Why LinkedIn is A Goldmine for B2B Networking

linkedin is a goldmineEveryone knows I’m a huge advocate for using LinkedIn for business development and marketing. It’s one of the best social networks for lawyers to start with when jumping into the social media pool.

Depending on your practice, part of your business development strategy may include looking for who is responsible for sales and/or purchasing decisions within businesses.  This information isn’t always readily available on websites as these people don’t like being “bugged”.  I’ve heard stories about in-house counsel being stalked at local conferences and this is exactly why they don’t broadcast their information.

However, did you know there is a way to find these professionals using LinkedIn? I read an article from Forbes that reinforced this point:

Colleen Francis, a sales expert and president of Engage Selling, adds that she has seen salespeople pursue leads using social media and end up with sales of between $30,000 and $250,000. “The biggest sales have come from salespeople using Twitter to find opportunities and LinkedIn to find the names of the true buyers inside organizations,” she says.

Using the advanced search function on LinkedIn, you can pinpoint these very professionals if they have a LinkedIn profile.  This doesn’t mean you have a one-way ticket to sale-ville but you do have the opportunity to do some research, see if you’re connected to this person through a mutual connection (and maybe possibly get a connection), and see if you are both members of the same groups.  The amount of information you see will be dependent on the privacy settings your desired connection has set.  More often than not, people on LinkedIn aren’t too concerned about privacy and most information is shown.  Facebook is another story!

This type of research can be extremely valuable if you are in the market for business connections such as in-house counsel.  Remember, depending on the type of account you have with LinkedIn, you may or may not be able to send these prospects direct messages.  You’ll have to be creative in your strategy on how to initiate contact.

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  • Sam, you have HUGE blue eyes!

    • Todd, thank you! I wish I could comment on your eyes but I can only comment on your avatar. 🙂

  • nancymyrland

    @SamTaraCollier:twitter , you’re right about LinkedIn.  It’s a professional go-to source for connecting with targeted audiences we have identified in our marketing plans, or our minds…(although I prefer transferring what is in our minds to a written/typed Marketing Plan).  
    What is important is to make sure, as you have indicated, that you have a strategy to connect with that person.  This might involve several contacts with people connected to that person, and an inch-by-inch plan to get to know them naturally, vs. coming on too strong.  Good post…thanks for writing it. 

    • Thanks for your comments and insight Nancy, always love seeing you here! 

  • I couldn’t agree more Samantha and am also a huge believer in the value of LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a great resource for B2B networking for sales teams. Growing your professional network on LinkedIn can have great benefits in terms of  enabling users to researching an organization, gain introductions and secure recommendations. It’s also a great way to stay connected to colleagues as your careers progress and those that know your talents best move to new companies and industries, possibly opening up new opportunities. The key is to ensure your profile projects professionalism so that when people look you up on LinkedIn and view your profile, they feel like there is someone there whose email they would answer or phone call they would take. Thanks for sharing.