I think most of us are aware that we can send private messages to our 1st degree connections on LinkedIn. But what about the vast network of professionals we are not connected to yet? How can we open the dialogue?
The first word in “Social Selling” is “Social”. Opening the dialogue means that we are required to be social, correct? And isn’t networking all about opening the dialogue? Isn’t sales all about opening the dialogue? Aren’t business partners attained by opening the dialogue. Don’t you meet new COI’s by opening the dialogue? Isn’t opportunity found in the dialogue? It’s time to start opening the dialogue.
Many times, professionals will send a connection request in an effort to open the dialogue. There are 3 distinct dialogue killing flaws with this approach. Let me ask you this… how many times have you sent connection requests with the good intentions of opening the dialogue, never to follow up? That is flaw #1. What about that generic message that you forgot to customize informing the recipient why you would like to open the dialogue? There’s flaw #2. Now, your invitation has been declined, and you have been marked as spam or marked that the receiver doesn’t know you… and that is flaw #3. Can you hear the sound of the door slamming shut?
Yes, InMails are one way to attempt to open the dialogue, and it is available for Premium members, and quantity is based on your level of membership. There are at least 2 other ways to message on LinkedIn that do not require InMails, for professionals that are 2nd degree or more. While InMails are convenient, there seems to be a “cold calling” quality to them for the most part. When someone InMails me, it leads me to believe that either that was the only way they could contact me, which means that there are no warm touch points, or I wasn’t important enough for them to engage me in conversation in other ways, other than the LinkedIn cold call. Now take this with a grain of salt… depending on the message my point of view will be impacted, but the majority of InMails I receive are from folks trying to sell me something without ever determining whether I had a need, want, or desire.
Bobbie Foedisch, Chief Social Selling Officer here at AAL , recently recorded this video blog to walk you through the step-by-step process of 3 ways to message professionals on LinkedIn that are not a 1st degree connection, including InMails, Premium Member free messaging, and messaging through LinkedIn Groups.