(part 7 of “LinkedIn Groups: Untapped Goldmines of Opportunity” series)
Over the past few weeks, we’ve discussed the importance of joining and participating in LinkedIn Groups. Because you’re in the right groups, you’re going to be contacted by people who are interested in your services or interested in networking because they have something in common with you (as long as you have a good LinkedIn Profile!)
But how do you respond? Well, ladies and gentleman, in light of the recent holiday, allow me to put this in St. Patty’s day terms:
If you’ve been contacted:
You’ve found the pot o’ gold!!!
But before you spend your gold on a new green blazer, it’s critical to write a well-worded response to to the “Link Requester” to start building a business relationship.
Below are tips on how to respond to the different types of people who might contact you:
If an independent recruiter contacts you, accept the “Link Request.” Then, request a phone call to review your qualifications and to discuss the types of positions you are looking for.
You could write a response something like this:
“Thank you for requesting to link to me. I see that you are a recruiter in my field. I am actively pursuing a position at this time and would love to set up a phone call to discuss my qualifications and any open positions you have.”
If it’s a recruiter from a particular company you’re interested in working for, first respond by thanking them for the link request. Next, highlight your qualifications that could benefit their company. Also, let them know what types of positions you’re interested in and request a short phone call to discuss your qualifications.
If it is a manager from a company you’re interested in working for, use the same technique listed above for responding to a company recruiter. If you haven’t heard of the company or aren’t familiar with it, don’t immediately dismiss the request to connect – it could be a great opportunity! Let them know that you’d like to learn more about their company and request a short a phone conversation.
3. Other Professionals:
If another professional contacts you, review their profile and contacts.
If they look like someone who might know of a job opening or have quality connections, ask for a “get to know you” phone call. Talking to people is the only way to build a relationship; remember, LinkedIn is all about business networking! Once you are the phone, you can determine whether to let them know you are looking for a job or ask them for any job search ideas/Connections they may have for you.
4. Potential Clients:
This one is a bit trickier. I think it’s best not to be as direct with potential clients. I would write back and thank them for the “Link Request” and ask them for a “get to know you” phone call. I usually tell them that I like to know the people in my LinkedIn Network. On the phone call, I would ask, “what moved you to send me a Link Request?” If they say they were looking for your services, it’s easy to then talk about your services. If they don’t, then I would ask them questions to uncover their pain point and then gently inform them of some of my services that could help. I have a great post on the LinkedIn sales process that was written for Coaches, but it applies to any service provider.
5. Potential Referral Partners:
If the person looks like a good source for referrals, I would write something like this to them:
“I see that you are in “X” business. I am looking for people to refer to your field. I offer “X” and wonder if you ever run across people who need the services I offer. I would love to set up a “get to know you” phone call to discuss any business synergies we may have.”
No matter who contacts you, remember: you can’t just be “linked” to people; you have to get to know them. Writing a quality response to “Link Requests” is only the first step in getting to know your Connections. You have to work on building the relationship from there.
In my next post, I’ll go over how to reach out to people you see in Groups to foster a mutually beneficial relationships.