The Problem With Using 'Sales Triggers' on LinkedIn
We are told starting discussions with buyers on LinkedIn demands relevance. Thus, watch for “trigger events": moments in time when your prospect is demonstrating something that signals “time to go in” to us. Easy, but is it an effective way to get attention of busy prospects?
Really? Using triggers can subvert your ability to get conversations started using LinkedIn.
Yes, when approaching a potential buyer on LinkedIn, the approach must be a warm one — not cold. But this means qualitative triggers, research ... not tech triggers. Beware.
What Is a Trigger Event?
“An event that precipitates other events,” says Eric Quanstrom, CMO of KiteDesk. “In sales, these trigger situations are opportunities to make a connection in a timely way that hit a relationship inflection point, and increase a likelihood of a sale.”
Mr. Quanstrom says think of it as investing time — at the right time — to create opportunity.
“Trigger events are times to initiate relevant content and conversations. The key to graceful relationship building is to approach when there's relevance,” he says.
I agree, however, the manifestation of this concept on LinkedIn is becoming horrifyingly ineffective.
LinkedIn Trigger Events
Beware: Technically-generated triggers are easily seen by you — and any other sellers looking to court your prospect. LinkedIn trigger events don't just trigger you — they trigger your competitors.
Some trigger events you can observe on LinkedIn are when your contact:
- changes jobs
- is promoted
- has a birthday or work anniversary
- is mentioned in the news
These triggers are based on the prospect, true.
“When you approach someone in light of a trigger event, you eliminate a lot of uncertainty,” says Mr. Quanstrom. “Largely this is because the trigger event is personal to them.”
However, these are technically-generated triggers that are easily seen by you — and any other sellers looking to court your prospect. These triggers are also shallow — without deeper meaning to the prospect. They're anecdotal, not strategic.
How Using Triggers Can Hurt You
LinkedIn and social selling give you the chance to monitor prospects for trigger events. But increasingly this is not working. This is why:
- The ability to stalk prospects is being abused.
- The type of trigger events are anecdotal (not strategic) triggers.
Most sellers using LinkedIn are lazy. Frankly, they're low-skilled. Worse, they're keying on shallow triggers — grasping at straws, rather than doing homework and researching prospects for provocative triggers.
Sales prospecting expert, Bruce Johnston, says LinkedIn's trigger events sound like a great way to increase relevancy and separate out from other sellers who are less personalized. But in practice, it's working against most sellers.
Mr. Johnston says we're reaching a saturation point on LinkedIn — where masses of sellers are monitoring for triggers and spamming prospects with irrelevant messages.
"Once everyone is looking for the same event, and indeed being alerted when that event occurs, the effectiveness of that trigger falls away,” says Mr. Johnston.