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How to connect with prospects on LinkedIn?

I send invites to prospects on LinkedIn to connect. Most of the time, I write a note. But I never try to sell. Do you know how will it be at the receiving end?

  1. Let’s say I received an invite from a person I don’t know. Just because I don’t know him/her, it doesn’t mean I won’t accept the invite.
  2. I do business with complete strangers but I make them my friends first.
  3. Whether I buy product/service or sell product/service, I need to build rapport first.
  4. I need to trust or become trustworthy as the case maybe.
  5. If you are not interested in investing your time and effort in building up this relationship, this will get nowhere.
  6. Do not forget to personalize the invite. Address the person by name. Understand what they are doing and talk about it. If they were in news recently, connect with it.
  7. GOLDEN RULE: Never sell anything without building rapport & trust or without getting to know the person offline.

Take a look at one of the invites I received recently. It teaches you what you shouldn’t do.

#HappyLearning

#HappySelling

#b2b #b2c #sales #marketing #prospecting

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LinkedIn invite template

If your LinkedIn invites are not getting accepted:

Try this.

You can thank me later.

Hi first name last name,

I saw your recent post on “xyz”. It’s inspiring. I strongly feel that it points me in the right direction.

Please accept my invite. I promise, I will not “sell” you anything ever. Instead, I will get sold. I am already. 🙂

Stay Safe & Rock always,

your name

Char limit: 300

Sometimes, it may be better to send out the invite without a note. It may be accepted. You are the best judge on whether to send an invite or simply follow someone & in case you choose to send an invite, whether to send the invite with a note or not.

Happy Selling!!

#linkedin #invite #network #b2b #sales

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LinkedIn Top Voices 2020: India

LinkedIn Top Voices 2020: India is out. In case you missed it, you can view it here:

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-top-voices-2020-india-abhigyan-chand/

In a world where people, ask you to double tap for a surprise or copy paste others’ stories or narrate stories about how they gave a job to the most deserving candidate or ask you to click on these icons – “like” or “celebrate” or “support”, if you like working from home or office or both, here is a list of people who genuinely drive engagement on their posts with their insights and tips in their domain.

If you are not following them, you should, depending on your interests.

LinkedIn has released Top Voices 2020 in various categories:

  1. Data Science and AI
  2. Design
  3. Education
  4. Entrepreneurship and Small Business
  5. Equity in the Workplace
  6. Finance and Economy
  7. Frontline Health Care
  8. Frontline Retail
  9. Job Search and Careers
  10. Marketing and Advertising
  11. Sales
  12. Sports
  13. Technology

Also, LinkedIn has released lists region wise.

Here is the complete list: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/linkedin-top-voices-2020-meet-professionals-driving-todays-roth/?published=t

#HappyLearning

#HappySelling!!

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LinkedIn Tip: How to network!

If you want to connect with someone you don’t know, here is a tip:

First follow them. They will get a notification that you followed them. They will look at your profile and if they are interested, they will follow you back.

If they follow you back, you know they are interested.

Now, you can send them an invite to connect.

They will not say “I don’t know”, instead they’ll accept your invitation to connect.

I used to see a veteran walking his dog every morning in our neighborhood. First, I saw him. He saw me. Then I smiled at him. He smiled back. This happened for several days. Then we started saying “Hello, Good Morning”.

We then became friends and spoke to each other. He eventually became someone whom I trusted and consulted for advice. He treated me like his son. I treated him like my dad.

He and his wife even visited our home and invited us for their younger son’s wedding.

Learning:

  1. It is possible to get to know & network with anyone. Did I say anyone?
  2. You can sell to complete strangers [who else will you sell to], but make them your friends first.
  3. Sale happens when there is an exchange of value & reward. Prior to that become likeable.
  4. People buy from people. They know. And like.
  5. Whatever we did offline to crack into an Account applies on LinkedIn as well.

Happy Selling!!

#b2b #changethegame #sales #marketing #likeable #network #linkedin #tip

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War for Talent!!

That was an Oil & Gas Engg Co., They called their employees & their families for a get together.

What’s special about it, you ask. Hang on. I’ll answer that.

Companies are now doing such events to build a strong sense of belonging & culture.

You will find fun events for everyone in the family. Drinks & Great Food will be on the house. Goodies bag at the end of the event.

Here’s where this company differed.

All those mentioned above were part of the event. Plus a talk by the CEO.

He said many families did not know what work they were doing & hence felt a need to talk about it. He spoke in a language that they understood.

There was a short film featuring the CEO, taken at his home, played during his talk, peppered in between. It showed him as a down to earth person [which he is] & as much human as everyone else in the room.

Hats off to the CEO. I am sure he’ll take the Co., to great heights.

Takeaways:

1. It is not just sufficient if your employees share your vision. Even their families have to.

2. Sense of belonging & culture is important.

3. Build a community around your brand.

4. Your Sales people are NOT the only ones who sell. All your employees & their families also do.

5. In the ecosystem of Customers, Partners & Employees, it is your employees who come first. They’re the ones who are going to serve your customers & partners.

6. War for talent is real. Companies that genuinely take care of its people are the ones that will win now.

7. Take care of your employees else someone else will.

Happy Caring!!

Happy Selling!!

#employees #communitybuilding #caring #branding #sales #marketing #warfortalent #community

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Networking in Sales!

That was Year 1996.

I had just then started selling to Corporate. Until then, I was selling to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Selling to corporate called for lot more skills than selling to entrepreneurs & small businesses.

Networking skill is one of them.

We didn’t have #LinkedIn then.

I was hanging out where my clients met.

Road shows, seminars, conferences, product launches, workshops and any event where the corporate was in full attendance.

In most cases, the event would be conducted by our Principals – Microsoft, Oracle, IBM etc. We used to get a stall outside the hall to showcase our solutions.

Do you know how and when I met my clients?

During tea breaks and lunch time.

I sacrificed my lunch to go around and meet people. When they were having their lunch.

It used to pay off.

I would introduce myself. Exchange business cards. Would ask them if they are looking for some help.

I then promise to visit them soon and talk further. They’ll agree.

If there were 2000 people in attendance, I would have met at least 40 customers. That was just 2%.

But I have 40 contacts now.

I would start my outreach immediately after the event.

I provided value to my prospects before they bought anything. And I provided more value after the sale.

Coming back to networking, I networked not just with prospects and customers but also with competitors, partners and principals. Literally, anyone in the Eco-system.

I would know about the purchase of Air Conditioners by my prospect through the AC vendors, even though I was selling only Software.

All those strategies apply these days as well. On LinkedIn as well as otherwise also.

Stay tuned for more stories.

Happy Selling!!

#sales #customers #prospects #networking #skills