I spend a lot of time on LinkedIn looking at people’s profiles. I think they’re a gold mine of information for savvy sales professionals who wants to learn as much they can about their prospects before contacting them. And, the best thing about these profiles is that they’re self-created. Many of your prospects are sharing invaluable information about themselves on LinkedIn.
Let me tell you specifically what I’m looking for.
1. How their job performance is measured: I start by checking out how they describe their current job. I’m especially interested in what they’re responsible for and how they describe it. I’m looking for any indication of how their performance might be measured as well as their recent accomplishments. I also want to know how long they’ve been in this position and even, with the company.
2. Opportunities for a personal connection: Then, I scan their previous job history so I understand their career path. And, in doing that I’m also trying to find out if they say anything that will allow me to have a more personal connection with them.
3. Potential for a referral: Speaking of connections, I always want to see if there’s an easy way for me to connect with them through a LinkedIn introduction.
4. Things in common: Next I’ll check out the groups they belong to – and maybe, even one or two so that we have something in common.
5. What's important to them now: Finally, I’ll look to see if they have any recent updates or comments. I want to know what’s important to them and what they’re talking about right now.
Then, using all this information, I can decide if they’re the right person to talk with. I can determine the best way to position my services. And, I can make a decision about how to best contact them.