How To Convert 1st Degree Connections on LinkedIn to New Appointments

Now that you have hit that magic 500+ number on LinkedIn, what should you start to do next with your new LinkedIn connections? Most people just don't want a number on LinkedIn, they want new appointments or center of influences which is why they connect with others. The challenge is most salespeople do not understand the key steps to getting conversion of their 1st degree connections, or worse yet, they don't even follow up to try to convert them to an appointment. Here are some key tips for converting 1st degree connections.

  1. Start With A KILLER Subject Line - Try to ask yourself how many e-mails or messages you never even opened because the subject line was dull. Since you may connect with people on LinkedIn through various forms and fashions, try to remember how you actually met the person.
  • Could be simple: Great to meet someone as successful as you! (or) Appreciate you connecting with me today.
  • Did you meet them?: So cool to have met you at yesterday's Rotary meeting. (or) I was so glad to hang out with you at the chairman's conference in New York City.
  • Butter, Butter, Butter: Loved your article and take on digital marketing! (or) Loved your post the other day on successful entrepreneurs
  • Shock Value: Here's something 99.26% of people don't know. (or) I'll put a new client in your pocket in 30 days…or I'll do a shot of Tequila
  1. Find Common Ground - Just as you would over a cup of coffee with a prospect, it has occurred to me that many people just don't start a simple dialogue with people on LinkedIn which I have used successfully. Open the conversation naturally with a common interest, common group, or a common article you have both read. The key is to gain some footing of comfort for the two of you to open up a conversation. You would NEVER ask someone over a cup of coffee for their business in the first sixty seconds, yet people do it all the time on LinkedIn.
  2. Discuss Something Of Interest To Them - The key here is not to sell right away, but rather open up an interesting concept that will lead to an appointment. An example in my business of financial services would be, "Did you see the note Trump put out the other day on possibly making another tax adjustment this year?" Something open-ended so you can create a more meaningful dialogue just as you would on the phone or face to face.
  3. Give something of value - One good way to get a reaction from the 1st degree connections on LinkedIn is to give something of value. You could offer a free guide, free e-book, a copy of your book, introduce a referral, or something of value that opens up the door. Naturally, if you can put something in the pocket of your future client, you'll have a better chance of setting the appointment. You may also want to invite them to a local event, a webinar, or someplace where you could meet face to face.
  4. Extend the conversation - If all seems to be going well and you have at least THREE messages that have gone back and forth, then consider asking for the appointment. This could be a phone or face to face, but after THREE messages, you've likely established enough of a dialogue to say it's time to connect up for a meeting.

Do you have other techniques you use on LinkedIn to set appointments? Share your best message titles or tips in the comments below!


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