Disclaimer: despite the dominant presence of bears in this post, there is nothing to fear. But we take no responsibility for any cries of ‘how cute’.

LinkedIn can provide all the new leads your business needs – but that’s no reason to completely abandon other more traditional sales and marketing practices that bring great opportunities to your business.

If you’ve been following our posts, you’ll have seen how the optimise, connect, engage, and convert strategy has the power to level up your business with the amount of new opportunities that come your way.

But just because you’ve found a shiny new toy, it doesn’t mean that ALL your other toys (and friends) are worthless…

LinkedIn: Plays Well With Others

Give LinkedIn a big cuddle by all means. But the optimise, connect, engage, and convert strategy hasn’t reinvented sales and marketing!

It simply combines the traditional principles of effective sales and marketing strategy and ‘translates’ them into the world we live in, in 2017: that’s a world where the largest database of professional people (over 460 million) is right at your fingertips.

Use it smartly and commit to doing the activity and it takes lead-generation to a new level. But this shiny new toy can play very well with others too.

In particular, don’t abandon the power of referrals for bringing new opportunities to your business. Referrals always have been a great way to bring warm leads – and LinkedIn marketing doesn’t change that.

“I’m a referral business”

Ever run into a “referral business” that looks suspiciously like this?

LinkedIn: Plays Well With Others

Yes, so have we.

The problem with many “referral businesses” is that they sit back and wait for the leads to roll in. When they don’t, they blame others for not bringing them business.

What we’ve learned is that, if you have the correct marketing strategy and the sales system in place, activity and sales have a linear relationship: the more you do, the more you get out of it.

So simply saying “I’m a referral business” does not set you up for much success – unless you’re prepared to back it with activity, unlike the cuddly koala above.

In reality, every business should be a referral business – we are too; but the referrals supplement our “bread and butter” leads, which come from LinkedIn.

The referrals are wonderful, of course: what business wouldn’t appreciate warm to hot leads being thrown its way?

But the real value in our business is the database of followers we have, the activity we take to engage them, and our sales system for conversion. The referrals are this:

LinkedIn: Plays Well With Others

Yes, the icing on the (bear) cake! Don’t sit back and wait for the phone to ring. If you take the activity, asking for referrals from your database becomes so much easier down the track…

Ask for the business

As a general rule:

It costs six times more in time and money to find a new lead than to convert a current one.

It’s important to remember this, as your LinkedIn marketing doesn’t change this principle. Looking after the existing customers in your database as a priority – even while you’re trying to expand your database with new leads.

And your existing customers are not only a key source of new sales; they can bring you new customers, too.

It is generally the clients you are closest to who will refer you to other businesses: most will not refer trusted customers to you unless they have experienced first-hand the fantastic level of service and value you provide. This stands to reason.

But, again, most businesses will not be queueing up at your door to refer their customers: once you’ve earnt their trust, you need to ask for the business.

We do this regularly. And we usually get, on average, three referred leads from each client – sometimes within 24 hours!

If we value each client at, say, $35,000, and we are able to convert two out of the three leads (which is quite realistic), then that’s another $70,000 worth of business created by looking after a client and asking for referrals. That’s at virtually no cost of time nor money to our business.

I’m sure everyone reading this could use some of that. And it’s so very simple: look after your clients, build the trust and mutual appreciation, and then ask for referrals.

P.s. Whenever you’re ready… here are 4 ways we can help you grow your business with LinkedIn

1. Grab a free copy of our book: It’s the roadmap to connecting with prospects, engaging with and converting new clients, and leveling up your consulting business – Click Here

2. Join the Influencer Boardroom and connect with other advisors and consultants who are scaling too: It’s our new Facebook community where smart advisors and consultants learn to generate more purpose, profit, and power. – Click Here

3. Join Our Implementation Program and be a Case Study: I’m putting together a new consulting case study group inside The Influencer Project this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with me on your client-getting and business growth plans using LinkedIn… just send me a message and put “Case Study” in it and I’ll get you more info.

4. Work with me and my team privately: If you’d like to work directly with me and my team to take you from 6 to 7 figures and level things up… just reply to this message and put “Private” in the first line… tell me a little about your business and what you’d like to work on together, and I’ll get you all the details.