Spamming on LinkedIn has gotten out of hand. How do we know? We get a daily pitch-slap from someone trying to sell something or schedule a phony meeting—I’m sure you do as well.
While this strategy may have been effective a few years ago, the network has evolved tremendously. Users are savvier and can smell the insincerity of a bot a mile away.
We’re not saying you won’t get any results with a mass messaging approach. If you want to play the “numbers game” and message thousands of prospects every month, someone will respond. But you’ll also burn through opportunities and irritate a ton of prospects in the process.
Our suggestion? Take a highly personalized approach. This will require more research and work, but you’ll be deploying a much more enjoyable strategy and keep your reputation intact.
The following are 10 conversation starters for financial advisors interested in striking up real conversations with prospects.
- Common Connection:
I noticed we’re both connected to [name]. I used to work with her at [past company]—she’s awesome. How do you know her?
- Content Posted:
I wanted to reach out because I read your post on [topic]—great stuff. I especially like your take on [specific topic]. Curious, what do you think about [question about topic]?
- Comment Recognition
I noticed your comment on [name of poster] and I couldn’t agree more. I’d love to know your take on [insert related question]?
- Alumni Affiliation:
Great to connect with another [university] alumni. I attended back in 1995—some of the best years of my life! Did you live on campus?
- Job Commonality:
I noticed you used to work at [past company]. I used to work there as well. Random question … Do you happen to know [person you know at company]?
- Sports Fanatic:
I saw you’re a fan of [sports team]. Go [team name nickname]! Did you catch the game last Sunday? Did you see [highlight]?
I have a good friend in [location], how long have you lived there? Do you remember that [popular landmark]?
- Career Intrigue:
I noticed your work involves [specialization]. I’ve always had an interest in [specialization], even took some classes back in college. How did you get into that field?
- Website Research
Thanks for connecting. I was on your website today and noticed [discovery]. I’m curious, [question about discovery]?
- Company News
I was reading an article today on [website or publication] and I noticed that your company is currently [discovery]. I’d love to hear your take on it. Do you think [question about discovery]?
Are there other ways to strike up conversations on LinkedIn? Of course! But hopefully the above gets your creative juices flowing. Your objective is to ask a question to create banter back and forth and save the selling for later.
Kevin Nichols is a partner with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. @KevinANichols www.oechsli.com