Social Selling: Dig Into Second Degree Contacts


One of the most important elements in Social Selling is pretty simple: try to cleverly use the tools that have been made available to you. It sounds logical… and it is. Still, too often people are simply not aware or are not putting any effort in uncovering the freely available information. This time I will cover unveiling the second degree contacts in your network. Why? Since you’ll have a greater chance arranging meetings through referral.

Advanced Search

So are we going through all my LinkedIn connections and see if they share their contacts with me? No. Well, of course it would be an option to find out about a specific person who he or she has been in contact with throughout time. However it would not make much sense to literally find out all second degree contact. More convenient, we are going to make use of the advanced search option in LinkedIn. This option gives you the ability to search your first, second and third degree contacts “freely” (note LinkedIn limits your total amount of search queries per month – wait a few days or switch to a paid account).

Search Parameters

What we want to do once we are at the LinkedIn search page (yes, select the top bar in LinkedIn and just hit “enter” – you’ll get to the search page with pretty much unlimited amounts of connections) is selecting a few options to narrow down our search results. Let’s assume I would be interested in talking to marketing managers within the car industry close to my home town with a connection to someone in my network.

Step one – Advanced

Normally search is put automatically on “people” so there is no change needed unless another search option is selected. At the top left hand side the option “advanced” will open up new options to select. In this case I will be filling out “manager AND manager” at title plus selecting current position.

Step two – Relationship

Just a little lower at the page on the left hand side “relationship” is enabling you to solely select your second degree contacts. This means that only your connections’ connections would be visible. People whom you’re having a direct relationship with are of course being left out and will not be duplicated if your contact also has a connection with this particular person. Normally it leaves you with a couple of thousands of second degree connections (in case when not having selected any other parameter).

Step three – Location

The option following on that is giving you the option to narrow down on location. In my case I would be selecting the Eindhoven area in the Netherlands (since that’s a major city nearby my home town). All other locations will be excluded.

Step four – Industry

Scrolling a bit further down will give you the opportunity to select other types of search criteria. One of the is industry. Since I am trying to find marketing managers in the oil and energy industry I will select this industry. And I ‘m practically done.

Targets Identified – what’s next?

Using the parameters, as described above, will leave you just with a couple of very interesting second degree contacts. In my case it just left we with 19 possible contacts around the corner in the car industry. Right afterwards I would going through the contact list and analyse whom of my connections is connected to these persons. I will contact my connection and would make a request to introduce me to them.


Use LinkedIn advanced search cleverly to dig into your second degree contacts. You will have a greater chance of arranging a first meeting since people in your network would be able to introduce you.

Rob Vallenga
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Rob Vallenga

Digital B2B Marketing Consultant at Indago
Op basis van de opgedane ervaring op het gebied van digitale marketing in een (industriƫle) business-to-business omgeving probeert Rob zijn kennis over digitale marketing te delen.
Rob Vallenga
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