If you are in a business development role, chances are you have a top 20, 50, or even 100 list of target accounts. And, if you have been in business a while, you know the best way to get into a company is through a referral – but they are rarely easy to come by… unless you use this fun little hack.

I’m going to take you step-by-step on how to build a list of your top 20 companies, save it and then easily pull it up each time you have a conversation with a client or referral partner. In under 30 seconds, you can identify if the person you are speaking to knows anyone inside of your targeted accounts and ask them if they would be open to making an introduction or ask them permission to drop their name.

  1. When you are on LinkedIn, click on the search bar on the top left and click people from the drop-down menu.
  2. Click on All filters.
  3. Scroll down to Current Companies, type each company name and check the box of each.
  4. Optional: you can add Job Titles or other filters if you choose
  5. Save the search either in a Browser Bookmark or by dragging and dropping the Search URL onto your desktop.
  6. When you are scheduled to speak with a client or referral partner (you must be a 1st-degree connection), click on that link and add their name to the ‘Connections of’ filter. This will bring up a list of everyone they are connected to at your target prospects.
  7. Now when you are chatting with them, you can mention that they are connected to a few people that you’d like to connect to and ask if you can run the names by them for some insights prior to you reaching out.

It seems so simple, yet it is so effective.