Way to go! You finally got that meeting or phone call set up with a person you’ve been looking forward to talking with. Whether it’s a sales call, job interview, donor information session, or just a casual coffee with someone who might be able to help you, you’ve taken the first step.
But how can you best prepare for this important meeting? 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.
**Note: You may not be able to do some of these steps on the LinkedIn mobile app.
10 tips to discover golden nuggets of information
In just a few short minutes, you will be able to get a pretty good idea about who this person is and what’s important to him/her–and you’re sure to find an icebreaker topic or two as well.
1. Summary. After reading this, you may know precisely what other sections you will want to concentrate on.
2. 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.
3. Review their uploaded media 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.
4. 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.
5. 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 of your upcoming meetings with strangers. Perhaps they won’t be quite as “strange” after you’re done checking them out!