I received some interesting news on Monday that should perk up anyone in Social Selling. LinkedIn has taken away the ability to directly search for connections from your 1st-degree connections’ Profiles.

For me, this used to be a pretty big feature. I trained and coached my clients to use it for locating appropriate contacts for their specific goals—networking, sales leads, allied-referral partners and so on. Because you could conduct it directly from a 1st-degree connection’s profile, it was very simple to do.

After you found that particular person or list of people, you would then ask your 1st-degree connection for a referral or introduction (assuming you’ve built a proper, tight relationship with that 1st degree’r, of course).

It’s actually a pretty big deal for anyone using LinkedIn either as a part of a broader Social Selling strategy, or as a big tool in their overall sales toolkit. After all, those who are “in the know” about LinkedIn utilize their relationships to expand their businesses in one form or another, right? If not, they certainly should.

Here’s a Solution

We have designed a way to largely replace this function. It’s not foolproof, but you should be able to utilize it a majority of the time. To fully use it, you’ll need to have some kind of paid membership to LinkedIn. Free members, though, can use much of the technique in this “new way” of doing things.

Rather than detail how to do it with a lot of text and many, many graphics, we’ve produced this video on how to do it:

The biggest take-away from all of this is to make sure you have good relationships with your own 1st-degree connections. Otherwise, this just won’t work for you.

This article first appeared on LinkedIn.