I've been lazy...
In the past, I always welcomed my new LinkedIn connections with a clever message.
For the past year, I've been too lazy to cut and paste my message.
I don't know why I was too lazy to send the message.
The other day I was teaching LinkedIn to a mastermind group, and I showed them my welcome message.
They loved my welcome message and asked if they could borrow it.
Of course, I said yes.
Yesterday I decided to dust off the old welcome message and send it to recent LinkedIn connections.
I sent my welcome message to 40 new LinkedIn connections on Wednesday morning.
As I write this email, 80% of my new connections replied within 36 hours.
80% response rate for one cut and paste message (I actually use TextExpander to paste the messages).
I spent about 15 minutes pasting the welcome message.
And I have over 30 conversations going with new LinkedIn connections.
Here's one of the responses:
Thanks Ted! Something interesting...I actually don't mind cold calling and embrace it, as an add on to LinkedIn. Love the content, thanks for everything!
How many people say they don't mind cold calling?
I asked him how long he's been cold calling and if he would be interested in sharing his story about learning cold calling.
I'm not trying to make a sale.
I want to learn more about cold calling because most of my clients would rather have a root canal than to cold call (me too!).
I know it takes a thick skin to cold call because 99 out of 100 people hang up on you or ignore the phone.
I would like to interview him or have him speak to my coaching mastermind so they can learn how to not mind cold calling.
Here's another interesting response:
Fun things about me, how about I've pulled the control rods out of a nuclear reactor and in the late 90's I was probably the best Settlers of Catan player in the country.
What does this have to do with anything?
Nothing but we all have interesting stories from our past.
Most stories have nothing to do with what we do for a living now but it's part of who we are.
We are who we are today because of our past experiences.
I'm starting conversations with people to learn more about their life outside of work.
We get to know each other on a personal level.
Some of these conversations turn into business but most don't.
I enjoy meeting new people and hearing their stories.
People remember you, especially on LinkedIn, when you show genuine interest in them.
You can't fake it.
You have to be authentically interested in them.
Some of these conversations turn into new business and referrals down the road because you spent a few minutes bantering with them about nothing.
Isn't this more enjoyable than blasting messages AT people?
"Your LinkedIn profile is amazing but could use some work. We help coaches and consultants like you book 30-50 discovery calls every week. Let's schedule a call so we can help you get started right now."
This month, we're reading the classic How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie in the Mastermind Book Club.
I read this book many years ago and I think it was the very first personal development book I ever read.
This book is more relevant today than when it was first published in 1937.
Today, we talk AT each other on social media.
We repeat our opinion over and over without trying to understand other people's views.
We talk past each other and we're not open to exploring the other side of the coin.
This is contrary to sales training and customer service training I attended years ago.
We were taught to ask a question and then to listen.
Listen at least 90% of the time.
They called it "active listening."
Let the other person speak their mind and don't interrupt them.
If you're trying to close a sale and they're hesitant, ask them what their concerns are.
Let them tell you what they are concerned about then ask if they have any other concerns.
Often, they talk through their concerns with little input from you.
When you let them do most of the talking, they respect and trust you more.
Growing up in my parent's restaurant taught me a lot about listening to customers.
People love to complain about their meal to see if they can get a discount even if it's the best meal they ever ate.
One woman came into our restaurant twice a day for over 20 years.
Every time she went to pay her bill, she would say something was cold or wasn't right trying to get a discount.
My father caught on to her game and stopped giving her a discount.
He would politely say "I'm sorry, we'll try better next time."
She kept coming back every day, twice a day.
When my father was about to retire, he had enough and finally asked her "You've been coming here twice a day for over 20 years, and you complain about EVERY meal. Why do you keep coming back?"
She sheepishly walked out the door without saying a word.
The next day she came back as usual for lunch and dinner and never complained again.
I'd love to hear stories about your customer service challenges.