The Most Important Search Filter On LinkedIn

Here’s where I get in trouble, making a statement like that in my title, but hear me out on this one, I think I may be able to bring you around. 

The bad news is this search filter is in Sale Navigator. You can’t access it using free LinkedIn. The good news is that it is a very powerful one, especially in today’s volatile job market. 

For people searches, Sales Navigator has a couple dozen filters. Some are really important and get used in almost any search, things like keywords, title, and geography. Others are more subtle such as industry that can be used in some cases, but in those cases it can make a big difference. And some are pretty marginal, things like company type, or when the people you are searching for joined LinkedIn. 

With judicious use of all these filters you can find almost anybody, and even better, you can change the filters after you have done your search, effectively fine tuning it. 

But there is one special filter that can change the quality of your LinkedIn outreach. Notice that I say “the quality of your outreach” and not “the quality of your search” because this filter is only accessible after you have performed your initial people search. It is buried in an innocuous section on the left hand side of your search results screen.  

Notice that the search results pictured below originally yielded 8,000 people. What I will do next is apply the secret filter that is buried behind the “Spotlight” heading in the left hand column of my screen. 

The filter is “changed jobs in the past 90 days”. Here is what happened when I applied it to my search results – I got 78 results. 

There actually is another filter on Sales Navigator that selects people who have changed jobs, but it’s finest granularity is changed jobs within the past year. This one is within the last 90 days. 

Why is this important? 

New people are often open to new ideas. They often want to bring in fresh vendors. They are interested in putting their stamp on the new job. Which means opportunity for us. In the first pass of the search above I came up with eight thousand people. If these were prospects and I can see that seventy-eight of them in particular are new to their jobs, guess who I am reaching out to first? And because they are new I have something to use when I message them. 

Here’s an idea I use when I reach out to new people like this. I usually don’t ask them about some aspect of the new job because that’s an obvious question that everyone has already put to them in congratulating them on the new job. What I will do instead is ask about some aspect of the new job and how it is different from their last job. I have found people will open up on that topic. 

Take advantage of this information. 

Obligatory boilerplate:

I do not work for or have any association with LinkedIn, other than being a user who pays them for his Sales Navigator subscription every month. But I was an early subscriber to Sales Navigator and have a grandfathered subscription with less InMails than most Sales Navigator Pro users have. But it’s still pretty awesome, and worth every penny. 

Want more like this? (the newsletter I mean, not the disclaimer) I publish a weekly email newsletter on using LinkedIn effectively for Sales and Marketing. Each newsletter typically contains two to four articles, it’s free, and you can unsubscribe anytime. Here’s a link to the sign up page:


Introductions: The “You Don’t Need Sales Navigator” Strategy

If you have 500 LinkedIn connections and those connections have 500 connections each, you have 250,000 second degree connections. A lot of them are going to be people you would like to connect with.
Want proof? Go take a company that you would like to get more deeply into and search for it. Choose “people” as the result. Now select just your second level connections. What you will probably find is that while you don’t have a “two” that is THE person you would like to meet, you have multiple pathways into the company.
So turn your connections into your ambassadors and ask them to introduce you to people they know at those target companies.
I know what a lot of people will be saying: I have 1500 connections but I really don’t know them all that well, maybe only 300 of them. Fine. Just work with the 300. If they have 300 connections each that they in turn know well, that’s 90,000 people they can introduce you to.
What does an introduction take?
“Alan this is Brenda, this is how I know Brenda. Brenda has some unique insights into widgets.”
“Brenda this is Alan, this is how I know Alan. Alan has been in the abracadabra industry for fifteen years.”
That’s it. This isn’t rocket science.
Here’s why introductions are huge: Credibility.
The person making the introduction for you bestows upon you credibility with the other person you would like to meet. It is just a sheen of credibility, a starter kit of credibility, but it gives you you a shot at making  an impression. You don’t get this credibility boost via InMail, email, or cold call.
What an introduction on LinkedIn decodes as is “This is someone I know. He or she is not going to waste your time.”
And the secret to making this strategy work? Offer to do it for your connections first.

An idea for people new to working at home: “walk” to work.

I have been working from home for years now. Last year I started going for a walk early in the morning and starting work when I got home. At the end of the day, I would close my laptop and go for another walk. When I finished that walk I was “home from the office.”

Here’s what I found:

The walks helped me mark the start and end of my business day. My walks were my commute to and from the office. 

I used the time on my morning walk to gather my thoughts and get myself in a business mindset.

I used the time on my afternoon walk to leave work behind and think of what I wanted to do for dinner and my evening. 

Eventually, I got into listening to podcasts while I was walking. In the morning I would listen to business podcasts – mostly sales and marketing related – and in the afternoon I would listen to music. In particular, I have found listening to music stops me from being preoccupied with work. 

I think it is important at a time like this to be able to separate work time from personal time.