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Building Relationships on LinkedIn

When you are working with LinkedIn, don’t think about the numbers or how many people you are connected with, look at building relationships on LinkedIn.

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When you have a large number of connections, fans or followers it doesn’t always mean success. Stay connected to people you do business with like your customers, colleagues and other people who are connected with you offline as well. Like community gatherings or volunteer activities.

54.4% of people do this on LinkedIn, versus only 18.6% of people who don’t. In order to get referrals and introductions you have to ask for them, top people will do this at a rate between 34 to 39%. The people who don’t ask for these connections aren’t using this very effectively.

You have to have a positive mindset to reap the rewards of using LinkedIn, for your sales and marketing. As selling to me is simply asking for the relationship, about connecting with people. Here are some ways in which you can create more connections and nurture the people who are in your network already.

+ Connect with your customers, find out when new opportunities are coming up, extend an invite to their second-level connects and referral base.
+ Embrace referrals and introductions in conversations to build trust and report. Know that as you do this, solid referrals will occur and you’ll be building trust. The discovery is theta it’s the #1 way to set up meetings with potential buyers.
+ Consistently share good information, offer insights, your ideas and contribute to the group conversations to ensure they’re “referable.” In other words uplift them so that other peole will pay attention.

How much time does it take to keep up with your connections?

If you are a Power user or someone who is very active on LinkedIn you’ll be spending 6 or more hours. If LinkedIn, isn’t your main source or referrals or connections then you’ll spend from 2 -5 hours a week. Others will just dabble and this will be one or two hours per week.

Now you need to ask yourself is the time investment worth it?

The more time you invest in building and developing relationships with people the more opportunities will come about. These opportunities could be job offers, joining a group, sharing your expertise in writing articles or collaborating or even just getting a little attention to your projects.

30% of the people who spend the most time on LinkedIn aren’t feeling satisfied or have less results like sales, referrals and connections. You also need to consider the opportunity cost of not working LinkedIn to your advantage.

Here are some action steps that you can get started now to be more effective:

1. Enhance your presence – by updating your profile, use your results or how you have helped people vs your quotas. Your profile shouldn’t be in a resume format.

2. Research your customers – look at their profiles, and see if they have any key business challenges, who do you have in common, what groups do they belong to?

3. Make sure you are connected with all your primary referral partners, business associates and customers.

4. Having recommendations and endorsements help you to keep a business presence. Start giving recommendations and endorsements, be sincere.

5. Build a list as you know you can export your connections into your own database or address book, keep details about them and fine-tune them. keep track of things that will mean something to you. Use saved searches – you get 3 on the free version of LinkedIn.

6. Join groups and start following people.

7. Share your expertise, make it a daily practice to post updates on your own profile. Ask questions, share a link to a great article, comment what others say too! Do this without any expectation of return.

For more information get the free e-book LinkedIn Sales Secrets

The stats in this article was sourced from Cracking the Sales Code book.

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