Everyone is searching for the “silver bullet” in prospecting. Advisors want to know “what works?” Experienced advisors sometime say: “Everything works, nothing works.” My goal has been to raise my visibility on LinkedIn. Get people talking to me. After about eight months’ effort — at some time and virtually no cost — let’s look at my results.
Let’s Look at the Numbers
You want a contact or prospecting strategy that gets people engaged. Me too.
Total measured base: 2,008 first-level connections.
People who engaged: 39.292%, or 789 connections.
People who didn’t respond: 60%, or 1,205 connections.
Connections who dropped me: 0.697%, or 14 connections.
A contact strategy yielding almost a 40% response rate is excellent. When you bear in mind you don’t need to hire a marketing service and it can be done in your spare time, it’s even better.
Is This Too Good to Be True?
What does “engaged” mean? My sending out messages and getting a response back is a major component. I also followed the LinkedIn prompts for birthdays, work anniversaries and job changes. Sent those out, too. I send out links to my published articles, too.
The ideal response is getting a personal message back, answering the question I asked. I also count “thanks for sharing” and thumbs up, because the person at the other end made an effort to respond. FYI: I respond to those with “(Name), thanks for taking time to reply…”
What Did I Actually Do?
This isn’t my first rodeo. After a few years of trial and error, I settled on the following message. It has several variations.
“(name), this is a personal message. We’ve been connected (X) years. It’s time to get to know you better. This is a note to get a conversation started. It’s like meeting someone at a party. My wife and I live in New Hope, PA. Population 2,500. We are a tourist town. You are in (town). What’s that like? We are big wine fans. How about you?”
Each message is individually composed. I send out 12 a day. I started with the A’s and worked through the Z’s. Since I have 2,000+ connections, adding new ones all the time, it took about eight months. Lets look at the math: 12 a day, 5 days a week is 60 messages in a week. Contacting 2,000+ connections needs 33 weeks or about eight months.
Why Did That Wording Work?
There’s lots of subtlety built into my message.
- First name. It’s personalized.
- This is a personal message. It says “I’m not selling anything.” Too many people connect and start selling. It’s a turnoff.
- We’ve been connected (X) years. It’s time to get to know you better. The mention of years show’s it’s not an automated message.
- This is a note to get a conversation started. It’s like meeting someone at a party. It’s a polite request. They can relate to “meeting someone at a party.”
- We live in New Hope, PA… Give information to get information. At a party, “Where do you live?” is an icebreaker question.
- You are in (town)… Another indications it’s personal, not boilerplate. If we’ve been there, I’ll reference something we admire.
- We are big wine fans. Sharing a personal interest. If they are too, it’s an interest in common.
There are variations. The pandemic yielded “Since we are all at home during the lockdown…” If it’s a new connection I might say: “Thanks for connecting. I have 2,000+ connections. Some I know better than others…”
Bringing Value to the Relationship
I built a few lists based on profession or type of firm. Once a month, I send an individual message with an article link. I think it stands a better chance of getting read than simply including it in the daily feed. (I post to the daily feed, too.) Hopefully the article has value to them.
I answer messages each morning. My aim is to get a dialog going and transition to talking business once everyone is comfortable.
That’s my contact strategy. I have others for building my network, adding connections and adding value within LinkedIn groups. For me, it’s an ideal way to use a powerful communication channel that’s basically free.
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