When a friend gives us a strong recommendation to try a new restaurant, we’ll usually give it a try. Why? We value our friend’s opinion. The same principle applies when one of your clients introduces you to one of his or her contacts. That contact will be willing to meet you, and potentially do business, because of your mutual friend’s opinion of you. This article outlines how you can use what Oechsli calls an Advocate Search on LinkedIn to get more introductions from clients.
What’s an Advocate Search?
An Advocate Search strategy uses LinkedIn to search your clients’ connections to find people you’d like to meet, then asking your client for introductions to those connections. Oechsli says that the Advocate Search is one of the most practical ways to use LinkedIn to bring in new customers.
Why Advocate Searches make so much sense
You’re meeting with clients every day. Spending five minutes before each meeting doing an Advocate Search on LinkedIn is a great way to uncover prospects. Since you already have a relationship with your clients, there’s a high probability that they’ll be willing to introduce you to one of their connections.
What makes introductions so powerful is the credibility transfer that occurs when one of your connections introduces you to a prospect. From the perspective of the prospect, it appears that the introducer has identified the meeting as mutually beneficial.
Despite the prospecting potential of Advocate Searches, many financial professionals aren’t using this technique. We polled nearly 300 financial professionals on our LinkedIn webcast in September 2017 and 82% said they had never done an Advocate Search.
Financial Professionals Webinar Poll
Have you ever done an advocate search?1
Doing an Advocate Search is easy. Here’s how (see diagram below):
You might be wondering if your clients will really introduce you
Oechsli research on the topic shows that 83% of financial professionals who’ve acquired business through LinkedIn leveraged introductions. How do they do it? A reported 74% get introduced by verbally asking their client directly.2
Oechsli research also revealed that clients are more likely to introduce you to their LinkedIn connections if you have both a business and social relationship. If you have a purely business relationship, 57% of clients would accommodate this request. If you have formed a social relationship with them, 85% of clients would introduce you to one of their LinkedIn connections.3 To find ideas that can help you create social relationships with clients, check out page 6 of The Affluent Mindset workbook that you can download at hartfordfunds.com/affluent.
Start leveraging client opinions
Your clients’ opinion of you can mean a lot to their LinkedIn connections. Start doing Advocate Searches before client meetings then use that intel to initiate introductions to your clients’ connections.
|1||Download or order the Mastering LinkedIn workbook|
|2||Review the Advocate Search instructions on page 12 of the workbook|
|3||Within one week, ask five clients for introductions using the Advocate Search method|
1Source: Mastering LinkedIn webinar, 9/29/17 Most Recent Data Available
2,3Source: Oechsli, 2017 Most Recent Data Available
Oechsli is not an affiliate or subsidiary of Hartford Funds.
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