How Advisors Can Use LinkedIn for Leads

by HighTower Advisors on September 25, 2019

Social media allows us to connect with one another in ways that would have been unimaginable even a decade ago. At the 2019 HighTower Advisor Summit, Virili Media founder Laura Virili gave an informative presentation on just how powerful social tools can be for advisors.

“Imagine standing in a massive stadium full of people,” Virili directed the audience at the Summit and asked, “Who in that crowd represents your ideal prospects?” In today’s digital landscape, Virili pointed out that this question can be answered by leveraging the power of LinkedIn Sales Navigator tools. Savvy advisors looking for leads can easily use LinkedIn to zero in on prospects by taking into account a multitude of factors spanning zip codes to industries and job titles.

Here are her top tips on how advisors can optimize LinkedIn to help grow their client base:

Know the different kinds of LinkedIn Premium accounts.

While you can use a free version of the LinkedIn Sales Navigator, the premium version is significantly more powerful. There are four versions of LinkedIn Premium. Advisors will want to use the LinkedIn Sales Navigator version, as it is specifically designed for sales professionals.

The mobile app and the desktop app serve two very different purposes.

While the Sales Navigator mobile app is useful for quick shots of information, in order to get the most out of LinkedIn, Virili recommends using the desktop version. She explained, “If you’re using the app, be aware that it is a condensed or watered-down version of the system. You can definitely use the app, but think of it as a quick fix; a way to get small pieces of information quickly. For example, if you’re meeting a prospect for coffee and you want to connect with him about his college experience, you can quickly scroll down in the app and look at where he went to school.”

Keep your connections open.

According to Virili, there are two different schools of thought on this issue. The default setting on LinkedIn is “open connections,” enabling your LinkedIn connections to be perused by anyone to whom you are already connected. Many financial advisors prefer to keep their connections private, preventing other advisors from poaching their prospects.

Virili, however, points out that the benefits of keeping your connections open outweigh the risks, saying, “Personally, I think you should keep your connections open. It shows that your work with a lot of centers of influence – you’ve built a robust LinkedIn network, and that’s a great resource to leverage with clients.”

Virili points out that advisors can go a step further and share these social tips with their own clients or even clients’ children who may be job hunting. Encourage them to look through their LinkedIn connections and see if there’s anyone to whom they want a formal introduction.

But, keep your stalking to yourself.

The default setting on LinkedIn is to make you fully visible. That means that every time you look at someone’s profile, that person will be notified. In certain cases, for example, such as if you’re doing heavy-duty prospecting on LinkedIn, you don’t want people to know that you’re looking at them. Going into private mode will make it so that people cannot see when you have checked their profile, but, if you’re using the free version, it also means that you will no longer be able to see who has viewed YOUR profile. Upgrading to the paid version allows you to have your cake and eat it too.

To learn more about the ways HighTower can help advisors optimize their social presence for prospecting, email us at

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