Congratulations! You have a LinkedIn account, set up your profile and now have a hundred connections or more. Are you getting any business yet? If not, I have a formula that you can use to turn what would have been a cold call into a warm lead. It’s a technique I learned about from B2B copywriter Steve Slaunwhite.
Once you have identified a prospect, you can send that person a message through LinkedIn (either directly on their profile or in a LinkedIn group where they have started a discussion) or with a direct email that features these four components:
1. Break the ice
2. Establish relevance
3. Position yourself as a credible expert who provides a solution
4. Invite the prospect to take an easy-to-say-yes-to next step
You can “break the ice” in a couple different ways. Look at the person’s LinkedIn profile and see if you have something in common. Or see if they have written an article that you can read and comment on. You could also see if you are a member of the same LinkedIn group and find out if the prospect has started a discussion in a group that you can reference in your message.
Establish relevance by mentioning something that is “top of mind” with your prospect. Examples include a trade show, new product launch, promotion, new account, industry surveys, reports, etc.
A great way to position yourself as an expert is to mention that you have published an article that addresses a problem the prospect faces. This could be a special report that you already offer on your website as a lead generating device.
Finally, ask the prospect if they’d be interested in your article so you can forward them a copy. Always ask first to make sure they really are interested, so you don’t waste your time. And remember to keep the email short, and focused – 100-150 words is long enough.
If the prospect responds positively to your email and asks for your information, respond quickly. Then, you can follow up with them again in a couple of days to see if they read the material. Now you have an opening to start the sales discussion.
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