LinkedIn: Moving from a Connection Collector to a Sales Generator

By | December 6, 2011

When people talk about how they are using social media in the marketing efforts, Facebook and Twitter are often the first answers given.

Sure, they might be on LinkedIn. But they may currently only view it as a way for them to “collect people” – i.e. to amass connections.

If that sounds similar to how LinkedIn is utilized in your business, here is one idea for converting that connection data into a way to build relationships and generate sales.

Connections and Job Status

When someone experiences a change in their employment status, LinkedIn is often the very first social network that they update. Depending on our relationship with that person, taking action on that information can be valuable to them… and us.

I recently talked to a service provider that told me how he acts on that type of data. Here’s his story:

His company helps clients reach their marketing goals with design, print, direct mail, email, mobile, landing pages, and more.

While they have had success launching campaigns for a number of companies, they sometimes run into trouble because of high-turnover among the marketing departments that they work with. Lately, this has often occurred because of budget constraints, rather than performance.  But either way, the path to creating long-term, recurring business with those companies is not always easy when the employees change frequently.

In order to capitalize on the successes that they have helped marketers achieve, this company actively seeks to connect with those folks on social networks. Primarily, they try to do this on LinkedIn.

How LinkedIn Helps Deepen the Relationship

If a once-happy customer experiences a job change, the company still has a connection with them. For example, the company may:

  • Use LinkedIn to send a personal note when the job change does occur.
  • Offer up a recommendation for the person.
  • Refer the person’s profile to companies where there may be a fit.

Along with those one-time actions, they will make an effort to stay in touch with them in the weeks and/or months that follow.

By staying connected and engaged to these folks, they create opportunities to receive future sales and jobs once that person is in place at a new business.

How so? Well, they were already a fan of the services provided by that company. And their appreciation of them will no doubt be deeper because of the conversations and actions that took place during the process of changing jobs. Thus, they may be apt to highly recommend that company’s services to their new employer.

Can it Help You?

Certainly, this effort takes a bit of time and determination on behalf of that service provider! But in their words, “it’s helping me grow my business!”

If you are looking for ways to use social media to create and deepen relationships, paying attention to your LinkedIn connections might be a perfect place to start.

P.S. If you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn, here I am!

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4 thoughts on “LinkedIn: Moving from a Connection Collector to a Sales Generator

  1. Skip Henk

    Good post. LinkedIn has become a valuable asset to me. When I received my year end summary last year I found about 20% of my contacts had some type of change in employment status.

  2. John Foley

    Hi Skip,
    Thanks very much for leaving that comment… and especially for sharing that statistic! I think that’s a great indicator as to the potential opportunities LinkedIn provides when we analyze the data regarding our connections.

  3. John Foley Jr

    Try to allocate a certain amount of time each day to LinkedIN and your social networks. You will reap big rewards.


  4. Alin Jacobs

    You are absolutely right John. While moving from a contact connector to a sales generator takes a little effort, the business rewards can be significant.

    Along with joining and contributing to a variety of LinkedIn Groups relevant to my interests and expertise, I regularly review my LinkedIn Updates report. On numerous occasions writing a brief comment to a contact about their change has opened the door to new business opportunities.

    Just like any of the social media venues, the successes you realize from LinkedIn can be measured by the level of your participation.

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