How to Make a New LinkedIn Connection a Warm Lead

Posted by LinkedSelling in Uncategorized

networking-using-linkedinHow do you convert new, cold connections…

…into warm connections on LinkedIn?

And how do you take advantage of this…

…to grow your business?

Last week I wrote about a laser-focused strategy for using LinkedIn to get highly targeted referrals.

Christina followed up in the comments with a great question.

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?

Everybody has their own approach.

It's sort of like asking, “How do I get to know somebody in real life?”  

Take an interest in them.

Stay in touch with them.

Be a trusted resource.

Tell funny knock-knock jokes.  (Ok, this one isn't 100% necessary.)

The point is this…

Turning new friends into “warm leads” on LinkedIn is hardly any different than “real life” networking and relationship building.

So, what are a few tactics to help get you started?  Glad you asked!

1. Reach out!

If you're newly connected to somebody that you'd like to develop a deeper relationship with, shoot them a quick message.

Keep it simple.

What often works is something like this:

“Hey Mark – Really glad to be connected here.  I'd like to get to know more about the work you're doing.  Would you be open for a quick phone call or skype?”


“Hey Zoriather,

Great to be connected!  I really try hard to get to know the people I'm connected to here on LinkedIn.  Do you have any time in the next couple weeks for a brief call?”

The point is not to be promotional.

Remember, you're not trying to sell them anything.

2. Stay In Touch Regularly, Consistently, and Often, as Well as Frequently

If you want to get in with a connection, to the point that they'll open up their rolodex to you, it can take time.

The first phone call might not get you there.

Follow up every month or so with a brief message.

You might consider sending along an article that you think they'd really get a lot out of.

Or just a quick note to say “Hey, how's business?”

LinkedIn Networking and Connection Building

Sometimes commenting on one of their status updates can have an equally powerful effect.

Just don't go into creepster mode and comment on their status updates from 2 weeks ago.

3. Personally Invite Them Into Your Group

If you run a LinkedIn group, get this new connection to join up!

Send them a personal message, telling them why you think they'll LOVE being a part of your group.

One, this is another touch point.

Two, now they're going to be exposed to your communications, email digests, group announcements…on a very regular basis.

This will really solidify your positioning in the mind of your prospects, and open up serious doors.

What You Should Do Next

  1. Go into the LinkedIn advanced people search.
  2. Find 10 second degree connections that would be fantastic introductions.  The types of people that would be your ideal client.
  3. Determine the best 1st degree connection of yours to approach for an introduction.  (Yes, this will probably require 10 separate 1st degree connections to get to all 10 of your targets.)
  4. If you know the 1st degree connection well, shoot them an email and ask if they'd be willing to introduce you!
  5. If you aren't to the point with one of these 1st degree connections that you could ask them for an introduction, put together a 3 month plan including the one thing you are going to do each month to change that.

Make sense?  What do YOU think?

There are many ways to skin this cat, and I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Linked University

  • Josh,

    I’m reading this several months later, but the points as just as relevant. I love that you emphasize the need to focus on building relationships; that’s the foundation from which so many great things can happen…and on LinkedIn included.

    Before taking your training I would reply with a “Thank You” for the connection from time to time. Since going through your training, I do it consistently, and have built great relationships, including attracting coaching/mentoring clients.

    Thank you!

    • Building relationships, becoming a known expert, executing a referral strategy…a few ways to achieve that, off the top of my head.

  • Hi Christina, I advised to read Dale Carnegie’s book – How to Win Friends and Influence book. His communication skills are the skills that you really need to make a new connection to a warm lead. Until today, there is no one and no other books can replace that book. One book is enough for you to change your life.

    While modern motivators or speakers make thing complicated. Dale Carnegie’s book is a MUST READ book for you.

    Bear in mind that, Linkedin is just a system. Know how to use Linkedin doesn’t guarantee anything. Inviting to a group doesn’t mean anything id you don’t have great communication skills.

    I would say 10% Linkedin and 90% communication skills. I keep focusing this formula, until today. I connected with Neal Schaffer (world Linkedin top author), Alison Woo (CNN Headline News Journalist) to start projects (they are from US but I am from Malaysia).

    • Absolutely. LinkedIn is the tool. If your message is no good, or you don’t know how to communicate….not much will work for you.