One out of three professionals worldwide are on LinkedIn. I’m not sure why the other two aren’t, because successful salespeople use LinkedIn. If you are successful without LinkedIn, consider how much more successful you could be if you were using it.
According to The Ultimate Sales Guide to Crushing Your Quota, in 2014, 74% of salespeople who exceeded their quota described themselves as “highly effective” social media users or “better than most.” Socially savvy reps were 6.7 times more likely to exceed quota than were salespeople with rudimentary or no social media skills.
Wondering why some people are getting daily leads on LinkedIn and you’re not? Still trying to figure out which activities produce results?
Schedule these eight actions into your daily routine to accelerate LinkedIn success
1. Read your messages and answer them
People are trying to have a conversation with you on LinkedIn. It’s important to answer them. Yes, some of it is spam. Hit delete and move on to find the people you need to build relationships with and continue the conversation.
2. Accept Invitations
People are trying to connect with you just like they would at a live networking event. Review their profile and determine if they would be a good addition to your network. If yes, accept and immediately send them a message to begin a conversation. Mention something you have in common, ask them a question, or send them some information that will be useful.
Share great content that others post and share your own content. It can be your own blog or your company’s blog. Share industry news. Plan what you are going to share and be sure it adds value. You want to show people that you are knowledgeable so they want to connect. Become a curator of content. You can use tools like Pocket, List.ly and Feedly.
4. Click like
It’s like waving hi to someone you see at a distance. It’s a quick, easy way to stay in touch with your contacts. It only takes seconds. If you do nothing else, scroll through the activity and click like. If you are prospecting, find posts from your prospects and click like.
If you find posts intriguing, if you agree, disagree or have something to add, get the conversation going by adding a comment. It’s the same effect as chatting with someone you see at the grocery or coffee shop. It helps you keep in touch and build relationships.
6. Stay in touch
Clicking like and commenting on or sharing someone’s post is one way to keep in touch. I also recommend sending a private message. Once you are connected with someone, you can send a note of congratulations, a link to a great article or resource, and respond to a question. On the connection page, LinkedIn gives you suggestions of ways to stay in touch at the top of the page. It offers birthdays, work anniversaries, job changes and other reasons to reach out to people. What good is a network you don’t stay in touch with? There is even a feature on each profile to help you stay in touch. Click the relationship tab under the photo and set a reminder.
First, connect with everyone you know. Find classmates, former colleagues, friends, relatives and anyone else you may know. Send a connection request from their profile page so that you can send a personal message. Once you have done that, you can start connecting with the people you would like to know. You can do that by asking an acquaintance to introduce you, or send a request with a personal message about who you are and why you want to be connected.
8. Join groups
Groups are amazing. There are so many reasons to join groups. First off, you can learn from them. Find groups of interest to you and read what is being posted. Join the conversation, post a question. Interact with the other group members in positive ways. This will cause more people to ask you to connect. Better yet, if there are people in the group you want to be connected to, you can easily send a message or ask to connect from the group page. People in the same group with you are inclined to accept your invitation to connect, even though they don’t know you.
An action you should NOT take is sending sales messages to people you just met before you know if they are a prospect. Build the relationship first and if you find a need, make a personal approach. Don’t send a canned sales message. Those spammy messages do get some response, but you will get a better acknowledgment by building relationships and helping others.
These eight actions are like networking in person. You meet, chat, and find some things in common. You determine if another meeting is appropriate and whether or not the person is a prospect by asking great questions before you start to sell.
Learn more about effectively finding LinkedIn contacts with the free ebook below.
This post originally appeared on Alice Heiman’s Blog.