Reconnecting with an old client yields a $1M contract – Darrel Rhea, Cheskin

October 9, 2008

Darrel Rhea was a LinkedIn user who wasn't sure how to leverage his professional network on LinkedIn effectively. A quick 10 minutes that he spent importing his Outlook contacts to LinkedIn yielded a chance encounter with a former client. One thing led to the other, yada, yada, yada and before he knew it he had signed off on a $1M project with his client.

Within the first week, a former client responded and we connected. Out of that came a $1 million consulting contract, just because we were able to connect and remember each others' competencies and what each other were doing.

The value of your online professional network increases exponentially with the number of your real world connections that you populate it with. The more closely your online network reflects your real world network, the better are your chances of finding that million dollar client.

I think that was the first big Aha moment for me. It [LinkedIn] is just a way of expressing and valuing those relationships that will ultimately pay off in your career and pay off in your business.

And, the best part of the story was how effortless it was. As Darrel concludes (see video below):

That was a pretty good Return on Investment, probably the ten minutes it took me to make those invitations!

LinkedIn User Snapshot

Who: Darrel Rhea, CEO at Cheskin Added Value

How: For those of you eager to replicate Darrel's success, look no further than LinkedIn's Webmail importer. Not only can you import your contacts from Outlook's email client, but also check out the ability to bring in your contacts from webmail clients such as Yahoo! Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail, and AOL Mail.

LinkedIn Tip from Darrel

Bring your real world professional network to LinkedIn through the Webmail importer

LinkedIn Webmail importer

Additional tips (Source: LinkedIn's Learning Center):

A robust summary and career history fill your profile with keywords that help people find you when searching LinkedIn

Expand your network to accurately reflect the people you know and may do business with

Research companies on LinkedIn to find out who you may know as an entrée to new business

Check out the Learning Center to learn more about using LinkedIn