How much do you really know about …
- … the top five clients you want to be sure you keep?
- … the five individuals you are connected on LinkedIn® who are likeliest to connect you to brand new accounts that you want to acquire?
- … the top five former clients you’d like to recapture?
- … the top five accounts where you want to expand your current share of the business?
Add those numbers up and you get twenty, a number that, as it happens, rounds out to approximately the number of working days available to sales professionals in a given month. Here’s a simple, powerful three-step idea for you and your team that will enable you to take full advantage of that intriguing coincidence.
- On the first day of each month, invest the time necessary to figure out which person connects to each of those twenty strategically important slots.
- Use the LinkedIn® Levers tool from Sandler (reproduced below) once every business day, for a maximum of ten minutes, about one of the people on your list.
- At the end of that ten-minute period, use your research to create and execute some kind of outreach that supports a new discussion with the person and/or the organization you’ve been researching. For instance: Ask a mutual contact for an introduction to a potential ally you’ve identified. Or, if you’re already connected to the person you want to talk to, congratulate them on that recent promotion they just listed. Or ask for their opinion about where their industry is going, based on the white paper they just published. Or reach out to get more information about their charitable work. It all depends on what your ten minutes uncovered!
Following this simple plan, you can identify critical information that makes it easier to establish or deepen relationships, spark new introductions, identify new reasons to connect…and yes, launch important new business opportunities. Those ten minutes a day may turn out to be your single best time investment of the entire month.
Here’s the LinkedIn® Levers tool, a focused, user-friendly checklist that helps you to get the most out of your connections on LinkedIn. Fill in the blanks! Put it to work every day!
Researching the client:
Do you have any mutual connections with the client? ________________
How many connections does the client have? _________________
Which college attended and degree attained? _________________
What is the client’s hometown and current city? ________________
Where did the client work previously? ________________
How much time did the client spend at previous jobs? ________________
Which companies and groups does the client follow? ________________
What type of info does the client post/share? Which influencers does the client follow? ________________
What activities and interests does the client list? ________________
To which industry groups does the client belong? ________________
Does the client endorse others? Is the client endorsed often, and if so, for what? ________________
Has the client been recommended by anyone? If so, by whom? ________________
Does the client support any charities or initiatives? If so, which ones? ________________
Researching the company:
How does the company present itself in its profile? Are there any key themes? ________________
What competitors are identified in the company’s “also viewed” section? ________________
Do you have any connections with former employees? ________________
Is the company currently hiring full-time employees? In what areas? ________________
What key products/services does the company highlight in its profile? ________________
Can you identify any connections after scrolling through the company’s employee list? ________________
It’s easy to fall down a rabbit hole and spend too much time online doing research. The LinkedIn® Levers tool helps you to avoid that problem, by focusing your efforts and helping you to budget your time effectively. So: Time yourself. Get as many answers as you can for each person on your list. Then, when the time is up … use what you’ve just learned to reach out and engage.
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