Are You Ignoring All the Wrong People on LinkedIn?

potential buyerIf you owned a retail store and a potential buyer entered your front door, would you ignore them? Of course not. Well, that’s what many people are doing on LinkedIn.

And then they wonder why they aren’t getting any quantifiable results from using the site.

Think of your LinkedIn profile as your retail store. As with most retail stores, there’s lots of competition for potential buyers. And there are many different ways people find out about your store. All before they waltz in the front door.

But once they choose to visit, are you reaching out and saying, “Hi, thanks for visiting; how can I help you?” Trust me on this one. From my experience, most people aren’t doing this.

How to Welcome a Potential Buyer to Your “LinkedIn Store”

There are two easy ways to recognize a potential buyer or connection, Who’s Viewed Your Profile and your inbound invitations to connect.

Now, if you’re not specifically in sales and are about to stop reading, please reconsider. Because after all, we’re all selling something.

If you’re not selling products or services, you’re selling yourself or your organization every day. If you didn’t have something to sell, you probably wouldn’t be using LinkedIn.

Here are my best practices for recognizing and approaching a potential buyer, particularly one who is in your target market.

Who’s Viewed Your Profile

View this list often, because if you’re using the free account, you can only see the last five people who checked you out, and then only the information they’ve chosen to share with you.

However, if you’re using the Google Chrome browser, here’s a trick that will help you see the full list even though you don’t have a premium account. Simply download this free special extension.

If their headline looks interesting, click through to view their full profile and ask yourself this question: Is there any information here (job experience, education entries, people you have in common, interests, etc.) that resonates with me or would help me to have an interesting conversation with them?” If the answer is “yes,” invite them to join your network by using a five-star invitation.

Inbound Invitations to Connect

Don’t be too quick to hit the Ignore button here, even if you’ve never met the person. You don’t know why they “walked into your store,” so it’s worth your time to figure out who they are and how you might be able to help them.

It’s best to view your inbound invitations from your Pending Invitations page rather than your mobile device because you’ll have access to a lot more information about the person. On your phone, you won’t be able to see what people you have in common nor can you respond to a message without inviting the person to join your network. Messages are also truncated, so you may miss something important if you don’t take the time to read the full message.

My article Is Opportunity Knocking at Your LinkedIn Door? will help you understand who to connect with and give you some examples of simple ways to respond when the right person has walked into your store.

If you start executing these best practices, I’m confident you’ll begin to quickly identify the hottest prospects and reach out to a potential buyer in a way that will improve your chances of success.


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Power Formula.


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Wayne Breitbarth AuthorAbout the Author: Wayne Breitbarth is the CEO of Power Formula LLC. An experienced businessman, speaker, and author, Wayne shares his passion for social media with 40,000+ business professionals. Through private business consulting and presentations to audiences including Inc. Magazine and the American Marketing Association, Wayne makes LinkedIn simple. Wayne is the author of the best-selling book The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success. Connect with him on Twitter.



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  • Javalin2016

    LinkedIn has become a total waste of time. It has become the Facebook business. 99% of people,who want to connect with me do so because they want to sell me something. I have no decision making power at all and I have no desire to be linked with any of them.

    Over the years I have accumulated over 900 contacts on the site. I’m unemployed so I sent out emails to EACH follower informing them of my job search, what I was looking for, etc. I did not ask them for a job nor did I ask for anyone’s specific email address. There were some where I asked for an introduction to one of their contacts at a company I was interested in or knew of a job opening. Of the 900+ emails I sent, I received exactly 5 replies! Those who replied said they would “keep their eyes open” if something came up. Talk about a let down and a reality check. I bet if I sent the same email saying I was in the market to hire (fill in the blank), I’d be bombarded with replies.

    In the time I’ve used LinkedIn, I have never been contacted by a recruiter who saw my profile and contacted me about a job. Not once. Trust me, I have 18 years of marketing and event management experience, a Masters degree and a great looking profile which includes my groups, interests, skill set, experience, education and volunteer work.

    Since the aforementioned debacle, I deleted my account and created a new account. Currently I have about 8 connections and I don’t bother with the requests for introduction, inbound requests to connect (unless I know them), reference requests, recommendations, etc. I post about 3-5 articles per day and engage in my groups several times per week. In total, I spend about 30 minutes per week on LinkedIn unless I’m looking and applying to jobs.

    Which brings me to this…

    In conclusion, I find the site useless, repetitive and pedantic. I use it strictly for job leads and to reply to and send my resume for any job I’m interested in applying to.

  • Oh wow, I installed the Chrome plugin that you linked and I’m loving it! I’m actually currently on the free trial of LinkedIn Premium, but I doubt if I’ll keep it. This plugin is just one more reason why I don’t need to. Thank you! 🙂