If you are like most salespeople, you spend a fair amount of time looking for new leads and trying to get the greatest benefit out of social networking sites like LinkedIn. One of the most frustrating things that can happen on LinkedIn is that you find a profile that seems to match your ideal customer profile, but you can’t send them an InMail since you are not connected to that person or you don’t have an account that includes InMail credits. If I’ve just described a frustration you’ve been having, keep reading.
I came across this tip recently in the Dallas Business Journal. This little LinkedIn secret is worth spending a few minutes learning more about.
The article details how you can directly email members of LinkedIn Groups as long as you are a member of the same group. Why is this important? Assuming that person has not published their regular email address in their LinkedIn profile, and you therefore need to send an InMail message, you can’t do it unless you are connected with them—or you are a premium member with InMail credits or you purchase InMail credits at an eye-popping $10 per message! So being able to InMail people directly through group affiliations is a way to get around purchasing these expensive InMail credits. The article states that there is a limit to the number of these group member emails you can send, but why not send as many as you can?
I suggest you read the original article to learn exactly how to do this, but before you try it I have to give you a word or two of warning. When you’re sending InMails to people you have never met before, you need to ensure that your emails don’t come off as being too salesy, slimy, or just plain awkward. We have all received these types of LinkedIn emails before and it doesn’t leave a good impression of the sender.
A great way to test your message and make sure that it’s not awkward or too forward is to send your email to a coworker or friend and ask them what they would think if they received this email from a stranger via LinkedIn. Also, make sure that every message you send on LinkedIn is clear, succinct, and suggests the next step(s). This is especially true when emailing strangers who don’t know anything about you. As with most everything else you do in sales, you don’t get a second chance to make a good first impression.