Obviously cash is king, so the number one way we get paid from our clients is the purchase of our products and services, however there are 4 additional ways we get paid from our clients that can be just as valuable in the long run.
Our clients have valuable networks, and the ability to tap that is vital to growing business. Here are 4 distinct ways you can use LinkedIn to leverage your client relationships to get paid in addition to a check:
- Recommendation, Testimonials & Case Studies – Nothing adds more credibility to your work than kind words from your clients. By adding key successes to LinkedIn in the Projects section of your profile, you are not just talking a good game, but proving you win the game. Written recommendations and case studies are the most common way to capture the words of your client, but consider video testimonials as well – seeing is believing.
- Internal Introductions – Often our clients are departmentalized and siloed from their counterparts. By identifying through their company’s LinkedIn page, who else within their organization would be potential buyers, you can ask for specific introductions rather than asking them who else they know inside their organization that can use you. You are not only getting the right introductions, but you make it easy for them.
- External Introductions – In the same vein, identify who your clients know in other companies that you should be talking to, make a list and bring it with you then next time you visit. Simply by running the names by them, targeting a select few and asking for an email introduction can make all the difference in growing your pipeline and ultimately business.
- Vendor Introductions – This is an area that is completely overlooked by most business developers. Vendors of your clients’ work with other decision makers just like your client, so they are ideal networking partners. Simply ask your client if they are happy with their specific vendors and if so would they be willing to share their information with you. You can simply reach out, dropping your in common client’s name and set up a time to meet. Once you have built a relationship, offer them the opportunity to look through your connections and choose 20-30 people they would like to meet and you can do the same. Schedule a coffee meeting and when you are together you can have a conversation and whittle the list down to a select few that you can make introductions for each other. (If your client would say they are not happy with their vendor – make an introduction to a great one in your network).
Be sure to identify who your client might want to meet as well. Try to make an introduction or two to them first, then ask.
Here is a note you can send the vendor to help them search your contacts:
XXX, I am looking forward to our coffee meeting next week. Please feel free to look through my LinkedIn connections and make a list of people that you might want to meet. I will do the same and we can review the list when we are together. Here are the steps to make it easier for you:
- From my profile, click on the blue connections number (500+)
- This takes you to my connections where you will see a search bar in the top right (click on the magnifying glass)
- Enter the keywords or title of the people you would like to meet ie. “CIO” OR “CTO” OR “IT Director”
- Click advanced in the top left of the box
- Use the left hand side filters to drill down like location and/or industry
- Make a list of who your networking partner knows that you would like to meet
- We can review the names when we are together and whittle it down to a few good introductions.
- Please send an introduction message I can use, here is mine as an example: I would like to introduce you to Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link. I thought it might make sense for the two of you to connect and investigate how you might work together. Brynne helps sales professionals build their pipeline, reduce the sales cycle and close more business through leveraging the power of LinkedIn. Brynne’s LinkedIn programs have made a significant impact on the way professionals are growing their business. Brynne will be contacting you in the next couple of days, please take her call; I believe it will be well worth your time. If you would like to schedule a call with Brynne, here is her calendarhttp://ScheduleaCallwithBrynne.com or you can reach out to Brynne directly: Brynne.Tillman@SocialSalesLink.com | 888.775.5262 x 700 http://www.linkedin.com/in/brynnetillman | @SocialSalesLink
- After our meeting I will copy you and each person in a LinkedIn introduction message, and maybe you can do the same.
There is no better way to begin a prospect relationship than when it is through a shared connection. These techniques are some of the best ways to proactively get more warm referrals.
Please share in comments your thoughts and comments.
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