BY BILL FAETH
For years, LinkedIn has been the go-to social media platform for professionals and anything employment related. Savvy business owners and salespeople quickly figured out that LinkedIn is also an extremely valuable tool for data mining and finding new high-value prospects.
Unfortunately, I don’t see very many chauffeured ground transportation companies using LinkedIn correctly (or at all), which means they’re missing out on a simple way to both seek out and connect with new potential corporate clients who are in need of the luxury services you provide.
I recently spoke at two Greater California Livery Association events about sales and how to leverage warm introductions to obtain meetings with new prospects. During my presentations at these meetings, I identified one of the top travel managers of a large company in the Bay Area in less than 60 seconds. Of the 70 attendees at this meeting, one operator was connected to this travel manager, so I instantly had a connection at my disposal to help turn that link into an introduction.
I was able to locate a valuable target on LinkedIn with just a quick, basic search (no need for a Premium account), as well as identify someone in my personal network who was connected to this travel manager. By committing less than a minute to research, you can not only uncover a potential VIP client, but also determine if you have a connection who can offer a warm introduction to that prospect. This is a quick and effective technique straight out of Sales 101.
Eighty percent of the time, these warm introductions will lead to a meeting. With an incredibly high rate like that, finding—and then reaching out to—your LinkedIn connections is invaluable.
So how do you do it? Follow these steps and you’ll be identifying your perfect prospects on LinkedIn and arranging for introductions in no time:
1. Log into your personal LinkedIn account.
2. Click on “Advanced” next to the search bar.
3. Set the parameters of your search using location and keywords, such as “travel manager,” “CEO,” “procurement director,” and so on. You can even search by company name if you have a specific company you want to target.
4. Click the “Search” button.
5. All the people on LinkedIn who meet your search criteria will be displayed.
6. You can then see where each person works and if you have any connections. If you are a first-degree connection, this means you are already connected with them on LinkedIn, and you can reach out directly. If you are a second-degree connection, you have mutual first-degree connections with them. These mutual connections are who you will want to request a warm introduction from.
A pro-tip: You should use the warm introduction system if you are not directly connected with the high-value prospects you identify through a LinkedIn search to avoid a cold call or email.
If you do not currently use LinkedIn, then start now. Build up your profile and start connecting to your clients, MPI members, GBTA members, current prospects, etc., and you will see your connections skyrocket quickly. You never know: You could wind up reinvigorating an old connection you forgot you even have!
Happy prospect hunting! [CD0916]
Bill Faeth is Founder and President of Inbound Marketing Agents in Nashville and Founder of Limo University. He can be reached at email@example.com.