When building a business, identifying and connecting with the right people is essential. Getting in front of key decision-makers is the only way that your business is going to grow. Before you can do that, though, you have to identify them. LinkedIn is a great tool for doing this.
The search function can yield rich information and uncover a huge number of prospective customers. The issue is that the pool of potential clients is often too big to be able to analyse effectively if you’re relying on simple searches. Take the image below, for example. More than 57 million results is a little too many to be sifting through.
Even with advanced filters in place, such as location, you’re still going to turn up far too many results for your search to really be of any use.
The truth is that both basic searches and advanced filters just aren’t precise enough for you to be able to connect with your ideal customers in a timely and effective manner.
So, is there a way you can increase the precision of your searches?
Yes – with these 5 Boolean search functions.
What is a Boolean search?
A Boolean search is a type of search that makes use of special words or symbols to limit, widen, or define the search. These special words or symbols are known as “operators”. When you include an operator in a Boolean search, you're either introducing flexibility to get a wider range of results, or limitations to reduce the number of unrelated results.
What does this mean for executives?
Making use of Boolean search to limit results means less time sifting through irrelevant prospect profiles, and more time connecting with your ideal potential clients. It should be noted that only prospects with completed profiles will rank highly in your searches, so be willing to look outside of the top results occasionally too.
Running a Boolean search on LinkedIn
Running a Boolean search on LinkedIn is easy. Enter your key search terms (ie sales, CEO, founder, etc.), then combine them with the correct Boolean operator for your search. There are 5 Boolean operators that work with the LinkedIn search function:
Quotation mark (“key term”) searches
Quotation mark searches are useful if you are looking for an exact phrase in a prospects profile. This could be industry specific terminology, for example, or an exact job title. By enclosing the key term you are looking for within quotation marks, you instruct the search algorithm to find that term verbatim.
Using the NOT search term is useful for excluding specific terms from your search results. By typing NOT immediately before the term, you will limit your search results. Any and all results with that term will be removed. By combining this function with quotation marks, you can be sure that you identify exactly the right key decision-makers.
An OR search will yield broader search results. It allows you to include multiple criteria in your search, for example "sales OR marketing OR advertising”.
By including the AND operator, you can limit your search to results that only contain all of the terms you are searching for. This type of search will typically limit your results, as they will only be included if all of the key terms are present. If you searched for "LinkedIn AND marketing AND Yenox", your search would only turn up profiles with these specific criteria.
Complex searches/Parenthetical searches
If a standard Boolean search still isn’t yielding the level of precision required, you can perform a complex search. A complex search makes use of parentheses to combine Boolean search terms. Anything outside of the parentheses will be searched for first, and then those results will be filtered using whatever is inside the parentheses. For example, to identify prospects who have “executive” in their profile, but exclude “executive assistants” or coaches, you would type executive NOT (assistant OR coach).
Connect with your ideal prospects, faster
Successful B2B sales on LinkedIn relies on finding the right people, and connecting with key decision-makers. Making effective use of the Boolean search function will help you do this quicker. This means less time wasted on fruitless leads, and more time providing value for those people. More value given ultimately means more value received, so narrow your searches with these 5 Boolean operators today!