How to Use LinkedIn to Generate Leads


LinkedIn can be used as a huge resource to find leads and build professional relationships.

Today we’re going to talk about how to use the Advanced Search function to help you “sweep” LinkedIn to find the necessary leads and referrals you want to be connected to in your local markets.

On the LinkedIn home page, right at the top, there’s a Search bar. Next to the search bar there’s a hyperlink and that hyperlink says Advanced Search.

If you click on that hyperlink, it will take you to a LinkedIn profile page that allows you to select different criteria.

In other words this is what I like to say, “It’s my ideal candidate page”. What are the ideal criteria for my perfect prospect candidate on LinkedIn?

You could type in different titles such as owner, CEO, president, VPF sales, sales manager, branch manager, depends on who you are trying to find.

Then go in and select a zip code. What is the geographical territory that you are working within? 25 miles, 30 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles, you choose.

LinkedIn gives you several different industries to use to narrow your search. Whether it be automotive, marketing, healthcare, technology, or software, you can go through and select as many as you want.

I suggest keeping this a niche search. Keep it specific, because you don’t want 10,000 leads to pop up. The ideal niche search populates somewhere between 30 and 50 contacts. It’s a good place to start.

Then lastly, on the Advanced Search page, click on the little button that says “Second Connections.” Unclick First Connections, Third Connections or Group Connections.

Only have Second Connections clicked. Why? Because those are your potential referrals, those are the people you want to talk to, these are the people who know someone that you know on LinkedIn.

It might take you one to three minutes to decide all of the criteria, not very long.

Once you finally click Search, LinkedIn uses your criteria to formulate a list of people in your area, the specific industry you chose, and that are only second connections to you.

You now have leads that meet your very specific criteria. Then you can click on each one of these individuals and see whom you both have in common, i.e. that’s your referral source.

Now you know exactly who to call to get a direct referral, or if you call the prospect themselves, now you know who to mention. Mentioning someone you both know will get your foot in the door.

This is what we call at Southwestern Consulting, the Simple Sweep.

We are just simply sweeping all of LinkedIn based on this very certain set of criteria that we get to customize, that we get to decide, and then LinkedIn takes that and searches the entire LinkedIn database, collects them all together and populates it for you right there.

Yes, that’s amazing.

And in fact, if that is not exciting for you, sales may not be for you. That’s LinkedIn generating leads and referrals for you, and now all you have to do is decide who to call first, your shared connection or the prospect.


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