A long time friend and colleague of mine is interviewing – so what does he do? First he finds out who he will be interviewing with, then he heads to Linkedin to prepare. Using the search features, he locates the people he’ll be interviewing with. Since he upgraded, he can now see full profiles of people he is not linked to, allowing him to learn about their backgrounds, expertise, favorite books, and perhaps hobbies and interests. Then going on to advanced searches, with his upgrade in hand, he can search for other titles within the company, learning more about the organization, who he might want to know more about during the interview process, and perhaps some of the people he knows, who are linked to people he’ll be meeting with. From there, a few emails or phone calls may give him the insider advantage. How about sales?
Are you leveraging this tool before going out on sales calls? It’s no different than my colleagues interview – he’s on a sales call just like you. As I connect with different people I am finding many sales people are not keeping up their profiles, adding contacts, and doing everything they can to research upcoming meetings, while also creating an attractive profile for themselves online. Two things you must do: Prepare for sales calls using the advanced features of LinkedIn, doing everything you can to learn about the people you will be meeting with. Secondly, make sure you are up to date and attractive – assume those you are meeting with are checking you out online. If you don’t have a great picture, get one. Meeting someone with a face in mind makes a difference too.
© David Stelzl, 2010