Business Development professionals live and die by their network. Thus, many of us end up living and dieing by our LinkedIn.
LinkedIn’s greatest value is that it provides transparency to the personal networks of my immediate network in the form of 2nd degree connection. This information is often the gateway to the deals, partnerships, and sales we strive for on a continuous basis. Consequently, it’s in all business development practitioners best interest to expand their *true LinkedIn network. After all, the difference between the deal of a lifetime and no-deal could be just one warm introduction. But in order to even identify these opportunities there must be transparency.
A best practice to make sure you’re effectively engaging in this is to schedule a periodic “LinkedIn inventory” in order to make sure you’re connected with everyone that may be able to open the door for you. An excellent way to do this is to mine your email conversations by importing your contacts. How to do this on LinkedIn:
Step 1. Click Add Connections in the top right
Step 3. Search through contacts and identify people you should be connected to
Again, one connection can be all the difference in the world and you just never know who that person could be. For this reason, it’s a good idea to schedule this practice on a monthly basis so you don’t forget to do it. Is it time consuming? Yeah it can be. But they’re no free lunches out there and most successful create their good luck.
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*Your true LinkedIn network is composed of people you have a legitimate relationship with – not a dude you spoke to for 3 seconds at a meetup or some LinkedIn Tomcat from Indonesia that asked you to join his group because you had the word marketing in your profile. I’ll save this rant for a whole other post.