With the right approach, LinkedIn can be a great source of business for mortgage professionals. Social media has transformed over the years and popular sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram now present many business opportunities. While it may be easy to attract prospects and clients on Facebook, LinkedIn needs to be approached with finesse.
LinkedIn is first and foremost a networking platform for professionals. It is one of the few remaining social media sites that places networking and relationship-building above all else. LinkedIn users are generally on the site for making professional connections and a hasty sales pitch can easily turn them away. Not only can it turn individuals away, but your entire reputation on LinkedIn can be tarnished if you are too aggressive and neglect relationship-building before pitching any products or services. For these reasons, LinkedIn can be a difficult place for some professionals to cultivate new leads and business.
If you have the right strategy, LinkedIn is full of business opportunities. Do not look at your network as a list of leads though. The key is to focus on building genuine relationships. If you can do this effectively, prospects and leads will follow. Here are some things to focus on to ensure you are focusing on relationship-building before pitching sales and services on LinkedIn.
Showcase your Knowledge and Expertise
LinkedIn is a great place to post and share content that highlights your expertise as a mortgage professional. Responding to comments on your content and commenting on posts of other professionals is also important. This will keep your name in front of potential clients and referral partners on a regular basis. The key to turning these individuals into clients or partners is not to make an aggressive sales pitch, but to simply continue to display your knowledge and expertise naturally.
As an example, let us say an individual asked a question on a post that you or another mortgage professional made. You take the time to provide a thorough answer, but they still have another question or two. This is a great opportunity to reach out to the individual directly, to make a connection, and to start building a relationship. Have a conversation and address their questions and concerns. This will show that you are putting their interests first.
When having a conversation with an individual, you can provide them with examples of successful deals you have closed in the past. Providing an example of a solution that would meet their needs is an effective way to pitch a product or service, while showing real world experience.
Use an Offline Approach Online
How you approach potential referral partners and clients online is likely very different from how you approach these same individuals in a face-to-face setting. This is a bad habit that needs to be broken by many sales professionals. When approaching someone online, you should go through the same process as if you were talking to that person face-to-face.
Have an open conversation with those you connect with on LinkedIn. Always address them by name, ask personalized questions, and find commonalities on their profile that allow you to connect on a personal level. Online interactions can come off as very impersonal even if you do not mean to be. This is why it is important to stand out from the generic sales messages and make those personalized connections.
Explain Why You Want to Make a Connection
When attempting to connect with people on LinkedIn, give them a reason why they would want to accept your request. Perhaps you met someone at an event and want to connect with them. Even though they may remember you, get in the habit of explaining why you want to make a connection with that person.
You will encounter many people that you think would make an ideal client or referral partner that you have not met before. This is where a message about why you want to connect becomes very important. Many individuals who spend time on LinkedIn will be able to quickly tell if someone is interested in making a genuine connection or if they are only interested in a sale. If you are unable to make connections, you are drastically reducing your chances of developing future partnerships or sales opportunities.
LinkedIn is a great resource for leads and potential partnerships, but you must remember that it is first and foremost a networking platform and needs to be treated as such. Do not attempt to simply “connect and pitch” without establishing a relationship first. This will be an unsuccessful endeavor and will likely leave you with a bad reputation on LinkedIn. Have genuine, personal conversations with people and use your knowledge and expertise to prove that you are a valuable connection. The relationships you establish in this manner will set the stage for future referral partnerships and sales opportunities. If you have questions or need a hand establishing your LinkedIn presence, the social media experts at 220 Marketing can provide the support you need.