Eliminate Cold Calling — Use LinkedIn Introductions

cold-callingI have not made a cold call in over half a decade. Not one. I use LinkedIn as my connector to take the cold out of a call and make it warm. One way I have managed to eliminate cold calls from my business development process is by using LinkedIn introductions. LinkedIn introductions allow you contact other LinkedIn members who are in your 2nd-degree network or 3rd-degree network.

Let’s take Shane Cobb as an example. Before I use a LinkedIn introduction, I always scan an individual’s profile to see if I have anything in common with them, based on what they are sharing in their LinkedIn profile. If there is something I can connect with them on, it sometimes makes sense for me to reach out to them directly by way of a connection request or an InMail. In this case, I am going to use an introduction.

Beside the “Send Shane InMail” button is a small drop down arrow. When I hover over it, a menu appears and gives me the option to “Get Introduced.”

introductions

Since Shane is in my 2nd degree network I know we have mutual LinkedIn connections. When I click Get Introduced, I can see that Shane and I share 12 common connections.

get introduced

When I scroll through the list of mutual connections, I determine that I would like to request this introduction through my friend, Brett. Notice when I click on Brett’s picture, LinkedIn pulls his picture where the question mark used to be. While LinkedIn prompts us, here are a few things to note:

  • Tell your introducer why you’d like to meet the new person.
  • Be cognizant of what you say in this message because LinkedIn is going to give your introducer the option to forward your message directly to the person you want to meet.
  • Always give your introducer an out; you have no idea how well your introducer knows the person you want to meet.
  • Include your phone number in your message so your introducer can call you if he or she has any questions regarding your request.

Google Chrome 4

I have had tremendous success with this feature of LinkedIn. When one of my connections vouches for my company and me, it adds instant credibility and increases the that I will have that conversation with a new professional. In fact, it is one of the reasons I was able to set 38 in-person meetings that were initiated on LinkedIn in six weeks. That is almost seven meetings per week. And guess what? Not a single cold call was made.

What should you do when you request LinkedIn introductions and nothing happens?

You have a few options:

  • Call your introducer to see if they received your request. People are busy, so it may have fallen off his or her radar.
  • Check to see if your introducer knows what to do with your request: He can forward your message and include you on the message. Or he can compose a new LinkedIn message to send to you both.
  • Withdraw your request to use on someone else you want to meet.
  • Wait six months and if the introducer still does not respond, your introduction request will expire and be credited back to you.
  • Give your introducer a heads up before sending your request so they anticipate it and will more likely act on it.

What happens if you run out of LinkedIn introductions? We have a work-around on this question. Let us know if you are interested in learning an alternative way to request introductions.

Cold calling is dead, because of LinkedIn. Do you agree?

Our blog posts, tips, and suggestions are accurate at the time of publication. 

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