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Your LinkedIn Outreach Is Terrible (and what you can do about it)

Your LinkedIn outreach is terrible.

I don’t know exactly where people are getting “advice” for how to do outreach on social media...but what they’re being told is really bad.

Every day I receive dozens of LinkedIn connection requests that look the same, sound the same, and even smell the same (yep, they smell like you-know-what).

I’ve been in the online marketing industry a very long time--I had hair when I started--and was networking long before these platforms even existed.

“Hey, man. Saw you were in the same restaurant as I am, so I figured I’d sit my ass down at your group's table. How ‘bout it?”

This is the level of LinkedIn outreach message today.

Is that how you want to present yourself?

Is this the level of dialogue you wish to imply is available?

“Hey, man. We haven’t even met yet but why don’t we just get this crap over with and you buy my stuff / we get married / have a baby with me already?”

That’s what you sound like.

connection network linkedin join outreach

Photo by Darrel Und from Pexels

Clues To Effective LinkedIn Outreach

You may have noticed that I do like to provide solutions where I see problems. So here are some genuine recommendations you’ll find to be effective.

First, Niche Down.

Goodness! When someone sends me an out-of-the-blue connection request, and they aren’t even in my industry… can you guess what my automatic response will be?

Bye-bye.

And--get this--the reaction is even clearer, stronger and more deeply emotional (for that split-second of attention it gets) if you have dumped one of those inane copy-paste “I just thought we should” messages into the request.

It is better for you to have used NO message. If you’re coming from outside the person’s industry, it is better for you to not have said anything at all.

Let your profile do the talking instead.

That headline. It’s copywriting. A field I’ve been involved in for over a quarter-century and made a lot of money for both myself and my clients in. Your LinkedIn headline: that’s where you should be spending all of that careful crafting effort. It was true offline in traditional printed advertising and it remains true today in online platforms. Human nature has not changed.

Spamming outreach is not prospecting.

Churn-based activity is not effective work.

Can I be clearer?

Focus for Outreach Effectiveness

If you are sending “X” number of connection requests a day because somebody told you to--without any other attendant strategy--then you are wasting your time.

Pick a freakin’ niche first.

Let me tell you about my own experience. Some of you know that I work in the space industry. The moment I changed my profile and my headline to reflect that and only that, and started outreaching to space industry people, my results got much better.

They saw I was “one of them”. And after a few weeks the Network Effect really caught on: people wouldn’t even look at my profile before they hit “Accept”.

I am connected to generals, senior officials and other high level people because of this focus.

Beyond that, though, and where nearly all of you fall down is this: my intention is to develop some kind of relationship with every connection I make.

Are You a Superconnector?

It needn’t be a deep relationship. In fact, the Superconnector books (and I am a superconnector, my friends tell me) say that you probably shouldn’t focus on developing those. Just a favor, a kind word, an introduction here and there, once or twice a year: that’s enough for people to remember you.

But I do create deep relationships, and quickly. It’s how I got all my advisors for my firm in less than 12 months.

That is my intention. Not to simply have you as a hanger-on, a never-noticed network blip...but to actually know you a little.

Can you say the same?

In my experience, probably not. You’ve probably adopted that dumb old sales “maxim” about “some will, some won’t, so what, next!”. The lack of qualification screams from that line. It’s a business model for idiots.

Niche down. Pick a target. Get some discernment. Engage that Network Effect to start acting on your behalf.

When a new USAF general sees that they and I have 122 shared connections, what do you think their next move is? “Accept”. They don’t even read my profile. The mutual connections, the headline, and that’s it. Plus my intention behind the scenes.

Remember The Number One Rule of Marketing and Stand Out, will ya?

Second, adopt a more formal tone.

That’s the way business introductions used to be. Formal. Now I’m not saying “Do it this way because it was better in the olden time.” I’m saying so because it is in direct contrast to the sloppy, casual, “flop down next to you in your restaurant booth seat like I’m your neighbor” approach so disastrously common today.

Rule Number One in marketing is Stand Out.

If you must send a connection message, make it formal. Have a good reason why you’re connecting: not this “I just figured” or “If you’re open to” nonsense.

I’m open to any space industry colleague wanting to connect through LinkedIn outreach. I don’t even look any further than the headline. I know that's helping my network effect power.

I am NOT open to you, Skippy, with your “I help overtired executives recover their life and times with energetic healing” me-me-me nonsense that I’ve received one hundred and fifteen nearly identical requests about over the past 30 days.

Qualification.

Third, why not use the affiliate model?

We use it in the online marketing world all the time. Have a well-known industry professional in the niche you want to be in introduce you to their existing list of contacts.

Yes, it’s going to be work. But you’re already doing at least half of that work now--and your way, alone, is ineffective.

And there’s going to have to be something in it for the industry pro. Hopefully you have one as a friend already. You can get creative, can’t you?

I do this, and it has made an amazing difference.

The language is formal. My kingpin contact recommends me in a three-person message. Like a tennis match, I hit the ball back over the net with my own formalized response. Perhaps the third party, who is in the same industry and at the same level as us, remember, has said something in response during this time. Then I can send the connection request, again with some super formal language reminding them of why I’m connecting and on whose behest, in case a few days or a week has gone by since the original exchange. Sometimes the new contact sends me the connection request themselves.

Do you see how different and how much more effective this kind of process is than your sad, lonely, disconnected-to-anything outreach?

Free Course for Effective LinkedIn Outreach (and it's not even mine!)

I’m not going to spill all my secrets--those are for paying clients--but I will leave you with a final gift. It’s a big one. Remember me in your will. This is a free course from a friend of a contact who got ahold of me for a consultation. He mentioned this site and I took a look around. Then I watched this course. I hope you understand I’ve seen a lot of things and so when I say this free course is better than many paid ones I’ve seen, that’ll matter to you. Go check it out. It’s A to Z, how to prospect effectively on LinkedIn.

Hell, you don’t even need me. What you do need is a change of mind.

>> FINALLY ready for effective, proven positioning, mindset, outreach and sales methods? Then you're ready for SALES ON FIRE <<

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How To Beat The Holiday Doldrums (In Sales)

I hear a lot of complaining about the upcoming time of year regarding "holiday doldrums" sales and revenue. While I've discussed this idea before, I want to add a few action steps to the solution for you.

First, let's remember that the notion that the whole world shuts down in the holiday season is silly and false. You can buy into it if you want to, and I can't stop you, but it's really a false and limiting belief.

Do many people take time off in the period starting at Thanksgiving and concluding in early January? Of course they do. I'm not here to argue that.

But does everyone?

Everyone?!

festive food holiday doldrums sales training

Holiday Doldrums Are Not For Everyone

Many people have an unconcealed hatred of the consumerist way Christmas celebration has become. I speak with them every day, and they have no trouble sharing their belief with me. These folks all continue with the grind and are available in their offices during the holiday season.

And what about people who don't have kids? They have far less of a reason to take their holidays at Christmastime, don't they. I myself took holidays for many years in April, and late September or early October.

The lesson here is that not every prospect has to follow the pattern you have in your mind.

You are not your customer!

Prospects Will Also Behave Differently During the Holiday Doldrums

So the truth that we are left with is that many potential customers remain in their offices in the traditional holiday season. And who is around them? Not as many other people, to be sure. The gatekeepers are often gone. These proto-buyers are far more likely to answer their phones.

I remember one year when I was a credit manager, I worked on my birthday. My age-turner is in the final week of the year, and it was almost silly—there was a skeleton crew on, and I was bored out of my tree. At 3:00 the director came in and said I could go home as they were shutting down early.

Now if you had reached me on a day like that day, right smack in the middle of what is supposed to be the dreaded “Shutdown Season”, I would have talked to you. I would have been glad to speak with you.

Keep this image in mind, because there are a lot of bored executives out there during the holiday period who will welcome your call.

See, what you have to do to be successful during this upcoming season is Change Your Behavior.

You can't count on inbound leads.

Referrals probably aren't going to flow in.

Your regular customers are going to behave exactly the way they have in past holiday seasons, and disappear.

Are you starting to get me?

You are going to have to do something different.

Reach out.

Have an interesting way to reach out—give the prospect something, have a good opener, something to break up what in there world is deadening monotony.

Then you have a great chance of being greeted by a chuckle, or a warm word of appreciation...and then you can get on with qualifying your new lead.

The deals are out there. Even in the midst of the holiday season. Change your behavior and go get them.

>> Jason Kanigan is a business strategist and sales trainer. If you are looking for a way to consistently reach and engage prospects, book a consultation with Jason.

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Qualify Not Close: Make Selling Easier On You

Qualify Not Close. You see a ton of emphasis on The Close in traditional sales training. Get that prospect in there, and BAM! Hit them over the head with The Close. Kill 'em like a squirrel in a deadfall trap.

Killer, huh?

You want to be a killer?

What if word starts getting around that you're a killer when it comes to sales? That this is the attitude you bring to the sales conversation?

Why You Should Qualify Not Close

It may work for appliances and cars—people stupidly buy vehicles, a long term, large financial investment, as if they're deciding what brand of orange juice they like—but in a real, senior B2B selling situation you're likely to get "niced out the door" by the prospects you're hoping to "kill."

Let me ask you this: What matters more...what you say, or what they say?

If you answered, "What I say," you're in error.

If they say it, it's true. If you say it, you have to defend it.

Even if it was exactly the same thing!

Closing without Qualifying is exhausting.

shouting qualify not close

It's mud wrestling that prospect to the ground and pinning them there...in the mud.

It's getting hit with objections, trying to come up with the memorized rebuttal, and overcome the issue.

It's presenting to those who are not necessarily a fit to even see your offer. And the fast-tiring struggle that comes with that.

So while you may have a book in your hands that promises to teach you The Secrets of Closing, what it's really teaching you is how to get tired out trying to force square pegs into round holes. Can you do it? Sometimes. But man, is it exhausting.

Qualify Not Close To Use Your Energy Well

I don't know about you, but I don't have the energy for that.

I don't have the energy to support the case for what I offer entirely on the force of my personality, or my confidence.

If they say it, it's true. If you say it, you have to defend it.

I'd much rather get the prospect to say it.

I'd much rather get the prospect to tell me exactly why they're a fit for this offer.

I'd much rather get the prospect to close themselves.

And the way to do that is by Qualifying heavily up front.

Before any kind of dog and pony show. Before any attempt at a Close.

Put your effort into Qualifying, and you'll have a much easier time Closing. You'll have a lot more energy left over, too.

Even another well-known sales trainer, who really pushes the Closing thing, says this: Fill your funnel to the point where it's overflowing.

OK, he didn't use such nice language, but that was the point. Fill your funnel so that you have so many leads—you can do what?

Pick and choose.

Select those who are most likely to say, "Yes!" to your offer.

Qualify.

Yep, that's qualifying.

Behind the big bang of The Close, which is what everyone thinks and says they want, is Qualifying...which is what they truly need.

Hmm...give them what they say they want...they said it, so it's true...but sneak in what they really need...I have to admit that's good selling.

>> Jason Kanigan is a sales trainer and business strategist. To book a consultation with Jason to discuss your Qualification issues, click here. <<