How good are you at business development; no matter how busy you are? You know that today's marketing feeds tomorrows sales. Or the sales of next month, even a year or two from now.

Alternatively, what are you doing when you have quiet periods in your business? Lament or do the right thing and start activities that bring in new clients?

Where can you start to find future sales - outside of your existing clients and advertising?

One of your answers is to use the Advanced Search in LinkedIn. You'll find the Advanced link in text to the right of the top search bar. The LinkedIn search engine can be used to target with precision. It is free - but the number of advanced searches are limited in the free version of LinkedIn (they don't let you know the number).

Advertisement

Once you have your parameters correct - you can save up to three advanced searches and go back to them in the future. Click the gear to the right of the 'save search' to access them. If you are a premium member a list with the new people fitting your search criteria will be emailed to you weekly.

Let's look first at the simple advanced search.

These are the elements you can filter results by:

• First and Last Name
• Keyword
• Current or prior title
• Current or prior position
• School
• Industry
• Location - down to postcode and the distance from that postcode
• Within these search parameters, you can choose to select only from your 1st, 2nd 3rd (and everyone else) connections or group members.

As above you could search for all the current Managing Directors in mechanical or industrial engineering firms that have the word consulting in their profiles that are located within 25 miles of downtown Auckland (postcode1143).

But your results will get even better when you speak Boolean to it. The more refined your search is, the better results you'll get.

Here's how you speak Boolean to LinkedIn (AND, OR, NOT, (), *):

1. Use OR to search for multiple terms. Placing Or between two words will return results with both. You will have found people use different words and abbreviations in their profiles. A business owner might use the words MD, managing director, founder, partner, so use OR to include multiple titles.

MD OR Managing Director Or Partner OR Owner.

2. Use AND to refine your search to include a specific term(s). Putting and between two words will return results that include all terms in your query.

MD OR Managing Director Or Partner OR Owner AND Consulting AND design AND architectural.

3. Use NOT to exclude people from your search. Entering not (or a dash before the word) will remove results that contain the term.

MD OR Managing Director Or Partner OR Owner AND Consulting AND design AND architectural NOT civil

4. ( ): Putting parentheses around words will mean they get searched before the ones outside the parentheses.

MD OR Managing Director Or Partner OR Owner AND (Consulting AND design AND architectural) NOT civil

5. AN Asterisk * Acts as a wildcard and will match any word in the phrase. Therefore if you were looking for any owner so to speak you would put

MD OR Managing Director Or Partner OR Owner of*

By the way - of course these Boolean terms can be used in Google and other search engines.