19 Jul Create a strategy to gain introductions to your target prospects through LinkedIn
Gaining introductions to potential clients is an absolute must to grow an advisory practice. Yet, many advisors lack a system for doing so. Often, advisors fail to ask for referrals for fear of feeling intrusive, or of creating an awkward situation with their client. With LinkedIn, however, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Today, the information we need is literally at our fingertips. To take advantage of this, advisors must develop a system of researching the people they would like to meet and then asking for an introduction. Here are some tips and strategies to get you started.
Importance of a solid profile
Most clients and prospects research you online before meeting you, so, it is critical to have a solid presence that shows potential clients you are approachable and knowledgeable. Use your LinkedIn profile to position yourself as an expert – talk specifically to your target market(s) and share with them how you help solve their particular financial pain points. Leverage LinkedIn’s long-form post feature to stay top of mind with clients and prospects by regularly sharing valuable and relevant information.
Identify target market(s)
The key to strategically growing your practice, is having a clearly defined picture your target markets. What industries do you serve? What titles or positions do your A+ clients hold? In what geographic region do your clients live or work? Any companies where you tend to nest? Once you are clear on these pieces, the strategies that follow can easily be put into practice.
LinkedIn Advanced Search
If you have a strong, mutually beneficial advisor-client relationship, most clients are willing to introduce you to their circle of friends and professional connections.
Use the Advanced Search feature on LinkedIn to locate 2nd degree connections fitting your target market (industry, title, company, geographic region, etc.). Depending on the number of referrals your practice needs to grow, I recommend you (or your staff) make this a weekly or monthly task. Identify A+ prospects you would like to meet and jot down your common connection(s).
Next, call your connection and be very transparent about why you are calling. Let them know you were researching people on LinkedIn that you would like to meet and came across someone they knew. Ask them simply “Tell me about him/her.”
If your connection knows the person well, and feels they are a good prospect for you, ask if they would be willing to provide an introduction — or, if they would have any objection to your mentioning that you know them when you give the prospects a call.
The advisors we coach who have employed this strategy have found it to be an easy way for them to consistently gain new, quality introductions. There will always be a handful of clients who may feel uncomfortable referring you. If that’s the case, give them an out — but, don’t let one “no” keep you from asking others. Always remember, you don’t get what you don’t ask for!
LinkedIn Groups provide a great opportunity to connect and engage with professionals in your markets. Take time to perform a search for groups fitting your target markets (small business owners, physicians, CXOs, etc.). If your practice is specific to a certain geographic region, search by state or region as well.
Once you find a group with members who fit your market, join the group. As a member, you will now be able to see a list of other members. Take time each week to dig deeper into the group. Which of the other members would you like to meet? Do you have a shared connections who can introduce you? If so, reach out to them, as you did with the prospects you identified via the Advanced Search.
If you don’t have a shared connection, send a personalized message introducing yourself & mentioning the group. State how you could be a resource to them (speaking specifically about how you help professionals in that market), and sharing any relevant information you may have (white papers, link to you website or blog, etc.). Leave it up to them to respond — don’t chase. If they reply showing interest, continue the conversation and work to secure a face-to-face appointment with them. If not, continue your search.
This is a bit more of a “cold approach,” but is a solid one to use if there is someone you would really like to meet, but are lacking a common connection to make the intro.
Leveraging your LinkedIn network can open a lot of doors for you. Taking time each week to strategically identify A+ prospects and gain introductions to these individuals can go a long way in growing your practice.