The Stress-Free LinkedIn Referral

Discover an easy social selling technique that helps you use LinkedIn connections to generate new referrals.

March 16, 2016


While many sales professionals understand the power of LinkedIn as a networking platform, many have yet to embrace it as a way to generate referrals. Integrating social selling into your referral strategy can be incredibly easy when you use the right techniques.

In their eBook LinkedIn: The Sandler Way, Sandler Training, a leader in sales, leadership, and management training, outlines a stress-free way to get referrals by leveraging your LinkedIn connections.

Here’s a step-by-step guide to making referrals happen:

Identify Connections

The best way to get referrals is to receive an endorsement and introduction from a person you and your prospect are mutually connected with. Start by making a list of the connections who can connect you with your desired prospects.

This networking technique will only work if there is some sort of personal connection, Sandler franchisee John Rosso says. In other words, don’t seek referrals from connections if you would currently describe the relationship as “weak.”

Ask for the Introduction

Send a friendly email or LinkedIn InMail message to the person you’d like to make the introduction. Rosso uses this as an example:

“Hey there, Bill, I happened to notice on your LinkedIn profile that you’re connected with David Smith over at Acme Corporation. How well do you know him? Would you be willing to introduce me?”

Usually, your connection will respond with something like: “Sure. I know David very well. He and I went to college together. I’d be happy to introduce you.”

Make it Easy to Introduce You

In your response email, Rosso suggests including a message template that makes it easy for your connection to follow through on his or her offer. He provides this template sample:

“David, this is John. I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce the two of you. David is a good friend of mine, and John is a sales training specialist who is engaged with a number of my clients and who does topnotch work. John, I would ask that you reach out to Dave and set up a time to speak. If either of you want me to be a part of that conversation or have any questions, please reach out. All the best, Bill.”

Seal the Deal

When your connection sends the introduction email to you and your prospect, respond by explaining when you plan to reach out and ask how your prospect prefers to be reached. And, voila! You’ve just set up an appointment with a new prospect.

Asking for referrals can feel daunting. But this technique can be an easy first step as you begin integrating social selling into your referral strategy.

To learn more social selling tips and tricks, check out The Sandler Way: 25 Secrets That Show Salespeople How to Leverage the World’s Largest Professional Network.