Most of us network. Whether it is going to Chamber meetings or meet-ups, meeting for coffee with centers of influence, or hopping on calls with potential referral partners, investing time in networking is foundational to our business development efforts.

That said, often networking doesn’t feel like the most productive use of our time. And, although we build professional rapport and new relationships, new business opportunities rarely happen. Unless… you use LinkedIn to proactively identify who your networking partner knows prior to a meeting, review the names with them and position yourself to get targeted warm introductions. And, by the way, you do the same for them.

Before your meeting be sure to be connected on LinkedIn and send this message:

I am looking forward to our coffee meeting next week. Please feel free to look through my LinkedIn connections and make a list of people that you might want to meet. I will do the same, and we can review the list when we are together.

Here are the steps to make it easier for you:   

  1. From my profile, click on see connections number (500+).
  2. This takes you to my connections where you will see a search bar in the top right click on “all filters.”
  3. Enter the titles of the people you would like to meet, like “CIO” OR “CTO” OR “IT Director” as well as the other relevant filters.
  4. Click “apply” in the top right of the box.
  5. Make a list of who your networking partner knows that you would like to meet.
  6. We can review the names when we are together and whittle it down to a few quality introductions.
  7. Please send me your introduction templates here is mine as an example:

I would like to introduce you to Brynne Tillman, CEO of Social Sales Link. I thought it might make sense for the two of you to connect and investigate how you might work together. Brynne helps sales professionals build their pipeline, reduce the sales cycle and close more business through leveraging the power of LinkedIn. She really understands how to monetize LinkedIn and has created programs that have made a significant impact on the way professionals are growing their business. Brynne will be contacting you in the next couple of days; please take her call; I believe it will be well worth your time.

If you would like to reach out to Brynne, her contact information is:  Brynne.Tillman@SocialSalesLink.com | 215.499.0499 | http://www.linkedin.com/in/brynnetillman

8. After our meeting, I will copy you and each person we have agreed upon in a LinkedIn message, and maybe you can do the same.

By implementing this practice on a consistent basis, you’ll have a significant impact on your business development efforts.