Did you know some 54% of B2B buyers use social media to research vendors or products before making a purchase? As an enterprise marketing agency, we’ve learned word-of-mouth is the top lead generator for many clients—and today, word-of-mouth increasingly means “social media.” Since complex B2B decisions require input from an average of 6 to 10 people, the more people you can connect with on LinkedIn, the better your chances of being considered when prospects are ready to buy. Here are some quick steps to start making connections. 

How to find potential LinkedIn connections

Contacts: Start with those who know you. Remember, people trust their colleagues, friends, and acquaintances, so take advantage of common connections and ask for an introduction. You can even ask connections on other social channels, such as Twitter or Facebook, to introduce you to their connections on LinkedIn. Being introduced is a great way to start a conversation. 


Viewers: LinkedIn shows you people who have viewed your profile. Check this list on a regular basis to see if people who have viewed your profile might be valuable contacts. If so, reach out to ask whether they’d like to connect. 


The “Other viewed profiles” section on LinkedIn shows you people who might have a similar profile to you. You may want to change this setting in your profile because people who view you will also see this list, which is basically showing them your competitors!


Groups: Join the LinkedIn Groups your customers and leads belong to. Sharing a group is a good way to mine data. Look for industry leaders – those who post a lot or comment a lot – to follow and interact with.


Email: Make the most of your email signature as a social tool by adding a headshot and links to your social networks. It’s an easy way to generate new connections. 


Using advanced searches to find new connections

Advanced searches let you filter results to home in on new connections. LinkedIn has two tools for advanced searches: Sales Navigator and Smart Links.


  • Sales Navigator is a premium tool that lets you use search filters for specific business criteria, such as job title, experience, industry, etc. It provides personalized recommendations for contacts based on your searches and objectives. You’ll receive a limited number of private InMail messages to directly contact other users. Sales Navigator also integrates with various CRM tools for automatic registration of your clients and accounts. 
  • Smart Links lets you share content using a unique, trackable link that provides detailed insights about people who interact with that content. For example, you can see how prospects engage with your content and learn names, titles, industry, company, and more. This can help identify a prospect’s stage in the buying process. 

Best practices for sending LinkedIn invitations 

Whether you’re inviting a colleague to connect on LinkedIn or sending a “cold invitation” to someone you don’t know, follow these best practices to boost your odds of success.  


  • Personalize your greeting. Don’t use LinkedIn’s canned wording—show some personality. 
  • State your intent. Why do you want to connect with this person? Reinforce your message with a compliment or a comment you think could add value. Make your communication about them.
  • Thank the person in advance for their time in your invitation; also thank them if they connect. 

Wondering how well you’re doing at building your brand, finding the right connections, and developing relationships on LinkedIn? Compare your activity with that of your colleagues by using the LinkedIn Social Selling Index (SSI). Once you’ve made some connections, read our next post to learn how to build relationships on LinkedIn. 


Need help improving your social selling strategy? An outsourced marketing team could be just what you need to take it to the next level. 

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