How to Use LinkedIn to Build Relationships and Track Prospects
Have you ever wondered how many of your connections are clients, referral sources, or potential clients?
- Do you forget to send follow up emails to some of your prospects and referral sources?
- Perhaps you regularly lose the notes that you have collected on your prospects?
- Have you ever wished you remembered how you met a particular prospect and who introduced you?
If any of these situations are true for you, then you would find great value from LinkedIn’s built in organizational tool, the Relationship Tab, available to both free and paid members. Even if you are just getting started with LinkedIn, these are great tools to know how to use. And the larger your network grows, the more valuable you will find this feature to help you keep organized and stay on top of your networking and lead generation efforts.
This feature also allows you to save and record information on contacts in your network that you are not yet connected to (2nd, 3rd, and group connections). The benefit of this is that you can create a list of potential prospects that you would like to connect with, record information that you want to keep handy about them, and then track your efforts to connect with them.
BTW, you don’t need to worry about the information that you keep in this feature: it is all private, so no one else will see what you’ve written.
So let’s get started.
- Just below a member’s image and headline is the Relationship and Contact Infobox.
- The Contact Info tab is a quick look at that person’s email and other social profiles they’ve shared.
- The Relationship tab is where you’ll find the real functionality. You can see a timeline of your association (including the date you connected), as well as conversations you’ve had on LinkedIn or Gmail (if you have set up this sync feature.) You can also add notes, set a reminder to follow up, record how you met and assign a tag to the person.
- If you are connected to the person, you will see the date that you Connected to them. If you are not connected yet, it will show the date you Saved as contact.
Steps to Organize Your Prospects & Build Relationships
This section is where you can add any relevant information (personal or professional) about a contact that you might need to know or want to know in the future.
As you build your network and gain an increasingly number of connections, it can be hard to remember when you should follow up with your connections. You can set reminders for 1 day, 1 week or 1 month.
You can also set recurring reminders for every week, every month, every 3 months, every 6 months or a custom range. This is perfect to help you stay top of mind with your prospects and referral sources, by making sure that you stay in contact on a regular basis.
3. How You Met
It can be helpful to record how you met, particularly if it was through a person you know or at an event.
One of the most helpful features of the Relationship Tab is the ability to Tag your connections. Every single time you connect with a person, you should tag them and put them in a specific tagged group, based on who they are. For example, are they a prospect, a referral source, or an existing client?
You can then, under Connections, select contacts by Tag and send them a message or produce a list.
LinkedIn makes it easy to keep track of your conversations with your connections in the Relationship tab. In this tab, you will find all the messages and conversations you’ve had with a connection. If you have LinkedIn synced with Gmail, you will also see all Gmail emails and calendar events.
Simply click on the message you want to see and it will pop up on to the screen.
If you have all of your contacts organized and tagged, keeping track of who you connect or engage with becomes easy to manage. This will allow you to stay focused on achieving your goal for each relationship. Maybe a great goal for 2015 is to start using this great feature.
I am co-owner of CPN Legal a company whose mission is to help solo and small-firm lawyers build better businesses. I am active in the ABA GPSolo Division, where I head up the technology committee and am vice-chair of the national conference committee. Follow me on Twitter @PeggyGruenke.
GPSolo Technology Committee, Chair
GPSolo National Solo & Small Firm Conference Committee, Vice Chair
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