People don’t ask for LinkedIn introductions enough.
The platform is meant for networking, connecting, and being a part of a community.
Yet, it’s heavily underutilized. Aside from the pitch slapping that happens daily.
Please don’t do that.
Do this instead. It’ll set you apart, make you more memorable, & come from a place of respect.
The results are in
Junior Lartey posted about cold outreach vs. sales introductions that got responses recently.
We were overwhelmed by the community reaction. The results are clear.
Either sales reps ask for intros frequently or not at all.
Time to restructure the way we think about referrals & intros.
Let’s try something that has an extremely high response rate.
Also, if you’ve run your regular targeted account sales cadence without a single response, use this as your final attempt before moving on.
Ideally, it’s one of your first steps, but either way, make it happen along the way.
What is a sales introduction?
A sales introduction is when someone introduces a sales rep to a potential customer.
Usually through a friend or trusted relationship that is mutually beneficial for all parties.
Referral vs. Recommendation
A notable leader once said, “Amateurs get referrals. Professionals get recommendations”.
- Referral: a trusted person saying “thought you might find this interesting”.
- Recommendation: that same person saying you “need to” do/see/buy/watch something.
The term introduction will be used throughout this piece because we’re using LinkedIn as the medium & literally asking for an intro.
We’re not asking them to reach out on our behalf and ask them to review our product.
Just want an intro to get on the radar, find out the timing, & start the relationship warm.
Warmer than that 20-touch sequence that’s building familiarity.
Types of sales introductions
Email vs. LinkedIn introductions
We’ve written previously about how to ask for referrals via email.
That blog focuses on getting referrals from your prospects and customers.
We provide specific examples and templates to copy/paste right into an email template.
With positive responses to your prospecting efforts, there’s usually an opportunity to capitalize.
Asking for a referral before you even meet with the prospect.
Unlike email, this approach isn’t about working prospects or customers only.
It’s about working your network and connections.
Connecting the dots of who-knows-who.
This is where the cliche saying “Your network is your net worth”, comes to the forefront.
We cringe too, but there is value in who you know.
To make this strategy effective:
- Connect with your prospects
- And people they work with (ex. their entire department or relevant colleagues)
LinkedIn gives you roughly 100 connection requests a week.
As you’re prospecting throughout the week, start sending connection requests.
They will be important now (familiarity) and later (mutual connections).
When Friday rolls around, try reaching that “max out” point.
LinkedIn will tell you when you hit the limit.
It’s a great way to grow your connections so the umbrella of who you know is bigger.
How to ask for sales introductions
You know who is on your list, which makes it easy.
Now let’s break it down step-by-step:
- Find prospects on LinkedIn
- Under name, headline, & location, you will see “Mutual connections”
3. Click on the link. A list will appear of all the people you both know.
4. Look for people you’ve actually interacted with (common communities make this easier)
5. Message your mutual connection & ask if they “know-know” said prospect,
6. If yes, ask for an intro!
- A filter that might be useful —> All Filters —> Past company —> Name of Prospects Company
- It’s the easiest way to find someone who worked with your prospect & should narrow your list down.
- You can also filter based on location. Especially if you’re in a small tech scene where people tend to know people.
It’s a team effort
Fair warning: you’re gonna have to ask more than one person for an intro to your prospect.
Our ruling: ask 3 people right out the gate if they “know-know” said prospect.
If more than one person knows them, great!
Choose the one who has the most influence (closest relationship).
If they ever say, “I can text them if you want,” go for that.
But otherwise, we’re really just trying to get an intro.
Making the ask
This is where people typically overthink things.
You aren’t asking your prospect to sell for you.
Instead, you’re asking them to make an intro so that you can do the selling.
Here’s a real example & a simple copy/paste intro template you can use over and over again.
Feel free to adjust it as needed.
How to ask
1. Ask your mutual connection if they “know-know” your prospect & can make an intro.
2. If yes, great! Ask “Would you be open to intro’ing me if I give you a copy/paste message?”
3. If yes again, boom! Now send them a copy/paste message like this ⬇️
4. Your mutual connection then copy/pastes this in a 3-way LinkedIn chat & you’re off!
5. Jump in with a reply before your prospect responds. Add more relevant context.
Just because you got an intro, this doesn’t mean your entitled to a response.
Your chances grow exponentially. But you may have to follow up once or twice.
Politely persistent is a great way to think about this.
“Hey (name), I know things get buried. Was really happy to get an intro to you. Main objective was to get on your radar. Hopefully that was accomplished. Think we could find time to chat?”
Your network is your net-worth
Referrals, recommendations, intro’s are the best way to kick off any relationship.
If you’ve run a cadence and feel like you aren’t getting anywhere, lean on your network for help.
Get out there, start connecting, and use LinkedIn to fill your pipeline consistently!