Learning to Love LinkedIn Tip #8

9 07 2010

When I worked on-site in a business and market development role for a client in 2008 I had 2 monitors on my desk. The first had Outlook and a browser open with tabs for Salesforce.com, Gmail, and whatever else I was focused on at the time. The other monitor had another open browser with a tab open to LinkedIn all day, every day.

I used LinkedIn to prepare for every conference or cold call I had or made, and just as often I used it to look up someone that had called me, or because I can type with more than two fingers, even as they were calling me if their name came up in the caller ID window.

I saved time and acquired knowledge by doing this, and since time is money and knowledge is power, I highly recommend using LinkedIn to research prospective clients, company executives, vendor reps, folks involved in the hiring process for your next dream job or the people that might be sitting in on your agency’s next pitch meeting.

More often than not, you can get the names of these folks in advance because the person that has invited you wants the meeting to be as successful as possible for all parties involved, so they’ll usually send that info along if you ask for it. Sometimes, if the person setting the meeting or call is truly invested in you or your company’s solution, they will just offer this info up, but other times they wait for YOU to ASK, and if you don’t, it will become a little black mark next to your name or the company you represent. Seriously.

Clearly, doing this type of research (homework!) gives you an edge and enables you to find common ground with an individual or even potential areas of similar interest or future collaboration. And, yes, I even look up new Twitter followers (@sandyjk) via LinkedIn. 🙂

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