How to Use LinkedIn to Prepare for a Client Meeting
LinkedIn offers information about members that you can use to prepare for meetings. Say that your initial conversations with your prospects have gone well and you have been granted a meeting with a potential client to make your pitch. Whereas you may have already used LinkedIn to gain more information about the specific person, you can now turn to discovering details about the specific industry, the company, and the company’s potential response to your business pitch.
Here are ways to go about gathering information about the company:
Try to get an informational interview with someone at the target company, preferably with someone you know. Check your LinkedIn network to see whether you have a first- or second-degree contact at the company you’re planning to pitch to. Ask that person to spend some time with you for the purpose of gathering information about the company, and try to get some insights into company priorities and culture.
Also see what you can learn about the company’s top motivation in purchasing decisions — what priorities or issues the company considers before buying something from a vendor.
Visit the LinkedIn Company Profile page to review all the recent company activities. When you look at the Company Profile page, you see sections such as New Hires, Recent Tweets, or Recent Blog Posts. Peruse these sections before your meeting with your potential buyer to find out who has been promoted or hired, the key statistics of that company, open job listings at the company, and even the most popular profiles of employees at that company.
By doing so, you’ll have more background information and therefore more confidence. Also, this type of knowledge helps you identify interests or commonalities to enhance your sense of connection with your buyer.
Use LinkedIn Answers to get advice from the community at large or your network. Search LinkedIn Answers to see whether other people have already asked questions about your target company, or to find out how to approach companies in your industry. If you don’t find anything directly related to what you’re searching for, you can pose a question yourself and see what recommendations you get from other LinkedIn members.
All these efforts are meant only to prepare you and get you closer to your prospect or target company so that you can make your pitch. Obviously, to complete the sale, you still need to have a compelling product, pitch, and offer for this company. Have all that ready before you approach your prospect.