Posted by: waynebreitbarth | March 9, 2014

Got a Meeting? Take These LinkedIn Steps Before You Go

Congratulations! You finally got that meeting or phone call set up with a person you’ve been looking forward to talking with. It could be a sales call, job interview, donor information session, or just a casual coffee with someone that you hope will lead to good things down the road.
 
But what do you do next? Easy peasy. 

Go straight to the person’s LinkedIn profile. It’s a virtual goldmine of  insights about him/her.
 
And knowing this information will significantly increase your odds of getting the results you’re seeking.

10 Tips to Discover Golden Nuggets of Information

1.  Summary.  After reading this, you may know precisely what other sections you will want to concentrate on.

2.  How You’re Connected.  These are the friends you have in common. You may even want to get ahold of one or two of them to get the scoop on this person.

3.  In Common With.  Scroll over each circle to see what you have in common. This can include past employers, location, schools, groups, interests, etc. It’s a great place to find bits of information to break the ice when meeting someone. 

4.  Professional Gallery items.  Watching a video they’re in, reading a document they wrote, viewing a slideshow they prepared, etc. can really give you insights into who they are and what’s important to them.

5.  Recommendations.  Read a few they’ve received and also some they wrote for others. This is priceless information. You’ll gain great insights into what they think is important and what others think about them.

6.  Education.  If you find a fellow alumnus here, it’s usually a home run.

7.  Groups.  By scrolling through the full list of the person’s LinkedIn groups, you can really get a feel for their personal and professional interests.
 
8.  Interests.  In this section the person lays out on a golden platter what he/she is most passionate about. These are perfect conversation starters.
 
9.  Volunteer Experience & Causes.  This may give you even more insight into where someone’s heart is. Don’t be afraid to mention this in your discussion with the person. People usually love to talk about the organizations they support.

10.  Experience.  Look for companies, careers, etc. that you have in common and thus can leverage when starting a new relationship. You may also find significant volunteer experiences listed here that are great conversation starters.
 
You may want to keep this list handy and use it as a checklist for all your upcoming meetings with strangers. Perhaps they won’t be quite as “strange” after you’re done checking them out!
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