Get Introduced to Your Sales Prospects in 4 Simple Steps
December 27, 2018
Editor's Note: Enjoy this special encore post which was one of our readers' favorites in 2018. Happy New Year!
You’ve researched all there is to know about the account, including the name of the contact to connect with first. Now, it’s time to reach out to them. Where do you start?
According to Harvard Business Review, 90% of decision makers say they never respond to cold outreach, let alone respond favorably. One of the better ways to beat the odds is to warm up your outreach by asking a mutual LinkedIn connection for an introduction. Easier said than done, though.
You have questions:
- Do I have a strong enough relationship with the referrer?
- Will I ultimately be able to help the sales prospect?
- How can I make the introduction request easier for my connection?
You want to be careful not waste anyone’s time, which is actually a healthy way to approach this tactic. By taking measures to boost the transparency of your ask while also ensuring that everyone’s involvement will be worth their while (or that the ask is at least worth exploring on the surface), you make it possible for the same contacts to confidently introduce you in the future.
But where do you start? Follow these four simple steps to rock your request for an introduction with dignity.
How to Request an Introduction on LinkedIn in 4 Steps
Step 1: Discover Connections
With networking on LinkedIn, it’s all about who you know. Use your connections to map a successful route to a warm-path introduction. With the overload of sales content and messages bombarding decision makers everyday, relationships and personal connections are increasingly driving sales. In fact, buyers are five times more likely to engage with someone who shares mutual connections.
Discover who your prospect is connected to by following these simple steps:
- Click on the person’s name or profile image you wish to connect with to pull up their LinkedIn profile page. Scroll down to see your mutual connections, and click on “Mutual Connections” to open the search page.
- LinkedIn will automatically pull up the first-degree connections. Scroll through them to gauge the level of relationship you currently have with each one.
- Go back to the prospect’s profile page, and hover over the arrow that’s to the right of the button to send them an InMail.
- Click on the dropdown menu to “Get Introduced”
Before you ask your connection for an introduction, follow step 2 below.
Step 2: Get Social and Boost Your Relationships
The use of social media for sales prospecting is on the rise. As stated in our recent ebook, “Proven Strategies from the World’s Best Sales Professionals”, social media expert Jim Keenan reports that 73% of people using social media as part of the sales process outperform their peers and exceed quota 23% more often.
Before you request something from your connection, warm up the outreach by checking in and saying “hi” — the social media way. This can be done by liking or commenting on their LinkedIn posts. Congratulating them on a recent promotion or new job. Or even sending them an InMail with a handy article you have recently read that they will enjoy or find useful. This helps to ensure that your request for an introduction isn’t a cold email in and of itself.
If time is of the essence, and there’s no way to warm up the relationship, think of something you can do to help the mutual connection simultaneously. This might involve introducing them to someone in your network or sharing a relevant insight – anything you can do to balance the value exchange of the relationship.
Step 3: Keep it Simple
After you have boosted your social interactions with your connection, it’s time to request that introduction. Keep your request simple for the referrer by providing them with the knowledge and tools to easily make the introduction on your behalf.
Be transparent about your reason for requesting the introduction. One or two simple sentences to describe the situation and why you want to be introduced. For example, “I noticed that you are connected with [prospect name] because of [reason].” Do your research here. They might be connected by a group, a current or previous job, or even common interests. Then, explain why you would like to be connected to them.
Next, give your connection the tools they need to make an easy and quick introduction. A pre-written introduction email that leaves room for a personal touch shows your connection that you’ve thought this through, and you’re serious about respecting their time.
Try using the below template for reching out:
Hi [prospect’s name],
I’d like to introduce you to [your name] who I have known [explain how you two know each other], and I believe you two could benefit from knowing each other.
He/She is interested in learning more about [explain what your reason is for requesting an intro] from you.
Have a wonderful day!
I’ll let [your name] take it from here.
Don’t forget to keep in mind a few simple sales prospecting email lessons when drafting your suggested email.
Step 4: Extend the Favor
It takes two to tango. Don’t forget to extend the favor to your connection. Thank them for taking the time to make the introduction for you, and let them know that if there is anything you can do for them, you're more than willing to return the favor.
Discover more ways to boost your prospecting abilities by downloading our eBook, Proven Strategies from the World’s Best Sales Professionals.