Shocking to some and old news to many, social selling is a hot topic that has many moving parts to it. There’s more than one way to go about it and all have their own fluid set of pros and cons. One thing that has remained consistent across the board, however, is the usage of social activity to book meetings.
Defining Social Activity
In the context of what we’re discussing, social activity refers to the posts, comments, and other forms of content that your prospects are interacting and engaging with on LinkedIn. We also want to prioritize the LinkedIn content that your prospects are engaging with, not creating.
There is a longer list of reasons why people create content than there are reasons why people engage with content. The content your prospect’s engage with is a clearer picture into how they think, feel, and care about various things.
Take advantage of the “See All Activity” feature that LinkedIn has on users’ profiles. If your prospect has been liking, commenting, and replying to others’ content within the last 1-2 weeks, make sure you include LinkedIn steps in your outbound sequence. In order to cut through the noise, we have to meet prospects where they’re at. If that place is LinkedIn, then that’s where your outreach and activity will take place, too.
Find content that your prospect is engaging with on LinkedIn that falls under at least one of the two categories.
- Content that talks about problems your company’s product or service solves
- Content that talks about problems similar to the ones your company’s product or services solves.
Now, Send That Connection Request
Send the prospect a LinkedIn request that states something similar to, “Per usual, I was doom scrolling on LinkedIn and saw you liked a post about XYZ. Always looking to learn. Would love to know why you liked it. Appreciate your connection at the very least.”
That’s my writing style / voice; please leverage yours. But don’t make it all about you. Remember that people love to talk about themselves. Get the prospect to feel admired and talk about themselves. Show curiosity. Stroke their ego a bit.
Keep in mind that it is super important that you include a note with your connection request. Connection requests with notes have higher reply rates, typically. Additionally, if they hit accept on your connection request, you’ll see that previously sent note as a DM in your inbox. This will help you track who has hit accept and who hasn’t.
Do not use LinkedIn Sales Navigator for this. You want to silo messages into the “normal DMs” of LinkedIn because you can leverage voice notes and other messaging tools later in your conversation.
Bonus Tip: Avoid traditional opening lines like “Hey, NAME” and please remove AE, SDR, or similar titles from your LinkedIn headline so that’s not the first thing they learn about you. Here's an example. My TITLE is "Content & Community Evangelist" but my HEADLINE is...
Go Omnichannel To Boost Acceptance Rates
If you’re not seeing this person accept your connection request on LinkedIn, send an email or a cold call with something similar to this talk path. “Hey, wasn’t sure if you’d rather connect via this channel or LinkedIn; but a connection request from me should’ve made its way to you by now. Always looking to learn from pros like you about XYZ.”
Make sure to note that the topic I reference above is exactly the same as the topic referenced in the connection request note on LinkedIn.
I’d do this 3-5 business days after the initial attempt, depending on the frequency of other steps in your existing outbound sequence; if any.
Bonus Tip: Every week or two, go through and withdraw any pending connection requests that are more than 4 weeks old. At the time of writing this article, a LinkedIn member can only have 2,500 pending connection requests at a time and 100 new connection requests sent per week. If you’re unsure of how to withdraw pending connection requests, check out this handy guide by LinkedIn.
Get Them Talking
Ask them to expand on why. Use your small-talk skills. This part is more art than science, for sure. The most social savvy professionals will thrive in this step. Others will need scripted responses and help crafting thoughtful replies.
Example questions or statements to get people talking:
- Curious to hear from you why you agreed with the post.
- Who do people with your job title typically follow on LinkedIn? The reason I’m asking is that I’m keen to learn more about the role and world you work in. With that said, I figured an expert like you would know at least a couple of great people to hit the follow button on.
- Like I said, I saw you liked that post. Saw this other post about XYZ, too. I’m not an expert on this like you. What do you think?
You’ll get to a point in a quick exchange if done properly where you can easily plug this in: “Listen, glad that you mentioned you care about XYZ because of ABC. At COMPANY, we’ve got something that makes ABC/XYZ better/easier/etc. Taking a swing here. Would you be keen to simply & quickly learn more about it whenever you’ve got the time this week or next? No pressure.”
When I use this call-to-action on social media after a quick exchange of ideas (Side-note: most chats are only 4 or 5 messages back and forth before this message), I have a majority positive reply rate compared to negative replies.
What Does This Mean?
Social selling in this form is all about combining networking skills that one would use in an in-person networking event with the availability of social behavioral data that social media provides.
You can use this same strategy in-person, during cold calls or emails, in a LinkedIn Video DM, on different social media platforms, and even in Slack communities.
If you want to learn more about social selling or you are simply looking to meet other prospecting professionals, I encourage you to join RevLeague by RevGenius as well as follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.