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Five ways to start a sales conversation on LinkedIn during Covid-19

15 April 2020  
Posted by: Jenny Booth
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Wednesday 15 April 2020

1 “We’ve been connected on LinkedIn for a few months now, and I do like to try to have a chat with my connections - not to pitch to you, but just to hear about what you do, and say what we do.”

So begins a model approach from a salesperson to a prospect on the LinkedIn networking site.

This may surprise you, but four out of 20 businesspeople who receive an unthreatening, friendly message like this are likely to accept the invitation to have a 15-minute chat, according to Adam Gray, of social sales specialists DLA ignite.

This is all the more true now, in the period of Covid-19.

2 “Thanks for liking my post on xyz this week. It reminded me we haven’t spoken for a while. Is it OK if we have a chat?”

The reason we are all more likely to respond right now is that we are all in the same boat: isolated, at home, out of contact, feeling lonely, desperate for some real human interaction, knowing we ought to be doing something but not sure exactly what it is. The contact may lead nowhere at all, but a real connection has been made - and who knows what the future will bring? Perhaps one day that person will advocate for you within their organisation.

3 “I noticed that you’d viewed my profile recently. I hope you found what you needed.

It made me look at yours too, and as I’m always looking to grow my network with good and interesting people, would you like to connect?”

My chief takeaway from Gray’s excellent, free, live webinar for the Association of Professional Sales this week - one of a series of Covid-19 expert sales webinars which the APS has thrown open to everyone, not just members - was that social sales is a numbers game, and to maximise your chances of success you have to be out there, casting your bread on the waters.

4 “I’ve recently joined the xyz group and I saw your profile and thought that perhaps we could connect as I’m always looking for new, interesting connections.”

Absolutely nobody wants to be pitched to right now, insists Gray (a finding backed up by Hubspot’s latest global survey), but we could all do with a sympathetic conversation.

It only takes half an hour to draft a generic message, select 10 people from your list of connections and ping them. If you do it first thing in the morning, the chances are you’ll have a reply by lunchtime. It’s a good discipline to do every day.

5 “LinkedIn suggested you as someone I might find interesting. I had a look at your profile, and because I’m always looking for good and interesting people to strengthen my network, would you like to connect?”

If you improve your digital skills now and use them, you will be in a far, far stronger position when the crisis ends, because the skills and techniques you deploy now will be with you forever. This could be a very valuable learning period for you.

Our free, Covid-19 sales webinars, to keep sellers safe and selling, are open to everyone, not just members.

Click here to see our full programme of events, and book your place. https://the-aps.com/page/Events