There are some great examples of both lawyers and accountants successfully harnessing the power of LinkedIn to grow their practices (if you want to see some, you can download them for free here).
But, having interviewed several lawyers and accountants from around the world about their use of LinkedIn, there’s one thing that accountants are doing that lawyers don’t appear to be (I’d love to see evidence to the contrary, so if you’re a lawyer and you do this please leave a comment below) and that’s proactively reaching out to connections they share with their prospects and asking them to put in a good word for them with the prospect – particularly before a new business meeting.
There’s a lot of talk about six degrees of separation but in many instances (and especially in New Zealand) it’s more like two!
If you’re looking up the prospect you’re going to be meeting on LinkedIn (which you should be) then in many instances you’ll see that you share common connections. If you see 2nd after anyone’s name it means they’re a 2nd degree connection of yours and are connected to one or more of your connections. It makes sense to call those connections to find out more intelligent information about the prospect as this ensures you go into the new business meeting better prepared. So why not also ask if they’d be prepared to call the prospect and put in a good word for you?
The worst that can happen is they say no.
But if they agree then, as one of the accountants I interviewed said:
“It gives you a leg up before you’ve even met the prospect”.
And that could be the difference between winning and losing the work.
How to see who you know in common:
- Go to the prospect’s LinkedIn profile by typing their name into the search bar on LinkedIn and clicking on the relevant profile
- Scroll down to the Connections section or take a look at the ‘How you’re connected’ section on the right hand side of the screen.
- Take a look at your shared connections and use this information to tip the level playing field in your favour prior to the new business meeting.
Do you do this and, if so, how's it worked for you?