Linkedin as a prospecting tool – how to use Advanced People Search to help grow your business

Linkedin logoI did a blog post back in 2011 about how to use Linkedin for business… but since then things have obviously changed a bit, and we’ve also learned a lot more using the tool ourselves. So I wanted to share with you one of two really helpful ways in which your company can use Linkedin to find new customers online. (I will share the second method in a post next week)

The coolest thing about Linkedin (to me anyway) is that yes, you can use it as a lead source, but then it takes it to the next level and focuses on your network and using your own professional network to help in your quest to gain new customers – because who doesn’t want new customers, right? So here is the first of the two most powerful ways that  you can use Linkedin to help grow your business…

 Advanced People Search
You can use this feature to really target your search for potential customers by searching for professionals with a specific title. You can run a basic search by location and title and come up with a great list of potential customers that meet your criteria.

Linkedin Advanced People Search

Let’s say your target decision maker is a CFO and your office is in Braintree, MA. You could run a search of all CFO’s within 50 miles of Braintree. I ran this exact search and ended up with a list (snippet below) of over 3,000 professionals that met that criteria (I’ve grayed out names and personal information).  
Linkedin Advanced People Search results

The results list will show you: the person’s name, their exact title, the company they work for, the location, industry, how many connections that person has, and if you have any connections in common with them.

There are a few ways you can use this information:

  1. You can click into each individual result to get more detailed information on that specific person – current job information, employment history, education history, who they are connected to, etc.
  2. You may notice in the results list that some of these people are in your network (if you see a  1st, 2nd, or 3rd icon next to their name). For these people, you can click on the link that says “shared connection” and actually see who the person in your network is who is connected to them. You could use this information to reach out to your shared connection and possibly ask for an introduction or a referral.
  3. You can click into the company the potential customer works for and get information about that company and see other people who work for that company who are also on Linkedin. Even if you don’t have a connection in common with the person who showed up on your results list, you may find that you have a connection in common with someone else at that company.

There are so many ways you can use this information!

Do you use Linkedin’s Advanced People Search feature? If so, we’d love to hear how you use it! Comment below.

And stay tuned for post #2 about using Linkedin as a prospecting tool…

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