Did you know that overall, you're 5X more likely to get a sales call returned if you have a personal connection with someone? To me, that's an amazing statistic. In a world where people are swamped at work and suffering from information overload, it's the best way to capture their attention.   

So what does that mean you should be doing?  In essence, implementing a connection-based strategy to reach new prospects.

Here are three ways you can do that by leveraging your LinkedIn connections: 

  1. The first thing you can do, is to check LinkedIn to determine if you know any of the same people. Look at their profile, too. You might have gone to the same university or worked at the same company at some point in your career. When you reach out to them, make sure to mention the connection right away. This increases your odds of success by threefold.  
  2. An even better approach is to have your mutual connection call your prospect to make an introduction. By doing this, you're upping your chances of success by a factor of four.  
  3. And, the best approach of all? Contacting a personal connection. You're 11x more likely to get a return call. This means you need to strategically focus on developing relationships with people who are similar to your ideal customers. Go where they are -- both on and off-line -- and initiate a conversation. Make sure you keep in touch with them too. It'll be well worth your time.  

To sum it up, we're in the Relationship Age, and who you know matters -- a lot.