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LinkedIn Brightens Up My Birthday

Birthday Well Wishes
Birthday Well Wishes

Do you know people who downplay their birthdays?  I am not one of them. I love celebrating my birthday and having people make a fuss over me. That’s why I was excited to receive 45 “Happy Birthday” wishes from LinkedIn Connections yesterday.

Ever since LinkedIn unveiled the Contact Reminders feature last year, I’ve been training my clients to use it to strengthen their business relationships. Whether you’re using the free version or LinkedIn Premium version, it is a super-easy way to stay in touch. Every morning, I log into LinkedIn and go straight to the Contacts section. (Have you ever wondered why “Connections” are under the “Contacts” tab?)

LinkedIn is like my Executive Admin, telling me which of my Connections recently:

Got Promoted: “Congratulations on the well deserved promotion”

Moved: “Good luck in your new locale”

Mentioned in the news: “Nice  mention in the WSJ”

Are having a birthday that day: “Happy Birthday. Send cake!”

You can send a default note in just two clicks – if you do not customize it. I recommend you do customize the note, however. That way your message doesn’t end up looking like everyone else’s.

There’s no easier way to nurture your existing network. Just think about the math. If I spend 5 minutes a day sending little notes to 8-10 people over the 225 business days each year, I’ve practically covered all my LinkedIn Connections…or Contacts.

Yesterday, I was on the receiving end of this feature. Most of the well-wishers simply sent the default “Happy Birthday” message. A few of them added a custom message. I sent a “Thank You” message back to people, congratulating them on using this great feature. In a few cases, it triggered conversations in relationships that had been dormant. About a third of the wishes came from comments to my LinkedIn update posts (see image). Either way, it felt good to get 45 extra birthday wishes yesterday.

Now if LinkedIn could just figure out a way to send a chocolate birthday cake through the Internet, it would really be something!

How are you using the Contacts Reminder feature to strengthen your existing business relationships?

By Kurt Shaver

Kurt Shaver is a co-founder and Chief Sales Officer of Vengreso. Kurt is an expert at getting sales teams to adopt new sales tools and techniques. Through a successful career in technology sales, Kurt learned what it takes to reach B2B decision makers. As a VP of Sales for a global software company, Kurt was the executive sponsor of a rollout. That’s how he learned what it takes to get salespeople to adopt new tools and techniques. That knowledge led to him launch his own Salesforce consulting business in 2008. When LinkedIn went public in 2011, Kurt recognized that LinkedIn would be the next great sales technology and that it would require expert training. He pivoted his business and now has over 10,000 hours of experience training corporate sales teams like CenturyLink, Ericsson, and TelePacific Communications. Kurt is the creator of the Social Selling Boot Camp and is a member of the National Speakers Association. He frequently speaks at corporate sales meetings and conferences like Dreamforce, Sales 2.0, and LinkedIn’s Sales Connect.

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