It’s springtime, which means two things. One, the weather is getting warmer. Two, summer is next up on the calendar.
While we’re enjoying the springtime weather, for many salespeople summer signals the start of the “summer doldrums.” A lot of people, especially the people they want to get a hold of, are on vacation in the summertime. And even if they’re not, it seems most everyone definitely has an attitude of, “Hey, it’s summer! The heck with work!” (Especially on Friday afternoons. Might as well take those off until Labor Day.)
That’s why it’s important to use the spring to set up your summer. How? By using LinkedIn to build your summertime momentum.
The same thought process exists with your LinkedIn and social-selling efforts. If your LinkedIn profile isn’t the starting point of not only communicating your brand but showing the value that you (and conversely, your company) deliver to clients, you’re going to have a tough time using social selling. Now is a great time to re-build your profile so that you’re attracting new prospects.
Reach out and touch someone. Yes, I’m referring to those old AT&T commercials where the then-Ma Bell encouraged people to call one another and catch up on life. Instead of just calling, though, why not reach out to your current 1st-degree connections via LinkedIn and ask to schedule a call to “catch up” on business? By using LinkedIn first to schedule a call, you’ll at least give them the option of saying “no” without being overly intrusive. I’d suggest reaching out to five to 10 people each week. Who knows what will happen as a result of these calls?
Check your “Caller ID.” Continuing with the telephone-related metaphor, LinkedIn’s “Who Viewed Your Profile” is like Caller ID. By checking it daily, or at least a couple of times a week, you’ll be able to see who recently viewed your profile. The question you won’t be able to answer, though, is why they looked at it. Find out by reaching out to them with a customized connection request. Here’s a suggested template:
[NAME]: I noticed that you recently viewed my LinkedIn profile. I just looked at yours, and think we can help each other out with our businesses. Let’s connect here to explore how. Thanks, and have a good spri.
I’d also suggest briefly looking at their profile to mention something specific from it in your request. That small action alone will increase your chances even more of gaining a new connection.
Strike up strategic alliances. When I was in field sales, I always found that selling as a team with fellow sales professionals in allied businesses was both fun and productive. It also resulted in a better chance of closing deals, because you and your partner(s) could offer a prospect an almost one-stop shopping experience in handling her or his situation. I recommend going through your list of 1st-degree connections and reaching out to the ones where your services are complementary to theirs. Then suggest to each person a joint prospecting arrangement. It takes time to build these kinds of relationships, but they can be hugely beneficial for everyone involved: you, your partner and especially your (and their) prospects.
With these tips, you can hopefully avoid the summer doldrums and turn them into both a productive time for you and more money to your bottom line. You’ll probably get more business in our current spring season, too.
A portion of this article was previously published on LinkedIn.