In my world of selling on LinkedIn, my top strategy is utilizing 1-on-1, personalized marketing. But I currently have over 13,000 connections in my LinkedIn network, which can make remembering how and when I connected to someone a bit difficult.
Good news alert - LinkedIn has now rolled out a new feature that helps remind you when you connected with someone!
"Ever wonder when you met someone? We're making this easy for you with easy access to your connection history," LinkedIn shared in a recent post. "Simply go to a connection's profile and click on "Contact and Personal Info" to see when you first connected. This is a great way to add some personal detail when you reach out."
Here is a photo showing where the feature is when you click on one of your connections:
Keeping the Context
Hopefully having the month and year of when you connected with someone will trigger your memory. Maybe you met them at a specific trade show or conference, or the person is someone you met working in a previous job.
Either way, you can utilize this context as a jumping off point for a conversation.
For example, you could reach out with a message like this:
We connected back in 2015 after that XYZ sales conference and I see you're at ABC company now.
How are things going?
Also, I'd love to get your opinion on something I am working on if you have a minute.
Again, you're using the information you have at your fingertips to create context around business conversations that aren't spammy, sales and sleazy.
Remember, you can't just message someone out of thin air and ask him or her to do business with you. Rather, LinkedIn is all about leveraging a treasure trove of personal and professional data to practice 1-on-1, personalized marketing.
As with anything, but especially in business, knowledge is power, and LinkedIn gives you the personalized data (such as where someone lives, went to college, etc.) for ice breakers, along with key professional information like his or her role at a company and work history.
You should make a habit of taking a quick scan of that person's profile and find a way to break the ice that doesn't have to do with business. Maybe it's where he or she went to school, or where he or she lives. The idea is to find a unique and personal way to begin a new conversation.
The Keys to the Kingdom
As with any selling on social media, anyone can claim to be an expert. What will set you apart from your competition on LinkedIn (and elsewhere online) is the way in which you can actually demonstrate your expertise and prove your worth.
With 500 million members in 200 countries, and with 2 new members joining every second, virtually every professional you come into contact with has a LinkedIn profile. That's a lot of data (and potential customers) at your fingertips!
Each time you personalize your pitch or the advice you're looking to share, you'll foster the relationships that move your closer to landing you new business!