Have you been to an exhibition or trade show and bumped into one of your customers?
And did you think:
- I wish I’d known they were going to be here, to avoid the embarrassment.
- I wish I’d invited them, and arranged to meet for a coffee.
- What are they looking for, and maybe I can help them?
- Who have they been talking to? I hope it’s not the competition.
And what do you think they were thinking:
- This is a surprise, fancy meeting you here.
- I thought we were a major client of yours, but you didn’t mention you were going to be here.
- I’ve been meaning to have a chat with you before you find out through the grapevine…
It’s not that different on Linkedin.
- If your clients are on Linkedin and you’re not then they (and your competition) have a real advantage over you.
- If you’re on LinkedIn but you haven’t take the time to find and connect with customers what message does that send to them?
- And if they’re not yet on LinkedIn and you are the one who invites and shows them around, will that strengthen your relationship?
Tips to make inviting and connecting easier:
- Use the ‘Add Connections‘ feature in Linkedin to pull connections from your email system into Linkedin.
- Or, work off your customer list and search and invite them to connect with a personal invitation.
- Or, use a Social CRM App such as Nimble to build a richer profile of each of your customers.
Connecting to all of your current and previous customers on LinkedIn is a foundation step to take to build your online network.
And when we connect with customers on LinkedIn it creates an opportunity to talk to them, and this alone can create new opportunities for us.