Episode 103: Leveraging LinkedIn for Referrals
The Social Sales Link team is diving into LinkedIn referrals and why it is so valuable for your sales process. Learn about the magic of using filters to find connections of your connections and how you can reach out to them in an easy, warm way.
Join Brynne and Bob as they talk about networking partners and why they’re considered one of the best opportunities to engage with people. Learn how and where to find those networking partners and what to say to them when you reach out.
Lastly, find out why client referrals are, according to Brynne, the game changer. Listen as she walks listeners through the process of seamlessly incorporating that conversation with your clients by preparing ahead of time.
Bob Woods 00:00
Greetings, everyone and welcome to Making Sales Social Live. I’m Bob Woods and with me today, as always, is the LinkedIn Whisperer and my cohort in crime here at Social Sales Link, Brynne Tillman. How are you doing, Brynne?
Brynne Tillman 00:14
I’m great, Bob. I’m so excited for today’s conversation.
Bob Woods 00:19
Yeah, absolutely. So we’re going to get into it really quickly, because there’s lots of disgust around it, leveraging LinkedIn for referrals.
Welcome to Making Sales Social live as we share LinkedIn and social selling training, strategies, and tips that will have an immediate impact on your business. Join Brynne Tillman and me, Bob Woods, every week, Making Sales Social LIVE!
Bob Woods 00:48
So you (unintelligible) have connections on LinkedIn. You may even know some of them or you know, many of them and hopefully, you know many of them. So we’ve kind of taken things and split them into the three probably general groups of people who you’re going to want to seek referrals from, and the first one is going to be your current LinkedIn connections.
Brynne Tillman 01:10
Yeah, well, before we go into those, let’s just talk about the value of LinkedIn and why referrals with LinkedIn is so magic, right. LinkedIn, you’ve got your connections on LinkedIn and this is very much like your own Rolodex, right, you’re able to see them but the great news about that is that if someone should switch jobs, they update it and that stays current.
But where the magic is in LinkedIn and this is what I’m so excited to talk about today is the friends of your friends, your connections of your connections. The ability to search and filter, your connections, connections to identify who they know that you’d like to know and leverage those relationships for those referrals. So to Bob’s point, we have three types of searches, essentially, that we’re going to focus on and the first one, as you said, was your general connection.
Bob Woods 02:14
Your current LinkedIn connections because like I like to say, it’s not about who you know, it’s about who they know.
Brynne Tillman 02:19
Yeah, so I love that. Let’s just talk about this first one, which is your general connections’ connections. LinkedIn gives us the ability to search exactly who it is that we want to meet. It’s pretty simple, it’s also hidden. If you click on the search bar on LinkedIn, and then you hit Enter, you’re going to actually open up all kinds of filters for you to search. And when you click on that, all filters, if you click on first-degree connections and then you scroll through, you’re going to see who you are already connected to. Add in some of the other filters, you can see who you’re already connected to. The magic today is using the second-degree filter.
So if you go to those search filters, and you put in second-degree filter, and by the way, you could do this in the free LinkedIn or in Sales Navigator. And then we put in maybe the industry that you’re interested in, and the titles of people that you’d like to meet and the location of where you sell, you can build a list of second-degree connections that meet your ideal buyer persona, and identify whose Rolodex do they live in? So we can reach out. So maybe I see that Steven Farber is connected to Bob Woods and I want to meet Bob woods, assuming I don’t know him yet. So I reached out to Steven. “Hey, Steven, I noticed on LinkedIn, that you’re connected to Bob Woods. I’m looking to reach out to him in the next few days. Before I do, I’m curious how well do you know him?”
And I may have five or six shared connections with Bob Woods. So I may drop that message to all of them. And then I might get one back. He goes, “Oh, he’s a great guy. You know, I’ve worked with him for years.” “Fabulous. When I reach out to him. Should I tell him you said hello?” Easy right? Now you go,“Hey, Bob, Steve Farber, and I were chatting via LinkedIn, your name came up, he says hello.” Right, what an easy, warm way to connect with someone. So what’s the next level that we’re going to talk about?
Bob Woods 04:25
Yeah, next one. So we’re going to go a level deeper, as they say. We’re going to talk a little bit more about networking partners. So these are the people who you actively network with, or a wide variety of things, mainly, probably for those cross referrals but using LinkedIn effectively, can really strengthen, not only strengthen the relationship you have with the other person but it can also streamline things, too.
Brynne Tillman 04:52
Absolutely! And I think that networking partners is some of the best opportunities to engage with people. So with networking partners, we can identify who they know and make a list, they can identify who we know and make a list. And then we can come together and share those names and make some meaningful introductions for one another. That is a really powerful way to leverage LinkedIn and your networking partners.
I’d love to know in chat that you guys in comments, if you’ve used LinkedIn, for networking, using networking partners, where you’ve looked up who someone knows, and you’ve invited them to look up your connections, and you’ve made some mutual introductions, put “I’m a networker” in chat if you’re a networker. And put “I haven’t networked yet” if you haven’t. I’d love to know who’s out there and what you guys are doing it. But let’s talk about those networkers.
So if there are people in your ecosphere, whether they are in person that you’ve met for coffee or you’ve met at a networking meeting, or they’re people on LinkedIn that you actually sell to a similar buyer but you are not, you’re not a competitor, these are great networking partners. If you don’t have any, ask your clients, what other vendors are they buying from? And can you introduce yourself to them? That’s a great way to start a conversation when you have a shared client.
So in this case, we reach out to them and say, “Bob, I’m really looking forward to our coffee meeting next week. Before we meet, please feel free to look through my connections, make a list of 20, 30, 40 people that I know that you might want to meet, we’ll chat through them and then potentially, I’ll be able to make four or five meaningful introductions at the end of our meeting.” And all of a sudden, this really becomes an ideal opportunity to not only help someone else by making introductions, but you know, Bob’s going to say, “Hey, Brynne, you do the same,” right? And so I’ll probably leave that meeting with four or five meaningful introductions as well. It’s a very simple process. And yes, it takes a little bit more time but honestly, once you get comfortable in searching people’s connections, it’s a five-minute exercise to get introduced to four or five or more people.
Bob Woods 07:32
It’s just more comfortable for you rather than reaching out cold all the time because you have this mutual connection. And you know, there’s just comfort in someone in you and the person who you’re reaching out to knowing the same person, I think. (Brynne: And credibility.) Credibility as well, absolutely.
Brynne Tillman 07:48
Absolutely. So you’re reaching out and if you’re reaching out cold, you have very little credibility. It’s a very long process unil they know, like, and trust you. So when you have these referrals or these introductions or permission to name drop, you’re coming in with a higher level of credibility. So I love that.
Let’s get to a couple of more. Oh, my gosh, so we have a ton today. Let’s take a look at John. (reading a comment) “I’m still trying to figure out how to generate leads. I’ve heard others have done it yet I can’t figure out how I do Medicare. So I’ll have some advice on how to find seniors who are either preparing for Medicare or currently on Medicare.” So this is an interesting thing, John, and by the way, feel free to reach out to me directly, we can set up a time to chat. But in your particular case, I would ask you from a B2B perspective, who knows people going on Medicare, right? Who can refer you to people that are on Medicare? Many of the people that are now on Medicare are retired and they’re not active on LinkedIn. So I would say based on our conversation today, let’s find the referral partners that can help you leverage their network because LinkedIn in all of its glory does not, is not really a B2C outlet. It doesn’t allow us to search by birthdays or if someone is retired, or by age, right, it doesn’t do that.
So what can we do if we are a B2C? Let’s find those referral partners that are already working with similar people. So, if you don’t know, talk to maybe, financial advisors, right, let’s find out and they’ll know when people are prepared to retire. Maybe it’s CPAs, right? So who knows people that are getting ready to go?
Bob Woods 09:51
Insurance people, things like that. So yeah, it’s definitely about using using LinkedIn in a B2B way to help you out for B2C. So you know a lot of people say, “Oh, you can’t use LinkedIn for B2C” and that’s correct in that. It’s not great for that specific person but using it in more of a B2B way, you can not only potentially get out to those people, but because those individual networking people know more people than just one, it can actually be more efficient as well and like we said before, it’s also warmer, because these people already have an established relationship. And hopefully, it’s a warm one with the person who’s who, who may refer you.
Brynne Tillman 10:32
I love it. So we have a third one, which is, by the way, my favorite: client referrals. And this is this is huge. For me, this is where I have grown my business over the years. And while there is no question that we have inbound that’s happening from our content, we have inbound because we’ve nurtured people throughout the years, the fastest way to pipeline is client referrals. For us, this is the game changer. So, just like your networking partners where you go in and you search their connections and you invite them to search yours, for clients, you may not be necessarily inviting them to search your connections but you’re going to search theirs. And here’s the conversation, whether you are already scheduled to talk to a client or not, be prepared, go in search their connections, build that list of 15 or 20 folks that you’d like to meet, and oh my gosh, just tons of – This is the most engagement we’ve had in a long time, you know why? This is an amazing content that I think every salesperson needs to leverage.
So you go to your client and say, you know, “Mr. Klein, I’m looking forward to chatting with you next week, I hope you don’t mind, I’ve identified a few people on LinkedIn that I’m going to be reaching out to in the next few days, I’d love to review those names with you.” So once we review those names over, in talking with them, so, “Bob, thank you so much. I’m so glad we’ve been able to help you do this and your results are this. (and all these really good things) Ultimately, with the way that we’ve grown our business has been from referrals from our happy clients. I mentioned that there are a few people you’re connected to that I’d love to get in front of, can I run these names by you? and have this list ready for you.
And I go, you know, I go through and I go “Steven Farber, Chris Glatz, Robert Van DS, Lisa Bosley” right. You’re like, “Oh, she’s great. I don’t know him. Maybe him.” That would be good, right. And I get like a list maybe from 15, maybe I have those four or five names. And then I say, “You know, Bob, when I reach out, first of all, you think these would be good for me?” “Yes.” “And when I reach out to them, can I let them know that you’re my client we chatted today?” “Sure.”
So I reached out, “Steven, Bob Woods and I were chatting the other day. I had been working with him for the last two years doing X,Y, and Z, your name came up in our conversation, and he thought it made sense for me to reach out and introduce myself. Let’s connect and I’ll loop you in further on to our conversation.”
Now we connect and because Bob said so, right, I’m going to assume the conversation. “So thanks so much for connecting. I’m looking forward to chatting and sharing a little bit about what Bob and I were chatting about, please let me know your preferred way to schedule a call, if it happens to be via calendar link, here’s mine.” And at the end of this, if you have 10 clients, and by the way, you may have more than one connection inside of a client. So maybe you’re working with a client but there were three or four people, you know really well, you can do that with each of that, and has a huge impact on that.
So those are the major three, I mean, there’s lots of other ways to do this, right. But ultimately, when we’re looking at getting referrals or permission to name drop on LinkedIn, take a look at everyone in your network that knows the people you want to meet. And then reach out. Those are one-offs. You know, again, if you remember, maybe you have six shared connections, you send each of them a message that simply says how well do you know them and if they know them well now, turn it into a conversation. Number two is the networking, make sure you’re building those networking relationships and making introductions for each other. And number three, are the client referrals.
Bob Woods 14:27
Laura Barker who is an attorney says she has thousands of connections and confesses that she doesn’t know them all. We’re and a lot of us are in that same boat, believe me. How do you handle that? And there is a there’s a really good way to handle that.
Brynne Tillman 14:43
Yeah, so I would recommend first exporting your connections and taking inventory and seeing and Bob and I talked about, “Will this come up in this particular conversation today? It is. So take inventory, different than referrals, but take inventory of your existing connections. Export your connections and see clients, prospects, referral partners — who is already your connection that you want to start these conversations with? These are your first-degree connections. If you find your clients or you find your referral partners, you could go ahead and look at who they know but there’s also lots of prospects in there as well.
Bob Woods 15:22
Okay, so I had a feeling this one was was was going to come up, “How do you export the connection list?”
Brynne Tillman 15:29
If you click on the me icon, Settings and Privacy, then under Data Privacy, the second one down is Get a Copy of Your Data. If you click on Connections Request Archive, in about 10 minutes, you’re going to get a link in your email that comes back to this page that allows you to download that into a CSV file.
Bob Woods 15:52
I think we’re going to go ahead and wrap things up today because we live under 20 minutes so that if you’re in the Eastern time zone, you can get back to work at one o’clock. So thanks again for joining us on Making Sales Social Live. If so many of you are with us on LinkedIn right now, we do these every week. So keep an eye out for those live sessions that we’re going to be having in the future. We also record this for our podcast as well. So if you’re on a podcast, if you haven’t subscribed already, go ahead and hit Subscribe or Follow. We actually do two shows weekly, this one and our Making Sales Scial Interview series where we talk with leaders and experts in sales, marketing, business, and many more areas. If you want more information, you can get it at socialsaleslink.com/podcast again, that’s socialsaleslink.com/podcast. So thanks again, everyone for showing up. This has been a great session. So many comments, so much engagement, it’s been fantastic.
Brynne Tillman 16:54
We absolutely love this. We hope that you continue to come back and hang out with us.
Bob Woods 16:59
So with that, just remember when you’re out and about, be sure to make your sales…
Brynne Tillman 17:06
Social. Bye, guys. (Bob: Thanks, everybody. Bye-bye.)
Bob Woods 17:09
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