Goodbye old gatekeeper. Oh the fun we had. The phone calls resulting in me getting nowhere. The messages I left with you for the circular file. Your outright rejection without even getting to tell my ideal prospect what I was actually calling for. Your clairvoyance in knowing with 100% certainty that my ideal prospect had “no interest.” Goodbye old gatekeeper.
It will certainly be a shame that we will never get to dance again. No “time wasting” Tango. No “false hope” Flamenco. Not even the “go away” Gangnam Style. Fortunately, I have a new gatekeeper to dance with.
A new gatekeeper who will give me the keys to the gate and will do everything short of opening the door for me. More of a concierge than a gatekeeper actually. They give me a ladder to scale the wall. They give me a map of all the tunnels that lead inside, and they allow me to communicate directly and indirectly to my coveted ideal prospect.
The downside, now that I think of it, is if I don’t do business with this ideal prospect, I can no longer blame my friend the old gatekeeper for keeping me out. It will all be on me. Not taking advantage of the vast access now afforded is all on me. So I had better not drop the ball and waste the opportunity.
Most people in business development will tell you, with little variation, that in most cases, to close new business, you need 6-8 touches (the good kind of touches, not the kind that cause you to resign in shame), and a good relationship (you’ve no doubt heard of know, like and trust).
You’ll need these just to earn the right to tell your story.
Unlike my unsuccessful efforts to barge through the old gatekeeper, LinkedIn gives me the opportunity to get to tell my story, with the use of a system. A system with which I have far greater control than that of my hapless dance with the dreaded old gatekeeper.
Let me outline a typical scenario using a systematic approach, that I have seen unfold many times.
Before I ask for a connection, before I ask for an appointment, LinkedIn Sales Navigator lets me identify my ideal prospect, identify them as a lead and check out their profile which my ideal prospect will see me do (touch 1).
I research and join some of my ideal prospect’s favorite groups. I now have mutual groups with my Ideal prospect (relationship) and can see some of what interests them.
I then research their company page and identify their company as a lead, as well. On their company page I can also see who else works there.
I like, comment, tag, and share several of the other employee’s posts and end up connecting with several of them. I now have mutual connections with my Ideal prospect (relationship).
I check out my new company leads for any news and then I like, comment, and share their posts (touch 2, touch 3, touch 4). My ideal prospect will likely be interested in seeing who is checking out their company and commenting positively.
Any posts my ideal prospect may personally post I will use the same tactic, with a like, comment, tag and share (touch 5, touch 6, touch 7). By tagging my ideal prospect in the comment, they will definitely see these touches occur.
At this point I ask for permission from my ideal prospect to connect (touch 8). After 7 touches, asking for permission to connect will result in approximately a 70% success rate.
Now the dancing commences. You’re in the gate, you can message at will, but this is where you need to message with absolute care because it is all about your relationship at this point. Value message, value message, value message (touch 9, touch 10, touch 11). These messages should be exclusively client facing such as links to interesting articles, checklists, pdf’s, and ebooks, all geared to your client’s interests, not you or your company in any way.
Don’t sell, just provide value until you feel comfortable that your appointment request message will succeed. You’ll know when that time comes through the feedback to your value messages. In some cases, they will ask you for the appointment before you ask them (that will be a good indication).
Nail the appointment!
Oh, and by the way, my ideal prospect (ahem, new client) likes the new dance too. They weren’t kept in the dark about opportunities by their gatekeeper. They got a chance to get to know me and my company on LinkedIn. They got a chance in advance to see what I can do for their company. They got several pieces of helpful value before they even talked to me, and they took their time to get to know, like and trust me before they gave up any of their valuable time. All good.
So if you’re smart, and I know you are, say goodbye to your old gatekeeper too. Lose your old gatekeeper and start using a system that works and won’t give you false hope. Use LinkedIn Sales Navigator and control your business from beginning to end.