMail messages.

Here’s why:

1. InMail is “salesy.”

Especially for those who receive a lot of solicitations, InMail messages may be something they now ignore.

2. Connection requests are still personal.

You have fewer characters to work with when you send someone a connection request, but you can — and should — still add a personal note. For my clients, I start with an introduction and then touch briefly on what I’d like to speak about.

3. There is an inbound marketing benefit.

There is residual benefit from a connection request beyond the reach-out. If the person accepts, he or she is now in your network. So, even if they don’t respond to your initial reach-out attempt, they will be nurtured through your sales process as you publish content and remain active on LinkedIn.

4. You have future access.

Once someone connects with you, the message you sent as part of your connection request becomes active in their messages. Even if they choose not to respond to that, you are now connected with them and can message them in the future.

Think it Through

It is possible that your target audience is too bombarded with solicitations for your reach-out to be worthwhile. Test out the theory by working with connection requests and see if you gain any traction. At the very least, you will learn invaluable information about your target audience to apply to future tactics!

If you would like help with this process, don’t hesitate to reach out via LinkedIn or chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her atchrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

4 Ways LinkedIn Lead Generation is Just Like Dating

The more advice I give as part of my B2B LinkedIn Lead Generation business, the more I recognize my advice could double for someone looking for a date.

Let’s face it: both areas find us putting our best selves forward, scrutinizing every aspect of a person’s profile, and getting really excited when we see new inbox alerts.

Take a look at the following tips to improve your LinkedIn reach-outs … or to come across as more appealing on your first date:

Tip 1: Don’t Talk About How Great You Are

Just as the person sitting across the dinner table doesn’t want to hear your life story, it’s not appealing to dive right into how great you are when reaching out to a business prospect. The goal for a LinkedIn reach-out is to articulate the mutual benefit.

It’s why businesses that can easily identify someone in need of their product or service have the highest likelihood of success. Think about it: when you can send someone a message and say, “I see you are in Year 2 of your business and our service is specifically designed for businesses in Year 2,” you are going to generate responses.

On the flip side, if you send someone a message and say, “I see you are a startup. We have a lot of success with startups, helping them grow exponentially over their second year …” you are going to generate a lot of deletes.

Tip 2: Make An Effort to Say Something Nice

As you would if you were going on a first date, it’s nice to do your research before the first meeting. Look over the person’s profile before you reach out and make note of anything nice to mention. Maybe someone makes great jokes you can reference. Perhaps they speak of a love of fly fishing.

When you take the time to notice and mention these things, you will at the very least gain a few extra seconds from the person. That may be the difference between a response and a delete. I’ve had multiple occasions where people replied mentioning the reference and appreciating that it was made.

NOTE: Looking over someone’s profile can also save you time. I’ve read summaries of individuals who threaten public scrutiny if they are solicited. Yikes.

Tip 3: Don’t Be Desperate

Desperate is never a good look, whether you’re dating or prospecting. I’ve been in the middle of sending reach-outs when someone I’ve reached out to accepted my connection request. I hold off sending a follow-up so I don’t look like I’m sitting there waiting for a response (… even though I kind of am).

This is the most relevant parallel between dating and lead generation — no one likes a desperate person or business. It’s why we attract all the business when we have a full plate and struggle to attract anything when we could use more clients.

Let’s face it: we are most attractive when we are popular.

Tip 4: Muster Up Genuine Excitement

Genuine excitement when meeting someone for the first time is always a plus. From a lead generation standpoint, the same is true.

When I’m working with a new client, I try to get as specific as possible with who they’re targeting. I do this for a number of reasons, but one is so I get really excited when I find the right person or business. That excitement translates into the message I write and creates a connection that wouldn’t otherwise be there.

Here’s an example:

Let’s say my client told me he was selling to women in the technology industry. I’m not going to get overly excited since they are a dime a dozen. Additionally, my reach-outs will be as generic as the target (“So, I see you’re a woman … in the technology industry …”)

If he told me instead that he was looking for women in the technology industry who attended Brown University in the past 10 years, I’m going to get way more excited when I find those women. My reach-outs will also be more specific and engaging (“Hi there! I see you are a Brown alumna, which is exactly who I’m looking for …”).

Even though I could pretend to get excited about the women in the technology industry, it’s going to be genuine when I have a more specific target.

So … are you ready to get out there?

Now you know — prepare for your LinkedIn reach-outs the same way you would for a first date! You’ll end up being the biggest man or woman on campus. If you think this sounds great but have no desire to enter the “dating” scene yourself, you can also reach out for a discovery call and we can talk about me playing the field on your behalf.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

Can Your Prospects Hear You Through All the Noise?

As you look to generate leads for your business-to-business through LinkedIn, it’s important to take a step back and recognize the atmosphere in which you’re trying to reach people. There can be a lot of noise to get through when trying to capture someone’s attention, which may require an adjustment in strategy.

Take a look at your target audience and gauge whether they are likely to receive a lot of solicitations. If you are reaching out to C-level individuals, human resources, or business owners, for example, you’re going to have to be really good.

Determine whether an adjustment in strategy is needed by asking yourself these questions:

1. Is my LinkedIn profile telling the right story?

This is critical for everyone, but especially for those reaching out to highly sought-after individuals. Even if you successfully capture the attention of a prospect, they will only skim (yes, skim) your LinkedIn profile to see what you’re about. If it doesn’t paint the right picture, you’ve lost them.

Your LinkedIn profile is like your personal landing page — you have one opportunity to capture new business and you better deliver.

2. Are you generating appropriate content?

Generating LinkedIn content has a slightly different objective than content on your website. LinkedIn content is part of your profile and acts as supporting material when a prospect is trying to learn more about you.

Your three most recent articles will be prominent, so make sure you:

  • Use highly enticing headlines. I use CoSchedule’s headline analyzer.
  • Provide value. You can’t give away too much expertise as a B2B. The more you showcase what you know, the more businesses will want you to personalize your approach for them.
  • Make sure you are targeting the right audience. This isn’t all about you. Don’t write to convey what you know, write to showcase the skills that provide help to those you service.

3. Do you have the right ask?

I addressed this a little bit in a recent article, Be Confident, Not Cocky, When Pitching Your Services. While the way you pitch is important, so is what you’re pitching, and this is especially critical when you’re reaching out to individuals who are frequently solicited.

If Business Owner Joe receives 10-plus reach-outs per day and you send a message asking him to invest five figures in your service, he’s probably going to snicker and move on. You will blend in with the noise.

If, on the other hand, you simply ask Business Owner Joe to connect, engage in a conversation about something relevant, and then move on without asking for anything, you’ve planted a seed. This is not nearly as exciting as getting a quick win, but it’s realistic and, ultimately, effective.

4. Do you have the right expectations?

A continuation of making sure you have the right ask is having appropriate expectations. Generating immediate business from your reach-outs may not be realistic considering the people and services you’re pitching.

Your reach-outs may act primarily as a connection point to begin a longer sales cycle that will require inbound marketing — high quality content, engaging on the platform — in order to convert. What’s more, using the approach that you will get a sale from one reach-out may actually be hurting you.

For someone who is constantly bombarded with solicitations, reaching out with an expectation of receiving business may be a put-off. On the flip side, simply looking to connect and make conversation could be refreshing and start you off on the right foot with potential business down the line.

Get the Right Strategy

You may be struggling to recognize the right approach for your B2B, which is completely understandable. We are so immersed in our own businesses that it is difficult to remain objective.

Reach out via InMail or at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com if you’re looking for a lead generation strategy and we can talk next steps!

In the meantime, take a look at your LinkedIn profile to make sure you’re conveying the appropriate message to the right people!

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.

The 3 Things I Did to Get a Response From a Cold Reach-Out

I was conducting lead generation on behalf of a client and received a response that made me smile. The individual said:

I actually looked at your link because you wrote a very personal and to the point note.

He went on to say that what I was offering wasn’t for him, but the fact that he took the time to respond should speak volumes to you if you’re in sales (and, if you’re an entrepreneur, you’re in sales).

What did I do that was so personal? Three basic things:

1. I read his LinkedIn profile.

Yes, that’s right. I read it. It seems simple and — to some — a waste of time, but it is a few minutes that goes a long way.

As someone who conducts cold reach-outs, when I’m on the receiving end of them, I know exactly why they bother me or why I’m happy to respond:

If you have clearly done your homework (which could mean spending all of three minutes reading my LinkedIn profile) and recognize I’m truly a good fit for what you’re offering, I’m interested … or, at the very least, happy to respond.

If it’s obvious you’ve sent the same message to me that you’re sending to another 100 people, I (shake my head and) move on.

2. I referenced his experiences.

This person had a long career in journalism — it’s clear he’s led an interesting life. When I wrote him a note, I mentioned that. Suddenly, he recognizes I care. He recognizes I took three minutes to read his profile. He recognizes I’m not a bot or an automated system.

I’m seeing him as more than a target.

I’ve read a number of articles lately that talk about solving problems instead of selling services. This is completely true, but let’s take it one step further. We should care about solving those problems. Caring goes a long way, and it can be felt … even through the written word on LinkedIn.

3. I was conversational.

I read a great article today about dealing with objections in sales and agreed with the concept, but the example language used was way too formal and “salesy” for me. My No. 1 tip when it comes to reach-outs: just talk.

Yes, it’s important to be grammatically correct. It’s important to spell things properly. It’s important to sound intelligent. But it’s also important to talk to people as though they’re human beings instead of a statistic.

You can tailor the language to the industry — a doctor will probably respond better to more formal conversation than a life coach — but don’t sound like you copied the text out of a Sales 101 textbook.

In closing …

I truly believe 10 personal reach-outs beat 100 stock reach-outs any day of the week. Yes, there are other factors to being sales savvy, but being personal is No. 1 in my book.

Spend that three minutes reading someone’s LinkedIn profile. Trust me, it’ll pay off.

About Chrissie Wywrot

Chrissie Wywrot is a B2B lead generator and personal brand strategist who works with passionate entrepreneurs and professional athletes. To learn more about her services, visit her LinkedIn profile or email her at chrissie@chrissiewywrot.com.