Suppose You Treated LinkedIn Connections Like Clients?

Everyone needs more clients. They are tough to add. Everyone asks for referrals. The problem is you can’t easily ramp it up. Every advisor has “a book”. In years past, they were actual binders. You had an “A” book, “B” book, etc. based on client activity. There may be another book, a “virtual binder” you haven’t considered in your prospecting efforts.If you are active on LinkedIn, you have hundreds or even thousands of first level connections. Some might be clients. Others are not. Imagine they are prospects or reassigned accounts, back in the days before fee based accounts and recurring revenue were invented.What would you do with those pages of prospects and clients? Learn about them. You would read both sides of the page. Where do they live? What do they do? When was the information last updated? Do I have anything in common with them? What stocks do they hold? Any correspondence records? (Today, with CRM systems, there would be lots.) Any paper pages of notes stapled to the holding page? The LinkedIn profile page is the equivalent of this record. Arrange your LI connections alphabetically. On a rainy Saturday, start going through them. How did you get this prospect/client? You would look at that client record. Was it a reassigned account? Have you ever talked to them? Are they a prospect? Where from? On LinkedIn, you would wonder “How did I get this connection?” Scrolling through messages, you find out if you invited them to connect or vice versa. The Contact Info tab tells you the date when you first connected? How active are they? With account holding pages, they are probably inactive. Otherwise, you would know who they are! You would look at they history of trades. Were they active once, then got quiet? On LinkedIn, you would look on their profile page to learn if they post, write articles, like or comment on other people’s posts. Talk to them. You would call up, introduce yourself as their new (reassigned) advisor or reintroduce yourself as their advisor. You would learn about them. You would determine if a face to face meeting makes sense. On LinkedIn you would send them a personal message. Mention when you connected. “It’s time to get to know you better.” Share some personal information. Try not to be selling. What are their interests? You learn they own specific stocks. You share research. You call with breaking news. They are wine fans. So are you. You get a conversation going. You share firm research about the company where they work. Share an idea and ask for the order. In years past, you might show the guy who likes health care stocks another health care stock. Today, you might talk about updating their financial plan. Look at their overall asset allocation together. On LinkedIn, this person isn’t actually a client or prospect. You would likely introduce what you do, asking if they work with someone already. You would make clear you are glad to help, but if there isn’t a business opportunity, you are still happy to keep the connection at the current level, sharing information and keeping in touch. You brought up business, but gave them an easy out. Send stuff. Drip on them. You know their interests. You would use old fashioned surface mail because now it stands out. With LinkedIn you would send messages with links to things that expand their knowledge. Broadcasting. You likely have signed them up for your e-newsletter. You send stuff to stay on the radar screen. You post regularly toLinkedIn. It should make it into their daily feed. Recontact. Just because they weren’t interested in doing business doesn’t mean they shouldn’t get attention. You periodically review their holdings. You show you care. With LinkedIn, you keep up the personal messages, deepening the relationship. Those hundreds of first level connections on LinkedIn may be your next pool of prospects.

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