Researching people on LinkedIn isn't weird - that's the point

Monday, November 18, 2019

Ahead of an initial meeting with (i) new prospects or (ii) new members of an existing client's team, we all should be doing prep work, including looking-up those new contacts on LinkedIn.

  

Often it's just for general background info, but sometimes you discover you’re a 2nd degree / share a connection, which can be hugely helpful in building that new relationship – (assuming it's a real connection, not a recruiter from 18 months ago, etc.).

  

Yet for some reason lots of people feel it's creepy or weird to mention the common connection because it implies you looked-up the person on LinkedIn ahead of time.

  

It's only weird if you make it weird – (this isn’t LinkedIn creeping ahead of a first date).

  

It's assumed that a diligent professional would do that type of pre-meeting prep.

  

That said, it makes sense to wait until the end of the meeting to mention it, once you've built a bit of rapport, but you should certainly make the common connection explicitly known.

  

As the meeting is ending, float a quick, "Hey, by the way, ahead of the meeting I looked-up your profile on LinkedIn, and noticed you're also connected to Person X. How do you know them?" etc.

  

It's not weird, and can go a long way in creating a real connection with the person.

  

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I'm a lifelong learner, and I enjoy thinking about and discussing markets, business ideas and economics. 

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