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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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Importance of the Low Money Tolerance Limit

The low money tolerance limit is one of the two goalposts of your idea of "a lot of money".

Spotting the high money tolerance limit is easy. How much is "too much"? (This is a BS story you're telling yourself, installed by parents, family, friends and other authority figures, and reinforced over the years). The high limit of your money tolerance has far-reaching effects: if $4000/month in apartment rent is "too much", it's unlikely you'll ever live in certain places like stylish Manhattan—and it's unlikely you'll ever qualify for the jobs that would pay for it. You wouldn't let yourself in.

But the low money tolerance limit will mess things up for you, too.

goalpost goalposts money tolerance soccer football game playing sales target

Photo by Tom Fisk from Pexels

Money Tolerance Frames Your Life

In my case, for example, anything under around $1200 is "dumb". A "waste of my time". Difficult for me to get excited about.

This means I am not your guy to sell candied apples.

I don't see myself as a fit for that role...and my money tolerance as an indicator has a lower limit to demonstrate it.

I have a tough time selling things at what I consider low prices.

You do, too.

Awareness of this criteria is really important if you want to do well in sales. Without awareness, you'll continue to be bumped around like a pinball, bouncing off things emotionally and neither knowing nor caring why.

But you ought to care.

Work On Your Awareness of Your Money Tolerance "Goalposts"

Let me ask you this:

Wouldn't knowing what your money tolerance goalposts are immensely help you with understanding why you do the things you do? And don't do the things you don't do?

Why living in a particular place is "impossible", or meeting a specific person "could never happen", or selling an individual item is "dumb"?

Knowing what game you're playing is a big key to success.

Awareness of where those goalposts are is even more important.

>> Want to discuss your money tolerance with Jason Kanigan? Book a consultation here <<

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Insight In Selling: Power To Change

Insight in selling is a fascinating and powerful way of effecting change.

Have you ever metaphorically held your prospect's hand, walked them along the education pathway, gotten them close to the sale of adopting your product or service, only to have a competitor swoop in at the last minute and take the order away?

Or have you done this to someone else?

I've been on both sides of the equation. Often accidentally. For years I wondered what the problem was. Especially on the warm-up side, what the heck went wrong?

Why did that prospective customer drop me so quickly? After all the help I'd provided...

insight lit light bulb customer delight emotional buy-in

Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay

The Power of Insight In Selling

Two things are going on here:

First, there's a covert contract. Covert means hidden, and we all know a contract is an agreement. So what's the hidden agreement in warm-up sequences?

"I'll help you," says the salesperson. "Let me educate you about this. Here's the definition of the problem. You probably hadn't seen it clearly defined before we got here, had you. And here's our solution. See that? See all those bells and whistles? Aren't they great? You should buy our solution."

So where's the covert contract? I'll show you what's going on here, and you'll repay me by buying our solution.

This is what the salesperson understands...but the prospect? That's another story.

Truth is, that prospect owes you nothing.

You showed up, and you gave.

Cool.

That doesn't entitle you to a sale.

Second thing going on...it turns out that, emotionally speaking, warm-up education series are pretty weak.

I wish they weren't. But that's how this particular cookie has crumbled over the years.

So in these warm-up situations, you've got a covert contract going on in which the salesperson believes since they've been nice and shared with and educated the prospect, they deserve that order when the time comes. And the prospect? Well, they're simply not that into you.

Naturally, they're eager to learn. Aren't we all.

But that counts for nothing when it's time for the money decision to be made.

And let's keep in mind that, mostly, all you've done is clear up the nature of the problem a little for them plus lather on the features and benefits of your own solution.

And this is what allows Captain Insight of Vendor Number Two swoop in and take the sale away.

You never had the sale in the first place.

The Question of Insight In Selling

This leads to the question you should be asking:

What IS insight?

This is the flash of recognition, the instant emotional buy-in, the "OMG I HAVE TO HAVE IT" moment striking that prospect so thoroughly that their perspective on the subject matter is changed forever. And they remember exactly who gave them that insight. This is instant and emotional.

Insight is an incredibly valuable tool you can make mechanical use of. Conceptually it comes out of The Challenger Sale. I've been using the Challenger approach for the past couple years—after resisting it for a long time because of the name. I thought it was confrontational. But it turns out many of the consultative techniques fit in very well with the Challenger approach.

The insight has to matter to that prospect.

You've heard me say, "If they say it, it's true; if you say it, you have to defend it." That applies here. So you care about the 67 doohickeys and whistles that make up the features of your product or service. Your prospect does not. That's not insight.

Keep looking.

They have to care about it.

That's your first clue.

>> Want help discovering insights you can use in your sales process? Book a time to talk with Jason by clicking here. <<