I remember going into my first ever sales meeting with a global engineering firm in central London.  Posh office, huge chandelier and incredible views from the top floor.  

As I walked into the office of the Sales & Marketing Director he said "I've done my research on you" and showed me a printed version of my LinkedIn profile. 

Luckily I had done mine too and the conversation (and subsequent business relationship) started from there.

Planning & Preparing Online

You see, you can learn a lot about a person before you meet them in-person.  

Top social sellers will take time to research, learn and prepare for a meeting or call.  

They'll do their research so they're better prepared, understand their interests and research opportunities for rapport building.  

How To Build Your Sales Insights

This article on LinkedIn talks though some of the aspects you need to focus on before a meeting but it doesn't go so far as to tell you how.  

So here are my top tips for researching your buyer online before your next meeting!

  • Check their profile on LinkedIn.  If an activity box appears they are actively engaging and sharing.  Click on "See More" top open up what they've posted and liked - what are they interested in?  What sources of content are they linking to?
  • On LinkedIn, do you have mutual connections?  Who are you both connected to?  Is this someone that you can mention?
  • Check out their interests on LinkedIn (bottom of their profile) and look into the Groups they belong to.  This might give you some insight into their interests, hobbies and passions.  I met a great connection via a Running Group on LinkedIn!
  • Are they on Twitter?  If so, check what they've been sharing or retweeting.  What are their interests?  Which hashtags do they use?
  • Another top Twitter tip - check out Twitonomy - a free online tool that allows you to dig deep on any Twitter user including the people they most engage with, hashtags most used etc.
  • Search Google for the name and company name - have they written content?  Check out videos for interviews?  Are they speaking at any conferences (Google is where you'll find out!)

So just a few of the tips that we use and cover in our Social Selling workshops that I thought might be useful - any others to share?