I believe one of the greatest sales tools of all time exists today and it is absolutely FREE! It is a monster tool with hundreds of possibilities. That’s right; I am talking about LinkedIn. Have you ever really looked at the possibilities of what you can accomplish at your fingertips and cost you and your business nothing?
There was a TV show on recently about six degrees of separation from any person on Earth. That anyone is just six people away from meeting anyone on the planet. But where would you start. Viola! An awesome website called LinkedIn. Think about it this way. Everyone on average since high school knows about 100 people. But those 100 people know 100 people. So when you meet a new person, essentially, you have the potential of connecting to quite literally 10,000 people. Don’t mean to make you nervous, but next time you meet a new person, “don’t screw up!” But it grows exponentially from there. For example, just having approximately 300 people in your personal business network can put you just “three degrees” away from almost 3 million people! Even a blind dog finds a bone with 3 million chances.
Where do I start? I find a lot of people have a LinkedIn account with connections, but they don’t know why. If you are not going to use it to grow your business, I agree, why? First step is set up the account and I mean complete it 100%. Fill in every aspect it asks for because there is a purpose. Next sit on the sideline, by that, I mean read what people are saying. Linked In is not Facebook, nobody cares you just ate the best brownie ever made. LinkedIn is business oriented, don’t mess yourself up. Third, build your network by inviting people in business you know through either your email address book or searching through LinkedIn. Fourth, start looking at groups you might want to join with similar interests and your chosen field. This is an excellent way to connect to like minded people. Finally, look for people you may want to do business with in the search feature LinkedIn will show you the people in between you and that person that you know in common, to find someone to introduce you to them.
There is an argument of quantity versus quality. Should I just invite anyone to be in my network or just people I’m close to only? The answer is no and both. Be diligent, not lazy. You want a strong network of good people you know and those who know good people. But you also want as large of a network as possible. What an amazing tool!!! Yes, it’s free, but it does take some time to learn and it must be worked regularly. But in a bit of wisdom, work smarter not harder. Learn as much about LinkedIn today as possible. View online videos, attend workshops, even hire an online LinkedIn expert, you won’t be sorry.
Tim Wilhoit is owner/principal of Your Friend 4 Life Insurance Agency in Nashville, TN. He is a family man, father of 3, entrepreneur, insurance agent, life insurance broker, salesman, sales trainer, recruiter, public speaker, blogger and team leader with over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in the insurance and beverage industries.