Biggest Mistake Business Owners Make on LinkedIn

Biggest Mistake Business Owners Make on LinkedIn

Many sales professionals make the same mistake with LinkedIn. They use it as a sales tool when no one likes being sold to.

Consider this: if you went to an in-person networking event, you wouldn’t saunter into the room, toss around a bunch of business cards and then walk out. This is impersonal at the least and rude at the worst.

This is similar to selling on LinkedIn when no one really cares about you until they know how much you care about them. Additionally, how can you determine that your offer will be readily accepted if you don’t know more about those prospects you’re aiming for?

You want to come across less “salesy” and pushy with your product or service. So keep these few rules  in mind:

Ask permission to connect.

Instead of using the default wording on the LinkedIn connection request, customize your message by adding context as to why you want to connect and ask their permission.

Here is an example: “Hi [name], I’m interested in expanding my network of sales leaders in the Vancouver area. Would you be open to connecting on LinkedIn? – Trevor”

Focus on the challenges your prospective clients face in their roles or businesses.

You need to show people that you care about their challenges. The best way to do this is to ask questions.

Remember, the most common reasons that professionals are on LinkedIn include network building, career advancement, and skill development. Look for their biggest problem in addressing these goals, and you will be able to present your services in a non-salesy way.

Your questions can be as simple as, “Many of my customers in your industry indicate that X is their biggest frustration. Do you share this insight? What keeps you up at night?”

Consider what you would like to be asked then ask those questions.

Provide value for free to encourage relationship-building.

There are a variety of ways to provide something of value for free, including information and training. Some practical ways to execute your expertise include training videos, discovery calls, or white papers. Those you share this information with will appreciate your efforts to help their needs.

Keep this in mind – more than 60% of buyers indicate that they respect a salesperson who shares knowledge and insight. That means there is no reason to shy away from reaching out for new connections.

Think about how you would reach out to someone in person and remember to treat them as you would like to be treated. If your message may offend or annoy the recipient, then focus on adding value first.

Need more helpful tips to leverage LinkedIn in growing your qualified sales pipeline? Check out the 7 Step LinkedIn Funnel Checklist.

Trevor Turnbull

About Trevor Turnbull

Trevor Turnbull is an Online Reputation Specialist, Social Media Educator, Linkedin Trainer, Podcast Host and Speaker that has been quoted in numerous publications including Forbes, Entrepreneur, Globe & Mail and the Toronto Star discussing the value of networking and how social media is impacting the way people do business today.

Trevor is the founder of Linked Into Leads, a LinkedIn lead generation, training and consulting company that finds, qualifies and connects clients to their target audience using the #1 network for business professionals. He is also the co-founder of NetworkingInVan.com, the premier destination for business professionals, entrepreneurs and students to learn valuable networking tips and stay up to date on the top networking events in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

As the founder of Legacy After The Game, Trevor Turnbull provides empowering social media & leadership education to athletes, coaches and sports professionals so they can control their brand, build their career and shape their legacy after the game ends.

As the former COO of Sports Networker and the Sports Executives Association, he helped current and aspiring sports business professionals take their sports career to the next level and is responsible for growing the largest sports industry focused group on Linkedin (Sports Industry Network) that is currently at 196,000+ members and growing every day.

Trevor is also a past contributing writer on Entrepreneur.com where he provided entrepreneurs and small business owners with informative content on the topics of management, leadership, teamwork, innovation, growth, marketing and sales using lessons that can be learned from the world of sports and applying them to “real world” business challenges.

As a Linkedin Trainer and Social Media Speaker, Trevor has presented to a wide audience on the value of social media for both individuals and businesses. His diverse background and “non-techie” presentation style allows him to bridge the generational gap between the “traditional” and the “new media” opportunities in personal branding, networking, marketing, sales and sponsorship.

Trevor not only teaches others how to leverage the power of social media, he also practices what he preaches and has seen the benefits of strategically using Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube to build his own personal brand, connect with influencers and grow his numerous businesses.

He is a lifelong sports fan that has competed at a high level of competitive sports including participation in the CIS University Cup as a member of the University of Saskatchewan Huskies hockey program. He is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan – College of Commerce program with a major in Marketing.

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