Can we all agree that LinkedIn is a wonderful platform, regardless of whether you’re on the free or paid version? Or you have had LinkedIn Training or not …

It is one of the most important platforms to include in the execution of your business development and marketing strategy.

If you want to prospect effectively on LinkedIn, build good business relationships, and cement your status as a trusted advisor, it’s indispensable.

Your company brand and personal brand – thanks to LinkedIn – now sit side by side (whether you like it or not!).

You can identify your target relationships with ease. Then the platform offers you numerous pathways to build that relationship.

Having spent the last two decades helping people leverage LinkedIn for their own success, I have also found that a key part of creating that success is actually helping them ‘off’ the platform … that then helps them ‘on’ the platform.

Weird, eh?

This has made the biggest difference to their success than anything else remotely close to activity on LinkedIn.

Bull in a China Shop?

When you square up to LinkedIn, most people do not have a nurturing relationship process. They are like a bull in a china shop…a lot of china gets smashed.

If you don’t execute a nurturing relationship building program on LinkedIn, your results may be less than satisfactory – and what’s the point in that?


Quick Question…

What do I mean by a nurturing relationship building process? My last 20 years of business has resulted in a number of tried and tested step-by-step plans for growing relationships the right way.

Always tailored, these guide my clients on the key actions they need to take, and the tools they must use, to build and nurture positive relationships with LinkedIn. Though the plans are bespoke, they do share five key qualities, listed below.

Crucially, these are simple steps, like “win the 1st degree connection”, “qualify the 1st degree connection”, “ask intelligent questions on the circle of influence”, and so on.

These steps, as you’ll see, don’t have to be complicated to be effective.

Whatever process you choose to use, it should be simple, repeatable, sequential, quantifiable, and flexible. Here’s why:

Simple: Too clever and too complex will burn you…

Repeatable:  I don’t like phrases like “it’s a game of numbers” but on LinkedIn you can operate at a level that’s much higher than anything else – provided you have clarified your brand and audience on LinkedIn, first.

Looking to do just that? I’ve got a very short video (under 2 mins) for you here to help Play video video

Sequential: Once you clear one step, move on to the next. It gives you a sense of system and progress, and it creates forwards momentum.

Quantifiable: Any good system should give you leading indicators of success – you should be able to begin to predict success rates as you move through your process, ultimately to a closed sale. If the sales revenue is too low, you should know what numbers you need to hit to fix this.

For example, if I get a company to Step 8 of my process, I have a 93% chance of securing business. Step 1, which is “winning the 1st degree connection” normally has a 66% success rate.

As you can see, you very accurately get a handle on your numbers – as long as you’re tracking them and your conversion rate.

Flexible! Rigid processes don’t work, so be prepared to bend it a little.

A good bit of emotional intelligence is required, when it comes to applying each step to your connection, both from a timing and messaging perspective.

Each connection is unique so don’t let the process manipulate you into doing something you wish you hadn’t.

Time-Tracking: Your Secret Achilles Heel

You can lose track of messaging very quickly on LinkedIn as there is no timeline tracking or system (yet) to track and manage you nurturing process.

For example, say you need to remind yourself to call prospect A next month. There is no facility on LinkedIn to remind you or to save what step that particular relationship is at.

Based on my own experiences if you don’t have a solution for this you will be letting a lot of conversations and opportunities slip through your fingers.


Your Trojan Horse

Now – come a little closer. This bit’s important.

You absolutely must have some kind of system, separate to LinkedIn, which supports your nurturing process.

Some people use spreadsheets, some use their calendar. I personally think these are cumbersome, inaccurate, and you’ll quickly fall behind. So what do you need?

You need a CRM system. CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management.

It’s a technology used to manage interactions with customers and potential customers.

A CRM system helps organisations build customer relationships and streamline processes so they can increase sales, improve customer service, and increase profitability. Aren’t those things you need?

Thought so!

If you research this on Google, it can be a little overwhelming, as there are a lot of software products at your disposal. The key, as with all things, is to find one that you find easy to use and works for you.

For example, design your nurturing process and follow ups, then (and only then!) go to the market to get the CRM that will manage your program.

Many do this the other way – they buy into a pricey, all-singing, all-dancing CRM that is far too sophisticated for their needs.

Not only is that an expensive mistake, but people then feel forced by their purchase to try and make it work – which is a road that leads to disaster (and costs you more than the price of the CRM in the long run).

Personally, I use Pipedrive, because it’s perfect for my needs, but it might not be right for you. So, shop around, take advantage of free trials, and get started before you feel ready.

Waiting for the perfect moment means you’ll be waiting a long time…

In Summary

So what are the key takeaways from this piece?

  1. What is your step-by-step nurturing process?
  2. Do you have a CRM in place to manage the process?

Get a nice coffee, take some time, and bake this activity into your diary. Then commit to your LinkedIn nurturing process, supported by your CRM. Give it a solid six months or more, and fire an email me to tell me about your success. I’m that confident it will work for you, and you’ll thank yourself for it later, too.


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