How to Get a Ton of Targeted Referrals & Be a More Productive Networker Using LinkedIn

Posted by LinkedSelling in Uncategorized

Make Networking More Effective With LinkedInDoes 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.

  1. It's a request to meet a specific person.
  2. A specific person that you have already identified as a good prospect.
  3. 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.

Get More Referrals Using LinkedIn

1. Any time you get an email introduction and set up a coffee or lunch, immediately follow up with a LinkedIn connection request.

More Productive Networking Using LinkedIn99%  of people will accept the request at this point.

Connecting on LinkedIn for Networking Benefit

What you have now done is opened up their Rolodex.

LinkedIn Connections for ProspectingOnce 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!!

Linked University

  • Josh:

    I have had mixed results with this approach because many people (including me) have first-level connections that we don’t know and have never met. Often folks are reluctant to introduce people they have never met themselves. So I continue to use this tactic but do not expect 100 percent success. (Plus I work on actually speaking to or meeting new people every week.)

    • Hey Bob, great thoughts. I agree. You will have times when it doesn’t work, for the exact reason you pointed out. I never expect somebody to make an introduction if they don’t actually know the person. On the other hand, what do you have to lose!

    • Hey Bob, great thoughts. I agree. You will have times when it doesn’t work, for the exact reason you pointed out. I never expect somebody to make an introduction if they don’t actually know the person. On the other hand, what do you have to lose!

  • Hey Josh,

    Think you could introduce me to Mark, Kent, Mike or Bill, oh and what about John Gatewood or Danny Clayton? 🙂

    (smiling from ear lobe to ear lobe)


  • I love this idea. Now I just need to figure out how to set up the lunch meetings and/or apply this model to building relationships mostly online. How do you make a new LinkedIn connection a “warm” lead so that it’s comfortable to ask for an introduction to one of their connections?

  • Hi Josh,
    This was a useful posting and confirms my preparation format for networking meetings. As a footnote I find the prospects I meet appreciate a typed agenda of suggested topics and 5 or so contacts that interests me. I also found it useful to bring my hand written notes I made when I study their contact list. One we discuss the 5 contacts type on the agenda I measure the tone of the conversation. If it’s favorable I ask the person if I we can discuss my second choice list. This often yields the most useful contacts and it gives me added ammunition in case the top 5 are well know to the prospect I am meeting. I welcome more ideas about networking etiquette and optimization.

    • Good stuff Mark. I like your style. I try not to make things too rigid or formal, it’s just not my style. But having specific people to ask about, that’s a must.

  • Josh,

    Great stuff. I tell people the same thing. I call it The Power of Being Specific. If a person doesn’t even know what they want or who they are looking for, how can I help them?

    • Perfect way of describing it Mike. I come across it in almost every “networking” meeting I attend!

  • Josh,

    Your idea is way to logical. Just kidding of course. With all of the noise and clutter in our lives, this is a great way to sort out the quality relationships from the people that would have you waste time.

    Thanks for the insight.