Identifying the right prospects on LinkedIn is critical to receiving introductions with real potential. Your connections have hundreds of connections, making introduction possibilities seem endless. This can be deceiving. Not all of your connections are able to provide you with warm introductions to prospects. You need some criterion to narrow your focus on high probability introductions.
One of the best ways to determine the probability of getting an introduction on LinkedIn is to gauge the relationship between the introducer (your first degree connection) and the prospect (your second degree connection). You need to uncover strong relationships.
The following are a few ways to evaluate the relationship between the introducer and prospect on LinkedIn. There are two types of relationship qualifiers, “profile” and “activity,” and both are equally important. “Profile” qualifiers include information available on the prospect’s profile page to help you determine areas of commonality between the introducer and the potential prospect. The second, “activity” qualifiers give you deeper insight into recent interaction between the two. The more qualifiers that are met, the larger the probability a successful introduction will occur. Consider the following when targeting introductions on LinkedIn:
- Current and Past Employment History: Did the prospect ever work at the same company as the introducer?
- Education: Did the prospect go to the same school as the introducer?
- Location: Is the prospect in close proximity to you and the introducer? Is the prospect in a location that would be difficult to orchestrate an introduction?
- Groups: Is the prospect in one of the same LinkedIn groups as the introducer? Is this a smaller niche group? Is this a national or location-based group?
- Mutual Connections: This is going beyond just the introducer. If you have multiple connections who know this prospect - even better. Tactfully bring up these individuals when asking for an introduction.
- Endorsements/Recommendations: The prospect has recently been endorsed or recommended by the introducer or vice versa.
- Recent Connections: The prospect recently connected with the introducer.
- Engagement: The prospect recently commented on or “liked” a post by the introducer or vice versa.
Kevin Nichols is a thought-leader with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in research and training for the financial services industry. Follow him on twitter @KevinANichols and connect on LinkedIn www.Oechsil.com