How Much Is Linkedin Really Costing You?
Are you on LinkedIn? If you’re not already a member read on, and I’ll give some good financial reasons why you should join today and how to benefit.
Linkedin allows members, both employees and employers, to create profiles and "connect" to each other. As of December 2020, Linkedin had 760 million registered members from 150 countries.
With that many members Linkedin is a good business to business platform to connect with potential clients in your target markets. For instance, there are Linkedin members in the transportation industry including brokers, logistics, shipping managers and vendors supplying outside services. Trucking companies also have their own Linkedin pages. Any member can be traced with a simple search of their name, company or position.
Over the years, as part of my service on the agency and client side, I have always tried to assist clients find new vendors for products or services. I make a point of connecting on Linkedin, in advance, with potential vendors who are associated with my client’s industry. Then if my client needs a new vendor in a special category, I already have a pool of prospects to contact.
When reaching out to prospects, the biggest observation I have found with Linkedin members is they don’t respond to messages. Over the years I’ve reached out to Linkedin contacts offering them anywhere from new clients to free nationwide publicity. These company contacts hold current management levels including CEOs, VPs of Marketing, Sales Managers and more. The biggest offenders, in my opinion, are the Marketing people although the others run a very close second.
For instance, I have a client in a very specific industry who was searching for a CPA with expertise in their field. Although a narrow field, I had already made contacts in advance. I contacted 6 CPA specialists who had the credentials required and messaged directly to managing partners, senior partners and individual CPAs at the firms. Not one person responded! Not one! By the way, these were considered the largest CPA firms in the country in their category.
Most of the contacts never even read my message. That’s staggering considering the average client billing is about $70,000 a year.
I had to go outside my existing pool of contacts to find a responsive CPA firm that would follow up with the client. That was 3 years ago and so far, the CPA firm has earned almost a quarter of a million dollars. The hard dollar cost to those not responding to messages? $250,000 and counting. You would think a CPA would add those numbers !
In the future if I have another similar client looking for a CPA, who do you think will get the business and who will lose it?
This scenario is not an isolated one. Another client needed a new business bank. I reached out to Presidents and VPs of banks in my contact list. No response!
Over the years I estimate that only about 5% of contacts have ever responded to my messages. Some of the 5% respond with “I’ll get back to you” but never do. Lack of response begs the question, why are they on Linkedin in the first place? The obvious, but contradictory, answer is to get more business, but that can’t possibly be true if these people don’t respond. Do they let the office phone ring and ring or leave emails unanswered?
Occasionally I have been approached by these “non responders” promoting their services to me. Just the other day I received a promotional message from a contact that never responded to me 2 years ago. Why would I ever use their services or recommend them to a client?
Top level management should take a serious look at which staff, including themselves, are on Linkedin representing the company. Although staff members may have personal information on their LinkedIn profile, they are still the first point of contact for your company. Any lack of response sets the tone that can only reflect negatively on the entire company.
It’s not a stretch to believe that a lack of response indicates that the individual or company is not interested in any new clients. That’s OK if they aren’t, but there’s a cost in adopting this position. In nearly all cases these companies have a marketing department whose main job is to attract new clients. To achieve that, the company is spending money annually on advertising and other activities such as trade show attendance to reach prospects. In essence the promotional activity is "cherry picking" and trying to find the very same prospects that are being ignored by all management levels on Linkedin.
I wonder if any CEO’s chin has hit the floor yet.
There’s light at the end of the tunnel for those that want to see it and work with it. At the top of this article, I said I would give reasons to become a LinkedIn member. First a few ground rules when it comes to making sales.so here we go.
1.) It takes some work to find and create your own pool of relevant contacts.
2.) You must start building a relationship by communicating on a personal level with them. This communication is not all about immediately selling your services as this will turn off most people. How would you feel or react if a “stranger” started immediately selling their wares. A sale at this time is not going to happen. An important part of building this relationship is sincerely asking contacts about their business and who their ideal clients look like. I do this to not only learn about their business but to refer prospects to them.
3.) To garner mindshare post regular articles relevant to the contact’s business such as new products or services.A percentage of posts should be updates or news related to your business such as new hires and services or specific trends. Motivational quotes is another way of staying in front of prospects.
4.) There is one big reason to join Linkedin today. Why, because there is business to be found using Linkedin. How, RESPOND TO ALL MESSAGES and that will put you and your company in the top 5% of companies using Linkedin effectively! Responding immediately is a strong indication to the prospect of the ongoing customer service they can expect in the future. This will put you miles ahead of the competition, the competition who will never know it!
If all this sounds like too much work, that’s OK too, it just leaves the door open for competitors to walk right in and sign that client instead of you.
In answer to my original question “how much is Linkedin costing you?” even a CPA couldn’t calculate the actual dollar amount lost by not responding to prospects. You can get a taste of this loss by taking the monthly revenue of your average client and then project that amount out over 1, 2 and 3 years or the lifetime of that one client. Are these dollar amounts that you just calculated a big enough incentive to join Linkedin?
Join today and connect with me on LinkedIn here . Feel free to let me know what products or services you offer as I would be interested to learn more, and hopefully I can refer some prospects to you.