If you’ve read any of my previous posts on this blog you will know that I think relationships determine if you will get a meeting with your prospect.
In this post I’m going to give you a few templates you can copy to help you get referrals to the likely 22,500 people you have available to help you save (and maybe prosper) in your new sales gig.
Typical success rates in getting intros using this approach is approximately 1 in 2, vs 1 in 100 or 1 in 330 for cold calling. Hence, I think it’s a good approach.
Linkedin, the relationship map
I recommend thinking of Linkedin as the Google Maps of business relationships. It’s the world’s largest database showing who knows who.
If you have figured out who you want/need to sell to, search for some of these companies on Linkedin and see if you have any second degree connections in these companies or in anyone that might deal with them in any capacity. These people could work at companies that are vendors, partners, investors, advisors, agencies or banks to your target company. The key is to talk to someone that knows what is going on at your target account and start gathering information that will get you in.
Template #1—ask the “connector”
If you find someone that you want to talk to, and they are a second degree connection of yours on Linkedin, that means someone you know (your first degree connection) may know them.
I say “may” because I’ve found approximately 50% of the time my connections really know the person they are connected to and 50% of the time it’s just someone they accepted a LInkedin invitation from without ever making a real human connection.
Send your first degree connection this email or send it through Linkedin messaging. You will need to have figured out your value proposition first.
“Subject: Networking Intro Request
Do you know John Prospect, SVP Tax Audit at Prospect Company for real? LI profile http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=123456 You’re connected on Linkedin.
If so, could you make an intro?
I’m looking to connect to Prospect Company for my current gig at StartUp Shop where we save pharma companies millions of dollars in taxes and avoid their senior execs going to jail [your value proposition]. I think John may be able to point me in the right direction.
Any help much appreciated (of course). Anything I can do to be helpful to you?
Template #2—make it easy on the “connector”
If the person you know does really know the person you are trying to connect to then you can make it easier on your friend by sending them an intro request template to use.
“Subject: Networking Intro Request [for your connector to use]
It’s been a long time. Hope you are well. How are Doris and kids? [this part is added by your connector. This is what people nearly always say.]
One of my friends, Nigel Edelshain, would like to connect with you. I’ve known Nigel since 1964 and he’s a good guy. I think you two will have a lot to talk about. He’s quite knowledgeable about sales and marketing like yourself.
He’s working for a company called StartUp Shop that he says can save pharma companies millions of dollars in taxes and avoid their senior execs going to jail [your value proposition]. He thought you might be able to point him in the right direction at Prospect Company.
Let me know if you need anything.
In the real world you may still have to do some follow-up with your friend to get these intros completed. Everyone has a few dozen things they need to do today and even with a lot of love involved they may not get to your intro for a while, or even forget. Just drop them a simple reminder email.
Would really appreciate if you could make that intro to John Prospect, SVP Tax Audit at Prospect Company.
I think this intro could really help me here at StartUp Shop. I can use all the help I can get in saving my sales job here [optional sentence.]
All help much appreciated (of course). Don’t forget if you need anything, do please let me know.