8 LinkedIn Prospecting Messages that Open Doors

8 LinkedIn Prospecting Messages that Open Doors

By: Dana Jankins, Whole Growth Partners Marketing Manager

“Hi! My name is Jane and I work for John Doe, a financial advisor in your area. We create customized financial plans to suit your lifestyle and think you could benefit from our services! Would you be willing to sit down for a 15 minute meeting with John?” *Delete*

How many of these types of LinkedIn messages do you get a day? How many of them do you actually respond to, or even keep around? If you’re like me, almost zero. While this messaging strategy may have been effective in the (increasingly distant) past, LinkedIn networking has evolved in the last couple years, as have its users. And according to Forbes (and many others), 2021 will be the year of pivoting to more empathetic, highly personalized marketing. This is not to say that sending LinkedIn messages en masse to prospects and QS’s won’t yield any results. But, if not done strategically, you’ll burn through time, opportunities, and risk closing the door on irritated prospects before it even opens, by failing to connect with them as people. So, how can you improve your LinkedIn prospecting game?

We recommend using a relationship-building approach instead of gunning for the immediate sell (or meeting). It takes a little extra time and research up front, but will benefit you in the long run. Here are several strategic conversation-starters to open doors with prospects – and keep them open – on LinkedIn.

1.) Use a Common Connection:

“Hi, Mary! I saw we’re both connected to [name]. I used to work with him/her at [company] – he’s/she’s amazing! How do you know them?”

2.) Refer to Their Recently Posted Content:

“Hey, Tom. I wanted to reach out because I read your post/share on [topic] and found it so compelling. Your take on [specific point] jumped out at me and I’d love to hear more about what you think. What is your take on [related topic/point]?”

3.) Tap into Your Shared Alma Mater:

“Hey, fellow Hawkeye! It’s always great to connect with another University of Iowa alumni. I attended back in [year] and had some great times! What was your favorite spot on campus?

4.) Reference a Shared Affiliation:

“Amy, I noticed we’re both affiliated with [charity, religious organization, community organization/chapter, etc.]. So cool to find others involved with [shared affiliation]. What inspired you to join/get involved?”

5.)  Explore Mutual Sports Fanaticism:

“Hey Jeff! I saw you and I are both BIG fans of [sports team]. I had no idea. Did you catch the game last Sunday? Did you see [highlight]? What an insane play, right?”

6.) Reference Your/a Friend’s Common Location:

“Hi Robert! I have a great friend in [location], how long have you lived there? I loved going to [landmark] when I was last there. What’s your favorite part of living there?”

7.) Indicate Shared Professional Interest:

“Michelle, I think [their work/specialization] is so cool! I’ve always had an interest in that – I even took some classes back in college. What has your career path been like? Would you be willing to connect so I can pick your brain?”

8.) Reference an Event You Both Attended:

“Hi Sonia! I saw you attended [event], I was there too! It was great meeting you there/We must have missed each other. Would love to compare experiences. I found it a little challenging to have deeper conversations with so many people in a virtual setting. What did you think?”

There are so many other creative ways to start LinkedIn conversations that make people (prospects) actually want to talk to you. These 8 conversation starters give you a place to start. You can always work in the sell later, but establishing connections centered around your shared human experiences will almost always get more responses than mass, impersonal sales pitches.

Whole Growth Partners and Your Business

Are you confident you’re investing the right marketing strategies? Enlist the help of a strong marketing partner who focuses on the growth of your whole business. We’re here to help.

These 7 Questions Can Make Sure Your Marketing Hits the Mark

These 7 Questions Can Make Sure Your Marketing Hits the Mark

By: Laura Landergott, Whole Growth Partners Principal & Founder

So, 2020 happened. And every business owner wants to know what 2021 will look like. That’s a difficult prediction, but we do know this: now is the BEST time to invest in marketing so as the economy recovers, your business is favorably positioned for competitive growth.

That begs the question: are you investing in the right marketing strategies for your business?

We’ve got the checklist to help you evaluate marketing initiatives offering the greatest benefit to your immediate and long-term business goals. No, this won’t involve late night pro/con list-making or giant marketing meetings to think-tank your way through each objective. Simply asking these 7 questions before you invest could save you valuable time and money in 2021.

1.)  Does it help accomplish our objectives? Is it connected to our strategy?

Don’t fall for the flashy marketing opportunity – and I’m talking to green and seasoned business owners alike. If the opportunity doesn’t feed into forward momentum that will ultimately accomplish 1 or more of your busines goals, then drop it.

It’s easy to be wooed by the next cool marketing opportunity, even if it doesn’t exactly make sense for your business goals. Or, to fall into the trap of doing what you’ve always done “because you’ve always done it.” Your business objectives may vary. There’s no one-size-fits-all marketing campaign, but viable marketing strategies should immediately present benefits to your business, period.

2.)  Does it reach our target market in both quality and quantity?

You’ve got a clear sense of what your business is about, now it’s time to look at the market. Two questions should come to mind:

    • Who is an “ideal client” for my practice?
    • How do I effectively and affordably reach them?

A marketing tactic may reach thousands of people…but if they’re not the “right” kind of prospects, what’s the point? Plus, it could have an adverse effect on your business and significantly lower your marketing ROI. A marketing tactic that reaches a handful of the “right” kind of prospects could be a better investment, just be aware of the marketing cost for that reach. Look for marketing opportunities that balance both quality and quantity and get you in front of your ideal audience without exhausting your marketing budget.

3.)  Does it provide multiple marketing touch points?

Investing in marketing strategies that reinforce multiple goals can have a powerful effect on your practice and cut down on resources used. Look for marketing opportunities that hit more than one touch point. Ask yourself, does this strategy help with…

    • Client acquisition – helping you find new clients within your ideal profile
    • Client retention – creating “stickiness” to keep those clients
    • Thought leadership – reinforcing your reputation as a respected expert in your field
    • Community involvement – increasing visibility for your business through local engagement
    • Recruiting – building your talent pipeline for future growth of your practice
    • Branding – positioning your practice favorably within the community
    • Networking – connecting you with more ideal prospective clients
    • Philanthropy – enabling you to do well by doing good

When marketing initiatives hit on several of these points, you increase the efficiency of your marketing investment. Home run!

4.)  Can it provide both frequency and duration?

When investing in a sponsorship or partnership, consider those that provide opportunities for your firm and team members to engage multiple times throughout the year. This regular cadence is usually much more effective than a single large event. A longer timeline with multiple touchpoints enable you to build consistent visibility and strong relationships under the halo of the partnership. For instance, consider sponsoring a series of connected events so you’re able to grow name recognition through repetition and continuity.

Remember, it’s not effective to parachute in for one big event, then go dark, never to be seen or heard from again for the rest of the year.

5.)  Can it build off existing relationships?

Recall question 4? Consistency is king (or queen!) in building momentum. So, think of places and situations where you already have solid relationships. Nesting where you’re known and established can effectively save you time and resources.

A few examples come to mind. Working consistently with a local publication is not only a good practice for consistent coverage, they’ll also be more likely to offer you first right-of-refusal on new promotional opportunities. Perhaps you have a client who owns a catering service or restaurant; consider using their service or venue for an upcoming [socially-distanced] event. That’s a win/win situation in which you’re helping to fuel your client’s business. Or if you’re already a member of a country club or on the board of a non-profit organization, take this opportunity to deepen relationships with other members. You know you have at least one thing in common, there are bound to be others!

In short, deepening existing relationships to feed business momentum is a wise strategy.

6.)  Is it (too) available?

Two words: category exclusivity.

To stand out, select marketing opportunities that enable your business to “own” the space. We’re pretty sure you don’t want to be surrounded by a host of competitors. So, confirm you’ll be the only financial planner or wealth management firm engaged in the marketing opportunity, sponsorship, event, etc. During contract negotiation, ask for “category exclusivity.”

Also, make sure your business doesn’t get lost in the proverbial “logo soup.” Because Silver and Bronze level sponsorships tend to be more affordable, you’ll see more company sponsors in those tiers. If you’re able, we’d recommend considering one of the higher tiers like Platinum or Gold where it’s easier to stand out. The premium sponsorship tiers typically only have one or two major sponsors. That’s where you want to be…if it’s within your means.

7.)  Is it affordable?

Which brings us to our final point…don’t take on more of a financial investment than you can reasonably handle. In fact, you might want to start small, test a new initiative before making a larger commitment. This is especially true for marketing initiatives you’ve never done before and big-ticket financial commitments.

That’s not to say you should shy away from sizeable marketing investments, just do your due diligence. Significant discounts for a multi-year commitment may be attractive, but do the math. How does that break down per year, what are your anticipated returns on that investment, how many new clients do you believe you’ll be able to acquire from that investment. Most importantly, are you in a position to make a long-term, multi-year financial commitment?

We encourage you to enlist the help of your CFO to evaluate your resources before making a financial commitment.

Whole Growth Partners and Your Business

Are you confident you’re investing the right marketing strategies? Enlist the help of a strong marketing partner who focuses on the growth of your whole business. We’re here to help.