A great benefit Of LinkedIn is that it can help you to get to know people and their business, including prospects for your business. Reading through a well written profile can often help you more than talking to them for 10 minutes. What you do with useful connections is then up to your strategy.

How do I find people I don’t know?

There are many people on LinkedIn that you probably don’t know, but fit the ideal contact profile for you (either potentially as a good introducer or as an ideal prospect). You may find them in many ways, some of the most common are:

  • A targeted search
  • Meeting them in groups
  • Them being shown as “people you may know”
  • What’s you favourite strategy for finding good connections?

How do I connect with prospects I don’t know?

  1. Use the LinkedIn function: You could just send them a standard LinkedIn message, click on their name, hit connect and press enter. They’ll get a message saying “I’d like to add you to my professional network”. Do you get those and how do you feel? At the very least personalise your message and give them some real reasons to connect.
  2. Get to know them: Do some research, why do you want to connect to them, how can you help them and vice versa? Then ask
  3. Discuss issues that are important to them: Use discussion groups and contribute useful material to things that that are discussing. The connection request is then far easier, you belong to the same group and they already know you.
  4. Answer their questions: From the main menu select “More” and then “Answers”. If there is something you specialise in being asked, it’s a great way to get to know people.
  5. Ask a mutual connection to connect you: There is a function to do this, although it relies on you giving a good reason to your connection and to them. But if you’ve done that it can work well.

4 tips to connect with prospects you don’t know

  1. Know the profile of person you want to connect to
  2. Identify them; search is very good for this
  3. Use groups that they’re in to get to know them and help them
  4. Do some research, don’t just send a standard contact message