Here is the Best Free LinkedIn Feature that Most People Haven’t Discovered Yet
By Wayne Breitbarth, Andersen Alumnus and CEO-Power Formula LLC (Author of “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success: Kick-Start Your Business, Brand and Job Search’)
Whether it's a referral to an exciting new customer with big potential, a new supplier or vendor with a more effective solution, or a referral to your next great employer, referrals are not only highly effective, but it can be fun meeting your friends' friends.
However, it's not easy to ask the open-ended question, "Who in your network could help me find a job, customer, etc.?" So, rather than putting all the pressure on your connection to come up with the right people, why not use LinkedIn's Connections of feature to find the right people all by yourself.
This feature is so simple to use, and I've received tons of rave reviews about it. So below you will find a step-by-step description of how to use this terrific LinkedIn strategy.
For more winning LinkedIn sales
strategies, be sure to join me on Monday, June 27 for my two-hour virtual
workshop Using LinkedIn to Generate a Steady Stream of Sales
Prospects. Check out the details and register here.
FYI, you don't have to attend the workshop live as all registrants will receive
a link to the recording to view later.
Check out your referral source's Rolodex in just minutes (People Search Filter—Connections of)
Overview: LinkedIn has lots of great ways to find the right people in its 850-million-person database, but the one that seems to have the biggest wow factor is using the Connections of feature to search for people who can refer you to people in your target audience. I find that most people don't know they can do this nor can they believe it's available on the free LinkedIn account.
Think of this LinkedIn feature as an easy-to-use electronic version of an old-school Rolodex but with all the available filters to find just the right people in mere seconds.
Note: If you were born after the Rolodex died, it is a paper-based business card filing system (see picture above).
1. Put your cursor in the big, white search box in the top toolbar and hit the return or enter key and then select People in the white toolbar that appears (far left). Then select All Filters (far right).
2. Next, go to the Connections of box and type in your connection's name. When his/her name appears in the drop-down menu, choose that entry, and then click the blue Apply button.
3. Now use any of the other available filters to narrow the search to people at the right company, location, school attended, title, etc.
Caveat: If your connection has chosen to hide their first-level network from their connections, you'll only be able to see people to whom both of you are connected.
What to do with the search results
Review the list LinkedIn provides for you. If you find people who look interesting to you, check out their profiles, and then ask your connection how best to approach the people (through a LinkedIn connection request, phone call, email, in-person meeting, etc.).
four questions I would ask my connection about the people on the list are:
you know them? (Not everyone knows the people in their network well
enough to refer you)
you think they would be interested in hearing about how I might be able
to help them? (You're trying to find out if your connection knows them
well enough to know their level of interest in what you do)
I use your name and our relationship when I reach out to them? (This is
getting their permission to name drop)
- What do you think is the best way to get ahold of them? (Send a customized LinkedIn connection request, email, phone call, etc.)
If you get "Yes" or "You bet" to the first three questions, then go ahead, reach out and try to start a new relationship by referring to your mutual connection. The reach-out could take place in the form of a LinkedIn connection request, but you could also use more traditional methods, like a phone call, email, or stopping by for a visit.
If you're like most people, once they learn of this feature, they can't wait to get started and put it to use.
What are YOU waiting for? Get started NOW.
If you'd like me to show you other hard-to-find, "can't miss" LinkedIn sales features, be sure to register for my upcoming virtual workshop Using LinkedIn to Generate a Steady Stream of Sales Prospects.