A few months ago, when LinkedIn launched its newest user interface, they placed some excellent features that were previously available on the free version, behind a paywall. One of those features was the ability to search a connection’s connections. Many advisors were devastated! We received countless emails and phone calls—everyone was looking for a “workaround.” After all, we’ve been training advisors for years to leverage this feature for targeted introductions. But it seemed as though, in order to maintain access to this feature, advisors would need to upgrade to Sales Navigator.
Over the past week, LinkedIn brought back this feature in a slightly new form. This was such a subtle change; we suspect many advisors may have missed it. When running a search, you’ll now notice a filter for “Connections Of.” Here, you can type in the name of a connection to run a search exclusively within that person’s connection base.
(Note: If the person’s connection base is hidden, you will only see shared connections.)
Why does this matter? Searching your connection’s connections is one of the best ways to find targeted introductions. What makes introductions so powerful is the credibility transfer that occurs when one of your connections introduces you to a prospect. From the perspective of the prospect, it appears that the introducer has identified the meeting as mutually beneficial. This is important to realize. You are forcing the hand of word-of-mouth. There is no marketing in the world of the affluent as powerful as a one-on-one introduction.
Our research on the topic shows that 83 percent of advisors who have acquired business through LinkedIn leveraged introductions. How do they do it? Seventy-four percent report they get introduced by verbally asking their client or COI directly. Using the information takes finesse and the proper sales skills.
@StephenBoswell is president of The Oechsli Institute and author of "Best Practices of Elite Advisors." @KevinANichols is the chief operating officer for The Oechsli Institute and author of "The Indispensable LinkedIn Sales Guide for Financial Advisors."