In the previous article (yes, it’s the series of articles, which you can download in PDF version), we started discussing the importance of contacting a decision maker when pitching a product or service. Today we will get closer to the practical side by learning how to find the decision maker on LinkedIn.
Indeed, LinkedIn was initially meant to help you connect with the right person by asking for an introduction and getting introduced by those who know you (such things like LinkedIn InMail came later). If you think about it for a moment, you will get the idea: LinkedIn is the professional network that is based on the mutually beneficial cooperation of users – in the form of recommendations and introductions – aimed at growing business.
As you see, turning to LinkedIn to find the right person with the decision-making responsibilities is more than natural. So let’s figure out the exact steps you need to take in order to find the decision maker on Linkedin.
First things first
I don’t want to get stuck on the basic things but as well I can’t just skip it. I know that some of you may have come here without reading previous articles or anything at all about LinkedIn. Therefore, I have to start with this: make sure your professional Linkedin profile matches the impression you want to create.
I know it’s something extremely basic but there’s no way to skip this step if you want to make a contact with the decision maker that will go anyway further than the introduction. Your professional Linkedin profile is your face which is the first thing other LinkedIn users learn about you and the defining one when it comes to setting up work relationships.
Let me quickly remind you how your professional Linkedin profile should look like:
– Headline that clearly depicts what you are doing (may contain keywords to help people find you by means of LinkedIn search by name)
– Up-to-date profile image (update it if you don’t look like that anymore or if you changed it more than two years) and background photo
– Contact information (email address, website, Twitter, etc.)
– Short and pointful description optimized for keywords
– Detailed job history and the list of professional skills (there is a special tip for making it right)
– Honors and awards (add them if you want bonuses)
– Interests (don’t skip this – show how versatile you’re)
– Publications (write from your experience to show your expertise)
I can’t say the magic phrase “that’s all” because it’s not. If you want to create the best impression ever, you will need more. Take a look at this infographics to find out what else you can do. Moreover, keep in mind that keywords do matter. So if your profile isn’t optimized for search engines yet, fix it before looking for the decision maker.
It’s time to act
When your professional Linkedin profile is polished and ready for new visitors, you can finally get your hands on the LinkedIn search by name to find the decision maker. Later, you will be able to reach out to him through the shared connections or with the help of Linkedin InMail.
Let’s make it in a step-by-step fashion.
1.Remember, we talked about how to identify the decision maker? If you do (if not, go back to the previous article), then you will be searching for the right Linkedin contact at the top stages of the company’s ladder.
To find the right person, you can perform advanced Linkedin search by name of the company and the position of Linkedin contact you would like to find (Vice President, Director, etc.). In the search results, you will see matching profiles with the connection degree and possible shared Linkedin contacts (for the second-degree connections).
2.Except the direct LinkedIn search by name, however, there’s another way to find the decision marker of the targeted company. You can examine the actual list of employees on the Linkedin page of the company. On the right hand-side, you can find filters that will help you to identify people who are the closest to your connection base.
3. As you see, using LinkedIn search by name isn’t the only option to find someone who can introduce you to the decision maker. Instead, you can leverage connection degrees to map your way to the right person. People may recommend not only you as the specialist but also the product or service you offer.
However, you may choose another way. In fact, you don’t have to find the direct way to the decision maker. Instead, you can start by getting introduced to someone who works in the targeted company. After that, this person will introduce you to the decision maker. This way it can work even better.
4.Sometimes introductions don’t work the way you want, or you merely don’t have time for this. Then, you have another option – use Linkedin InMail. It’s the part of Premium account, and, moreover, Linkedin InMail is the truly useful one. Of course, there’s a possibility that you won’t get any response because some people ignore messages on Linkedin InMail from those they don’t know.
5.Finally, if the person isn’t on Linkedin or the profile isn’t available for recommendations and Linkedin InMail, you may want to find someone who works with the decision maker (for this, use LinkedIn and the steps described above) and ask him to introduce you beyond the Linkedin platform.
Linkedin turns out to be a great tool for connecting with the decision maker. Using advanced Linkedin search by name and feature of the LinkedIn company page, you can not only find the right people but also you can map the way of approaching them through your direct Linkedin contacts or reach out to them by means of Linkedin InMail.
I hope you enjoyed the article (and the previous one). The third article of this series is coming soon. Next, we will discuss different ways of contacting the decision maker. Subscribe to our list to be sure that you won’t miss it!