Do you use a CRM for your business?
If you use a CRM – Customer Relationship Management tool for your business and contacts, that is great! Hopefully you are making use of the automated items that you can set-up to keep in front of your potential and exiting clients.
If not, you might want to investigate the CRM functionality that is happening in LinkedIn. Go to your Connections item on your LinkedIn Menu bar.
If you hover you will see other options, but just click on the word connections. It should take you to a screen that looks like this:
- You can send a birthday message, congratulate someone on a work anniversary or a new position, and …
- Review the reminders that you set for yourself.
- Sort people by recent conversation, last name, first name, or new connections.
- Filter your connections by company, location, industry, and my favorite by Tag.
- You can tag people from this page.
What I like a bit better, is to go to the person’s profile page and get into the nitty gritty of what a CRM is really all about.
- With this feature, look for the Star underneath the persons picture or the word Relationship. Once you click on it, you can do the following:
- Note whatever you want to note about the person.
- Add a reminder – 1 day, 1 week, or recurring and more. The reminder function puts reminder into your CRM portion of your connections page. (See below)
- Add in how you met and include the people that introduced you.
- My favorite – Tag your connections. Those tags appear next to the contact information. You can tag a person with any tag you like.
With all of these features, you are the only person that will see any of this information. That is the beauty of this feature.
Now if you don’t know why it is important to use these tools, let address a marketing tactic. When I teach, I tell the class room an old marketing tip – the more someone sees your name, the more likely they are to remember it. When you see the following items, take action!
Take a few minutes to wish people Happy Birthday, Congratulations, or review the reminder that you received from your CRM function!
How can you build your network without having to physically network?
I just read a LinkedIn post from William Arruda advocating that you accept every invitation that comes your way on LinkedIn. Read it here While I totally agree in principle with what he says, I do understand people’s reticence to actually doing accepting anyone and everyone.
For an experiment, I went to my invitation box. It had 328 invitations in it. Almost every single one of them was not personalized. That means that either the person just clicked the connect button too quickly, they thought I would know who they were, or they were just inviting someone from the people I might know section. I did find a few people that had personalized their invitation that I may have overlooked during a busy time period, but for the most part they were generic invitations.
To follow through on the advice from Mr. Arruda, I decided that I was going to connect with almost all of the people whose invitations were awaiting my response. I added about 170 or so people to my network in about 20 minutes. I received a response from 2 of them relatively promptly, so I could begin to build a relationship with them right away.
One of the reasons that I didn’t automatically connect with the people is because I like to tag my connections for future reference. Read more here. With this in mind, I tagged all of them with a tag that let me know they were “on-line only” connections.
Another reason I like to keep at least some of these generic invitations in my in-box is that when I teach LinkedIn classes, I like to show people how to “reply don’t accept yet. Read more here.
My mantra when I teach is – It’s not about who you know, but who they know. The broader your network is, the more likely you will be able to connect with a potential employee, employee, or new business connection.
Whatever you choose to do with your LinkedIn connections, it is the best way to build your network without actually having to network!
I invite you to share your thoughts.