LinkedIn Marketing Strategy Blog
How to Get a Ton of Targeted Referrals & Be a More Productive Networker Using LinkedIn
Does this sound familiar to you?
You're busy meeting people for coffee and lunch, usually without a real specific game plan.
Sometimes the meetings are productive, but sometimes not.
It's always great to meet new people, but you also need to spend your time wisely and get real results out of these networking meetings.
I have done a lot of networking over the years.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of coffees and lunches and association events and sporting events and golf tournaments…the list goes on and on.
If there's one thing I've taken away from all of these meetings, it's that almost nobody is asking me the right questions to get me to make great referrals for them and their business.
Here is why.
When I ask somebody, “What can I do to help you” or “What kind of introductions are you looking for” the answer is almost always too general.
Common responses I get:
- I'm looking to meet any small business owner.
- I'd like to meet anybody that is struggling with [insert problem they solve].
- I don't really have a specific type of person, but if you can think of anybody that would be great.
- I'm just looking to meet solid, quality, good people.
You get the picture. The problem with these responses? They are way too broad!
Now, what if you had a repeatable system for requesting laser focused introductions?
I'm going to show you how you can easily and quickly put this in place.
But first, let's define what a “laser focused introduction” is.
- It's a request to meet a specific person.
- A specific person that you have already identified as a good prospect.
- Somebody that you have identified as the right fit for your business, a potentially lucrative referral source, etc.
What I am talking about here is having the intelligence and data, BEFORE your coffee or lunch, to ask for an introduction to a specific person.
Think about the impact on your business if you left every meeting with a handful of awesome referrals? HUGE.
How to get the intelligence you need.
Here's how to do it.
1. Any time you get an email introduction and set up a coffee or lunch, immediately follow up with a LinkedIn connection request.
99% of people will accept the request at this point.
What you have now done is opened up their Rolodex.
Once you are connected and prior to your meeting, review this person's 1st degree connections.
Pick out the top people that they are connected to, that you want to meet.
At your coffee or lunch, ask them about these specific people.
Now, instead of just having some broad description of the types of people you are looking to meet…you actually have specific people that you are asking for referrals to!
But be sure not to overdo it.
People will probably be turned off if you present them with a list of 20 people. I think a good number is five.
Feel it out, and approach the situation in a manner that you're comfortable with.
Will people find this creepy?
My experience has been that they do not. In fact, they appreciate that you've taken the time to do your homework.
They also appreciate that they don't have to feel guilty because they can't think of any referrals to send your way.
No more wasted coffees and lunches!!