If LinkedIn connections (Network) are the Heart then Engagements are the Lungs of social selling.  Both are important because your network is POWERLESS, if ou don’t engage and your engagement has NO LIFE without a network.  In this blog post I will share my insight into how technology consultant can engage customers and prospects to close more business.

Engagement is the core of social selling hence first thing first  “Research your customer/prospect/referrals.”    Research profile and find out triggers that can start a conversation.  The triggers could be  “How you are Like them i.e . what is common between you two”  or “what is unique in their profile that could  trigger a conversation.”  There are two platforms of engagement.

Engagement Creates Visibility and Visibility creates Opportunity

Platform # 1 is your Timeline: Like, Share and Comment on others post.  This happens on your timeline

When you Like a post – You communicate that “you are Like him or you think alike.”

When you share a post – You communicate that “ Prospect I Trust him” or “Prospect You are an authority or SME – subject matter expert” on  the subject.

When you comment on a post – You communicate that  “I have an opinion.”  Here you add value in your comment.  And value addition could be as simple as recognizing or appreciating the content.  Or a revealing a different business angle.

Hence listen and grab every opportunity to engage your prospect or customer – such as he might comment that he is looking to hire a Sales Professional or Accounts professional. Grab the opportunity to recommend or share the post with a relevant LinkedIn group. Remember “The Law of Reciprocity” – it’s in our DNA that if someone helps us we are expected to return that favour.

Platform # 2 is InMail.  LinkedIn research reveals that average email response rate is 3%, average InMail response rate is 10% whereas InMail with intent data is 30%.  Secondly “InMail = Business” because when member opens InMail they wear a business hat.  InMail has FOUR building blocks that increase open rate and they are

  1. Add catchy email title that arouses curiosity. ( Check out this site for recommendations  https://headlines.sharethrough.com/ )
  2. Personalize your InMail message
  3. Add value in every message
  4. Include intent data reference (The response rate to intent data InMail shoots up to 30%)

Engaged Customers draw more customers, spend more and are more profitable

To begin with explore various types of InMail/message that are triggered and crafted.  And they are

  1. “Happy Birthday” = Standard LinkedIn template: Send him a birthday wish but just don’t send the LinkedIn standard birthday template, personalize your wishes. (Triggered response)
  2. “Congrats on your work anniversary” = Standard LinkedIn Template: Congratulate him and create your personalized template. ( Triggered response)”
  3. “Congrats on your work anniversary” = Standard LinkedIn template: Congratulate and create your personalized InMail. “Congratulations on your new job.  I observed that you have transitioned from sales to HR role. I am just curious to know what prompted this transition. “
  4. Asking for Introduction: InMail : “Hi Ramesh, I happened to notice that you’re connected to Ahmed from XY Z company. Would it be ok if  I ask you to introduce me?”
  5. Asking for information, clarification: InMail: “I observed in your blog post that you have implemented XYZ CRM last month. I am just curious to know have you integrated it with LinkedIn.
  6. Congratulating on awards: I noticed that you have won employee of the month award. I am just curious what guidelines you would recommend to win this award.
  7. Asking for a meeting: InMail: It’s wonderful to notice that you passed out from XYZ University in 1985. I am also an alumnus of XYZ University passed out in 1984. I propose we meet sometime to exchange notes.
  8. Focus and Be Specific: Don’t beat around the bush about why you are sending this message. Do not use phrases like, “I was wondering”, “If you ever think of…” Instead, be transparent. Feel free to say, “It was important for me to write to you today because I’d like to connect about ___.
  9. Research: Include a sentence or two that demonstrates your research, interest and sets you apart. InMail message could be: “Your work with XXX company is amazing and interest me.” “I enjoyed reading your recent blog about ___.”
  10. Caveat: No sooner you establish InMail connect you must transition serious business communication outside the perimeter of LinkedIn and close business.