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Scanning the Net for Personal Background Info in Advance of Meeting Them for Business Development the First Time

Woman and a man are talking to each other. Two employees are chatting and discussing the news. Friends conduct a dialogue about their affairs and hobbies. Speech bubble. Vector illustration

I don’t know what others do when going to meet someone for the first time. I bounce through LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter/X, and Instagram. If they’ve built a name I’ll take a peak in ChatGPT.

LinkedIn for the obvious of how they describe themselves, where they’ve worked, where they’ve lived, where they’ve gone to school, what associations they are in or have been a member of and the type of items and insight they share in their writing and social media.

Facebook, instagram and Twitter provide insight on them personally – family, children, personal interests. They also provide insight on their passions, professionally.

What I see not only provides insight on the person, but indicates how they use the internet as a company and personally. Do they leverage the Internet for business development? Are they innovative? Are they known for their niche expertise, if any? Do they write?

Reviewing personal items? Everything starts with relationships. Getting to know and trust each other is key to growing a business and building a personal book of business.

I don’t kick it off by “I see you took the kids to Disneyland last weekend.” I don’t get into discussions about personal items unless the person weaves them into our discussion. People with children rightfully place their children’s interests up front, and look to support their family via business development.

I do take personal items into account when someone discusses where they want to go, professionally, and what they want to achieve, personally. I’ll know what’s important to them and what they care most about. Frankly, those items are more important than the professional work we do.

Sure, I’ll look at the website, but often it’s the last thing I look at. Usually when the person didn’t put their email and phone number in the contact info on LinkedIn.