It seems like I learn something new on LinkedIn almost every week!
LinkedIn's People Also Viewed
This week, as I was consulting with a corporate sales team on the best LinkedIn features for finding prospects, I added a new one to the list. It's the People Also Viewed box in the right column of your profile.

This tells you who else people are looking at when they've looked at you -- in other words, probably people who have similar characteristics to you.

Now, LinkedIn doesn't share exactly how it works (other than this interview with a LinkedIn data guy), and you have no control over who appears on your profile. However, you can take it off your profile. More on that later.

So, why is this such a great prospecting tool? Well, if you look at a client's or prospective client's profile and scroll down to People Also Viewed, the list could be a target list of people very similar to the person whose profile you are viewing.

An additional benefit for people who have a free LinkedIn account: If you click the name of someone on that list and that person is three degrees away from you, you will be able to see his/her full profile. Typically you can't look at full profiles of third-degree connections unless you upgrade your account.

Action Steps

1.  Decide whether you want to have People Also Viewed show up on your profile. The default setting will put the list on your profile.

Personally, since I was tired of my competitors showing up on my profile, I unchecked the box. I feel pretty good about my decision because it doesn't stop me from seeing the People Also Viewed list on other people's profiles (unless they've also unchecked the box). And if my competitors haven't unchecked the box, I can still show up in the People Also Viewed list on their profile.

It seems like a no-brainer to me. Click here to learn how to change your setting.

Over time, if more and more people do what I'm suggesting, this feature will become less helpful. But, trust me, LinkedIn will probably change something before we get to that point. Take advantage of it while you can.

2.  Check this list out often on your clients' and prospective clients' profiles, and add some of these names to your master prospect list. And, hey, why not try to connect with the ones you are not connected with using a custom "what's in it for them" invitation message.

For more specific LinkedIn prospecting and business growth features, check out my hugely popular article "Using LinkedIn to Grow Your Business: The 5 C's." And if you're in the Madison, Wisconsin area, join me this Tuesday, November 19, for my class "Using LinkedIn to Generate a Steady Stream of Sales Prospects."