You have your account list or territory. Your compensation plan has been communicated. It's go time. First up. What companies are you going to focus on first? Great. Who are the people that you need to be speaking with at those companies? Fantastic. Who in your network can introduce you to these people? Ah...
This is where the wheels fall off for many sales people getting started with social selling.
"Networking is the exchange of information or services among individuals, groups, or institutions; specifically: the cultivation of productive relationships for employment or business”.
Here are my top 5 recommendations to quickly build your LinkedIn network:
Bring your offline network online. Get that box of business cards from your bottom drawer and dust it off. Gather up all the business cards tossed into your top drawer. Connect with them all. Every single one of them.
Connect with your personal network. That's right. Your friends, family, extended family, neighbors, parents from your kid's school, your Uber driver... yep... I sold a contract in 2018 to the daughter of my Uber driver who ran sales for a software company in San Francisco.
Connect with your colleagues. Connect with the ones you see everyday. Connect with the ones you have met from other offices. Connect with the ones from your new hire class. Connect with the person who schedules the weekly sales meeting. Connect with your executive leadership and senior leadership teams. Connect with them all.
Connect with your 'happy' customers. Connect with everyone who was involved in their buying process. Connect with the admin who helped scheduled the first meeting. Connect with the executive who arrived late to the final meeting but ultimately signed the paperwork. Connect with the folk who gave you one heck of a time in the procurement process. Connect with the legal person who beat you up on the contractual terms and conditions. Connect with them all.
Connect with your prospects. Connect with them immediately after every meaningful business interaction. As you walk out the door after a meeting or when you're wrapping up a call just say: 'Great meeting you. Let's connect on LinkedIn".
It's not just about the people in your network. It's about the people they know.