LinkedIn has the ability to be an introduction powerhouse. Letting advisors see “who knows who” and having a business-centric culture – it’s perfect for advisors focused on relationship marketing. We know this intuitively.
But in our latest social media study, we wanted to go deeper. We wanted to know the inner workings of successful LinkedIn introductions. How do advisors actually make successful requests? Do they use LinkedIn’s “Get Introduced” button? Do they send an email? Perhaps they ask via phone?
The most startling statistic was that 69% of financial advisors claim to have never received an introduction through LinkedIn. Come again? With LinkedIn being the social network most used amongst advisors and with the highest acquisition results, we found this number surprising. The majority of advisors aren’t utilizing one of the biggest benefits of LinkedIn.
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When it comes to successful introduction requests, 26% of advisors received an introduction by asking their 1st degree connection (client, COI, etc.) directly. They had a conversation with the 1st degree connection about the 2nd degree connection they wanted to meet. And they initiated this conversation face-to-face or over the phone.
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In contrast, only 5% of advisors successfully received an introduction using LinkedIn’s “Get Introduced” button. Thus, we can conclude that LinkedIn’s internal introduction feature is less effective and probably less used than having a conversation.
At times, it’s tempting to use technology to pursue an introduction. It’s easier to push a “Get Introduced” button on a social network than pick up the phone, engage in conversation, and make a verbal request. But the technology is just the medium to help you gather intelligence and build relationships at scale. Think less like Star Trek and more like Leave it to Beaver. The most successful LinkedIn introduction requests are done through carefully crafted conversation. When you ask for an introduction through conversation, you have an emotional pull and a spoken commitment if they agree to facilitate the introduction. It’s just too easy to ignore a digital request.
Kevin Nichols is a thought-leader with The Oechsli Institute, a firm that specializes in social media coaching and training for the financial services industry. Follow him on twitter @KevinANichols www.Oechsli.com