Making Business Connections with LinkedIn Part 2

In my last blog, I talked about setting yourself up with LinkedIn to make business connections. Now let's talk about getting those connections!

While getting out and talking with new people (AKA networking) is a great way to expand the group of people you know, how do you find he right people? There are two ways that LinkedIn can help. First is through the normal networking dynamic of someone you meet online refers business to you. The second is more proactive. You will use your connections to seek out leads and get introduced. Using the LinkedIn search engine, you can search through your contact's contacts for people that you want to meet. For example, start with a list of companies that you would like to sell into. LinkedIn can use that list to identify people that are connected to you that are connected to those companies. You might find that one of your contacts knows someone who knows the Chief Marketing Officer at one of your targets. Using LinkedIn, you can ask your contact to introduce you to the person that can introduce you to the Marketing Officer. What could be more valuable? Using LinkedIn to get to personal introductions to targets is one of the most powerful features of the tool, and one that many people overlook. Another tactic to use is to find out what groups these people and join them. This gives you the chance to meet people to talk about common interests. Once they get to know you, you can finesse yourself into getting an appointment to talk business.

Think about this, you can get a personal introduction and get to know your target before pitching your business. What is that worth to you? Often, it means the difference between a hang up and the acceptance of a meeting. This is the power of social media. With a little work and thought, you can meet almost anyone.

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