Episode 49: LinkedIn for Networking
In this episode, the Social Sales Link team will discuss how you can leverage LinkedIn for networking. They will talk more about purposefully networking with the targeted, exact people that you want to have conversations with. Tune in and start networking through LinkedIn!
Bill McCormick 0:00
Welcome, everyone to Making Sales Social Live! Another episode today we’re going to talk about one of my favorite topics, which is LinkedIn for networking.
Bob Woods 0:13
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 Bill McCormick, BrynneTillman, and me, Bob Woods every week, Making Sales Social Live!
Bill McCormick 0:30
One of the things that I say all the time is LinkedIn is a live networking room that’s open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days out of the year, with like 700 and some million members. I don’t know what to count, either of you know what the count is up to? like 720, some million…
Brynne Tillman 0:52
I thought it was 780 but you know, it’s always moving.
Bill McCormick 0:55
It’s something like that. Like a new person joins LinkedIn every two seconds. So it is one of the best places for us to network.
Brynne Tillman 1:04
Absolutely! So let’s talk a little bit about what that actually means. When it comes to networking with LinkedIn. I think we under leverage the networking portion, and a lot of people think networking “I’m in there,” “I’m engaging with people on content“ and that’s my networking. And that certainly is one way. But we’re going to talk a little bit more about purposefully networking with the targeted exact people that we want to have conversations with. So the first one is, we should take inventory of our connections to identify who in our network would be ideal networking partners. I’m just gonna say a side note, a lot of people don’t even realize the types of people that they should be networking with. So I want you guys to think about who else is buying from your buyer, that’s not your competitor. Those are the perfect networking partners, right? So if you’re a CPA, a great networking partners of a financial professional, or an insurance person, or a legal attorney, right? whatever profession you’re in, you’re selling into a role inside of an organization that’s buying from many other people. So start thinking there, once we do that. So Bill, start with talking about taking inventory. How do we find the people we’re already connected to that we should be talking.
Bill McCormick 2:27
So one of the great things about LinkedIn is that your network is on paper, not on paper, but it’s there for you. It’s a place, there’s a place where you can look at your network in its entirety, which is your LinkedIn account. And so first of all, you can download it, export your 1st-degree connections on LinkedIn. And if you go back, you can reach out to us, we can kind of walk you through how to do that, but also you can search in your network for those ideal partners. So for example, for us, sales trainers are great referral partners for us and networking partners for us. So what I can do is I can go into the search on LinkedIn, and I can double-tap that search and open up all filters. And you can search 1st-degree connections, right. So those are people that you’re already connected with. And then if you’re in certain geography that you only work in, you can pick geography. If you want to target a certain industry or business sector, you can filter it out that way. And then also under title, you can put whatever title you’re looking for. So for me, it would be “sales trainer”, and look for that. For you, If you’re looking for an accountant or CPA, you could put that into the search criteria, hit enter, and you’re going to get a list of the people you’re already connected with who are your networking partners. So like I said, it’s right there, right at your fingertips, right in your LinkedIn account. You don’t have to go…you don’t have to go and look for– I’m looking for, you know, that stack of business cards from the last meeting that you went to and go through and go “who is it?” “Who is it?” “Who is it?” It’s right there, right at your fingertips. One of the great things about LinkedIn.
Brynne Tillman 4:14
I love that! So and then the other thing that you started talking about is exporting your connections. It’s all in one spreadsheet. You can search from there. The next thing Bob talks us a little bit about finding some of these referral partners, right from your client’s connections. How would we identify who our clients know, that we want to network with?
Bob Woods 4:35
One of the ways that you can do that is by using again, LinkedIn search. There’s going to be a common thread to all this stuff. By using LinkedIn search, you can select a person and then you can search by their 2nd-degree connections, or by your 2nd-grade degree connections, which means the 1st-degree connections of their 1st-degree connections. And then you can specifically type in or enter the industries, the titles, all of that type of information as well and get that list directly from LinkedIn search. And then you can reach out to these people and say, you know, “Do you know these people? I’m looking for a networking partner,” obviously, there’s much better verbiage than I’m coming up with right now. But that’s essentially the flow of what you want to do. And hopefully, because you’re looking for networking partners, and not necessarily, and not someone to sell to, it’s actually an easier conversation with that 1st-degree person as well.
Brynne Tillman 5:34
I love that! So you’re reaching out to the client with a list of people that you’ve identified that they knew. And by the way, the search that Bill talked about, there is a filter that says, “connections of” all you have to do is type their name, if you’re a 1st-degree connection, you’ll get the list of the people that they know. So to Bob’s point, and ultimately, we just say, “Hey, Mr. Client, you’re connected to quite a few people on LinkedIn that I love, they’re by perfect networking partners, can I run these names by you and get your thoughts?” They may either make some introductions for you or give you permission to use their name when they reach out. You know, as we’re doing this live, we have Claire who says “I find it easy to find the right people to connect with but find moving to point two and three more difficult.”You don’t want… Okay, so we’re gonna get to point– the next points in just a moment. You don’t want to come across forward. But equally, you don’t want to assume they will check out your profile and considering, becoming really that networking partner. Claire is like “Okay, now we’ve identified these people, how do we start these conversations?” Maybe “How do we set up this meeting?” And by the way, the other piece, I’ll finish off, and then we’ll go into the– you know, the other thing is just, ask your clients who their vendors are, who are they buying from, because they may not have come up on your list, they may not even be connected to them on LinkedIn. So make sure we’re getting introductions, or permission to name drop. But now we want to set up the meeting. So I’ve identified, Hey, Bob knows Bill, and I really want to know, Bill. So I asked Bob, “How well do you know Bill? I’d love to get in front of him. I think he’d be a great networking partner.”And you go, “Oh, he’s my buddy drop my name, no problem.” So I reach out and say, “Bill, Bob Woods, and I were chatting the other day. And he thought it might make sense from our conversation to reach out, and for us to chat. There could be some opportunity for us to refer business back and forth. If you’re open, let me know, I’ll send you a calendar link. And we’ll set up a 15-minute call. I mean, it’s really that simple. This is not a prospecting call. This is “Hey, I think we can help each other.”
Bill McCormick 7:37
There’s some mutual benefiting going on in this conversation. And that’s what makes it so great. And if they’re not open, they’re probably not good networkers. And they’re probably maybe not somebody you really want to waste your time with. But a true networker is going to say, “Claire, I’d love to meet” “Yeah, that would be great. Let’s get together, let’s talk.” And what I love about it is then the meeting becomes, you know, first of all, you’re just having a conversation, you’re getting to know each other. But down the road, it can be even more beneficial, because you can begin to search that person’s connections, and they can search your connections, and you can start really making some introductions. And so when you go into that meeting, you know, a second meeting, it’s not at the end, “Hey Brynne, if you think of anyone that needs my services, let them know.” And she says the same thing to me, we part ways. And we forget about it, like because we have lives. Instead, we can actually look for names and look for people and I can say “Brynne, I can see that you’re connected to five people I would love to get in front of you, do you mind if we can review those names?” Now that’s about prospecting. And then she could do the same thing with me. It just makes those networking meetings so much more rewarding for both parties, which is also very, very important.
Brynne Tillman 8:58
That comes down to when we set up that meeting. Now you are going to decide. Do you want to do this on the first call or after the… or as a second call? Often, I’m a little reluctant on general networking to open up my LinkedIn to them right away until I have a conversation. However, if it’s someone that my client is already using, and they’ve put their good name behind them and say they’re awesome. I may be willing to do that on the first call.
Bill McCormick 9:31
Yeah, it kind of blows me away when I connect with some– you connect with someone and right away they say, “Let me know if you’d like me to make any introductions to people in my network for you.” And I’m like, really? Because you don’t even know me yet. You don’t know what I– You don’t know really anything about me? Wouldn’t you want to find that out first? Because I know I do. I want to be sure that if I’m telling Bob that Brynne’s a good person to work with I want to make sure that Bob is. So, I think we have to go in with that idea. We want to show the other person that we’re worthy of their network. That’s really what we’re doing.
Bob Woods 10:08
Yeah, I think actually that one way to do that for someone to build credibility like that, so that you’re a little more comfortable. And that conversation and that relationship can build is actually have recommendations from other people within your LinkedIn profile. So that you know, you may not be at that point already. But if someone looks down and goes, “Oh, well, this guy, this guy, or this gal has like five or six other people who loved working with them”, the chances are better, that this person is a quality person with whom you want to establish that relationship, rather than having nothing down there at all.
Brynne Tillman 10:46
That social proof is so important. (Bill) Yeah, very much. (Brynne) And that goes to the whole profile, right? Your profile is part of your credibility. So make sure that before you’re reaching out to these networking partners that you’re really showing up as a resource. And they say, man, to Bob’s point, I think that’s so important that yeah, this is a value, right? This person can be valuable to my network. And I’d be proud to introduce them. So I love that, you know, and then there’s the “making mutual introductions.” And one of the things I highly recommend is that each of you write your own paragraph. Because as much as you’d love to introduce someone to your network, and vice versa, what actually gets said, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how to make those introductions, I think it’s really important that you write in third-person. So,” I’d like to introduce you to Brynne Tillman, she does this… this… and this… I think that she can bring great value to a conversation even if you never work together. I think it’ll be time well spent.” Reply on, set up a time to chat.
Bill McCormick 11:53
And what I would recommend is don’t write yours and send it to the person and say, “send me yours.” Ask them first. Say, “Hey, Brynne, I would love to introduce you to Bob, can you just write a short paragraph of how you’d like me to introduce you. And I’ll do the same for you.” In that way, it doesn’t kind of I think we can come off as kind of, “Oh, they think they’re so great because they wrote the paragraph, they don’t think I know how to write.” but it’s not that you just want to make sure the right things are being said. And when I write my paragraph, I send it to the person I always say, “Hey, listen, make sure this is in your voice.” Here are the vital things that I want to get across to someone. You know, for example, I don’t want to tell them, I don’t want them saying ”Bill’s a LinkedIn trainer.” Because that can mean so many different things. What I want to tell him is “I help people with their social selling,” which could include LinkedIn, you know, so it’s just that little twist because what can happen is, “Oh, great, I’m looking for a job. I can use Bill.” No, you can’t, if you want me to help you get a job with LinkedIn. Okay. I can introduce you to someone that can do that. But that’s not my strength. But I think when you lead and ask the other person, “Hey, can you send me some verbiage,” then that allows you to send it back. And I think it just makes it easier.
Brynne Tillman 13:09
So that’s interesting. And I love that there’s so many different responses, because I will actually send in my first email, and maybe have to look at this. But in my first message to them, this is usually pride. This is like our second meeting, I need you, I like you, I feel comfortable making introductions. And I said here, you know, I’m looking forward to our second meeting where we can make some meaningful introductions. Here’s a quick shortcut on how to search my connections to find people you want to meet. And please feel free to send me your introduction paragraph here. You know, here’s mine. And I actually just send it, I don’t say, Here’s mine as a reference to write yours, but you send them mine. But you know, some of it is in my voice. Some of it’s in your voice, right? And that’s the whole voice. (Bob) It’s personality too, yeah! (Brynne) It has to feel right, it has to sit right, it has to feel authentic.
Bill McCormick 14:03
And I’m curious, though, like when you’re talking to that person, and you say, “Hey, so let’s get together do this. And “Hey, I’ll send you an introductory paragraph.” It’s different when you’re having a conversation, you mention it.
Brynne Tillman 14:15
Right, it’s a second call.
Bill McCormick 14:17
So I think where I was coming at it from, was if we hadn’t had that discussion, and then you just send that. I think it is. But when you’re talking, it makes sense to and that’s what I say is I’ll just say “Oh, Hey, listen, and I’ll send you some verbiage around how I’d like to be introduced. Feel free to put it in your own voice.” Yeah.
Brynne Tillman 14:39
Perfect! When we have these conversations, my wheels get– because you know, I have my habits. But then when I hear the things that Bob’s doing, the things that Bill’s doing, I go, “Oh, I like that” we’ve all adapted this to our own personalities. And that’s what we recommend to our clients. Right. This has to do… you said it’s gotta be in your voice. But I like to hear other voices. Right? It’s fun to hear other situations. So (Bill) for sure,(Brynne) as we wrap this up, right, LinkedIn is an ideal networking tool. Today we talk specifically about using it. Finding the right networking partners in leveraging this to make some introductions for one another. But there are so many ways to use LinkedIn for networking, including engaging on content and engaging with commenters. And ultimately, I mean, some people use groups effectively. We don’t do a whole lot in groups. But there are tons of ways to use LinkedIn for networking. We really believe that this is one of the most efficient, effective, successful ways to start sales conversations through the credibility of other people and help other people start their sales conversations through your relationships.
Bill McCormick 15:55
So if you’re listening to this on replay, drop some love in the comments, tell us how you’re using LinkedIn for networking. We’d love to engage with you on that. Thanks for listening and watching to another week of Making Sales Social Live! and we’ll see you next time. Bye. Bye, everyone.
Bob Woods 16:13
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