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How to Have Real-Time Online Conversations with Prospects

An essential guide to networking and messaging on LinkedIn.

Striking up a conversation on LinkedIn is essential in social selling. And while messaging someone on LinkedIn sounds easy in theory, it takes skill. Effective messaging involves crafting verbiage that solicits a response and sending that message at the right time. Luckily, LinkedIn’s new Active Status should help immensely with the latter.  

Active Status enables you to see when your connections are actually available! There is nothing like having conversations in real-time with prospects. Think less “email” and more “live chat.”

How Do I Access It?

When you have logged into your LinkedIn profile, click on Messages. For now, this new feature is only available here, but our fingers are crossed that they move it to My Network soon. If the person you’ve been messaging has a solid green circle under their profile image, they are currently active on their desktop. If they have a hollow green circle, they are active on mobile.

How Should I Make the Most of This Feature?

Because you must initially message someone to uncover their Active Status, this feature is going to be ideal for sending follow-up messages. After you have messaged someone, review your messages and identify prospects or COIs who are active. Then, send them a quick follow-up note regarding your initial message. The likelihood of getting a response should increase substantially if they are active.  If they’re not responding to your messages, they are giving you the cold-shoulder … which speaks for itself.

Is My “Active Status” Already On?

By default, “Active Status” is turned on. If you want to hide your Active Status, you certainly can. Simply navigate to your Privacy Settings and select Manage Active Status. However, if you turn this feature off, you lose the ability to see when your connections are active. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

@StephenBoswell is president of The Oechsli Institute and author of Best Practices of Elite Advisors@KevinANichols is the chief operating officer of The Oechsli Institute and author of The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors. Learn more at 

TAGS: Marketing
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