After tens of thousands of hours studying business, I have come to a startling revelation—those with whom we conduct business are human beings. While there is a bit of sarcasm in that statement, there is some truth in that all too often in today’s high-tech world, we treat our business contacts as data points in a spreadsheet or CRM system. Too often, we forget that business is about people and people do business with people who they like.
|Login to your LinkedIn account each morning and see who has changed jobs, job titles, and/or who has a birthday. You can even access the information via your LinkedIn Contracts mobile app.|
In those hours of studying, I’ve come to another startling conclusion. People are amazingly passionate about one thing. Themselves. And again, while there is a bit of sarcasm in that statement, there is a lot of truth to that fact that most of us only reach out to a business contact when we have something to sell or tell them. Yet the honest to goodness truth is your business contacts don’t care about you nearly as much as they care about themselves.
One of the core messages in my Know More! training and our new Social Selling Institute Programs is the value of staying in touch with others in ways that are meaningful to what the other person cares about. It’s all about relevancy.
One of my favorite Sales Intelligence resources, LinkedIn.com, has some great tools that enable “accelerated relevancy” whereby you can automate the ability to stay in touch with others in ways that are meaningful to them. One of my favorite LinkedIn accelerated relevancy tools is LinkedIn Contacts.
Through LinkedIn Contacts, you can automatically learn when a business contact changes a job, gets a new job title, or even has a birthday. Download the LinkedIn Contacts mobile application and information gets pushed to you wherever you are, when you need it. For example, you can quickly access information about the people you are meeting with minutes prior to your meeting, and then quickly scan the other person’s LinkedIn profile and find a relevant talking point.
To use LinkedIn Contacts…
1) Make sure you are logged into your LinkedIn account.
2) Click the “Network” tab and then choose “Contacts” from the pull-down menu.
3) Note that in LinkedIn Contacts, you can quickly locate one of your contacts by using the search engine and/or the side-navigation filters.
4) On the “Settings” area (to access, click the gear icon “Settings” link in the upper navigation of the Contacts page) choose to link with the offered applications. You can link with external contact programs, calendars, and even email programs.
5) Once you synchronize, you can use the Contacts dashboard to review changes and events that are occurring with your contacts, that day.
6) On the dashboard, if a person’s picture has a briefcase in the lower corner, it means they have recently changed jobs or updated a job title. Click on the name, review the change, and then send the person a congratulatory note.
7) If a person’s picture has a birthday cake in the lower corner, it means today is that individual’s birthday. Click on the name, and send the person a customized birthday greeting.
|When you send a note to a contact, you can choose to have the email sent from your email program or from LinkedIn. Note that LinkedIn claims a 70%+ open rate from emails sent via the LinkedIn system.|
8) Note that in the form where you can customize your message, the top “From” field will automatically say “Send Via LinkedIn Message” meaning when the individual receives your note, in their email program it will say that it is a message from you via LinkedIn. By clicking on the arrow next to the “Send Via LinkedIn Message” you can choose your email address and the message will be sent with the “From” field being your selected email.
9) If you’ve synched with your calendar, you can even see who you’re meeting with that day and quickly access their LinkedIn profile so you can remind yourself about the person’s history, accomplishments, interests, etc.
Now it’s easy to show others that you notice what is going on in their life and that you care, now that you Know More!