Whenever I do LinkedIn trainings or talk to people about LinkedIn, I get a few recurring questions. One of these is by business developers who want to connect with new potential customers, partners and investors.
Although I believe LinkedIn is a tool for actually connecting with people you know already, it can certainly be very useful for finding new contacts. This is especially true when you are doing business in a new industry or geography.
Use common connections
My advice is normally to connect via someone you both know, someone you are both connected with on LinkedIn. The quickest way to do this is to pick up the phone and as this common connection to make an introduction in person, on the phone, via email or LinkedIn.
When you have no common connections…
But what do you do when there is no common connection and you have no idea how to introduce yourself to someone on LinkedIn? You probably have to find some common ground, such as having worked at the same place, gone to the same university or having an interest in collecting stamps from the South Pacific.
And here’s a video of me speaking to Aimee Bateman about connecting with people you don’t know on LinkedIn: