Spread the love

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.

So, because this feature is so simple to use and because I've received tons of rave reviews about it from my clients, I've chosen this as the fifth LinkedIn strategy in my five-part series on winning LinkedIn strategies for 2020.

Just in case you missed any of the previous articles, here is a clickable list.

LinkedIn Winning Strategy #5:

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 660 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 just seconds.

Note: If you were born after the Rolodex died, it is a paper-based business card filing system (see picture above).

Step-By-Step Instructions

1. Put your cursor in the big, white search box in the top toolbar and select People from the drop-down menu.

2. Then select All Filters in the white toolbar that appears. 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.).

The four questions I would ask my connection about the people on the list are:

    • Do you know them? (Not everyone knows the people in their network well enough to refer you)
    • Do 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)
    • Can 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 features, help you formulate your personal LinkedIn strategy, plus provide an in-depth critique of your LinkedIn profile, sign up for a one-hour, one-on-one consultation with me for the significantly reduced rate of $197.

Book your personal session today at https://www.powerformula.net/one-on-one-linkedin-consultation/