Did you know the most powerful connection you can use with the C-suite isn’t their common connections, interests, passions, hobbies, employers, colleagues past or present? It’s their university! Yes, while all the other connection points are an excellent way of connecting in general, C-suite executives are extremely involved with their alma maters, if you went to their university or know someone who did, it’s your golden ticket.
How do you find a C-suite’s University?
Tap into the powerful LinkedIn Alumni tool. It’s a tool that provides you with information about where your fellow alums work, what they do and where they live. You can look at the big picture of where people work and live, then you can narrow the results according to your ideal prospects using additional filters, keyword search as well as the all-important second degree connection, the sweet spot on LinkedIn.
Let’s say you are looking pharmaceutical executives in the New York area. The tool helps you narrow your vast alumni network to those who live in New York and work in pharma. Then, you can scan the list of “Where they work” and find. LinkedIn Alumni will then show you the exact profiles of the alums who fit all of your criteria.
Then reach out (the right way)! Once you’ve identified some alums that are your ideal prospects, it’s time to make contact. While there are no guarantees, fellow alums are more likely to reply than random strangers because you share a common experience/connection point:
I’m a fellow XYZ University alum and came across your profile. I graduated in 1990, also with a degree in Business Admin and currently live in the New York area. I was wondering if you would be available for quick phone call next Thursday.
Thank you and Go Tigers!
Note that the message immediately mentions the alumni connection, is professional and shows that you’ve done your homework (indicating that you’re not just sending out generic messages). The goal here is to establish rapport and ask for phone call, during the call you want to invite the prospect to coffee or lunch. Online opens doors, offline closes the deal.
Check out my video on LinkedIn’s Alumni Feature and learn how to find to comb through universities to source names to find your ideal prospects. Be sure to download the free LinkedIn Alumni Cheat Sheet .
While you can’t search LinkedIn by age, by using the alumni feature and making a few assumptions about graduation year, you will generate a decent list of the age group you are targeting. See cheat sheet for details.
Remember, online swings the door wide open, offline closes the deal. Take what you learn online off and convert prospects into clients – common connection points are the easiest way, especially Alum!