LI_mobile_coffee_smallA colleague sent me a great article from The Economist which shows a very continental view of LinkedIn. Regardless of your nationality, there’s a quote in it about how LinkedIn is a game changer, pervasive in professional business life.

“You can’t walk into a room without everyone having looked everyone else up on LinkedIn.”

Yet so few people I come across use it for this simple purpose.

You’re on your way to a meeting, or the phone rings, do you look up the other party/parties on LinkedIn to see where you have common ground? Mutual friends? Similar backgrounds? Alma mater? Shared passions and interest?

You don’t? Well, you should.

Think of how the walls tumble down when you know you share something with a new, untested colleague, so that conversation flows better and you are more comfortable from the outset. We do put up walls initially and have to sniff them out to get adjusted–that’s a delay in getting to the heart of the matter at hand.

Break the mold-use LinkedIn for your benefit in these situations.

Further, make your profile show “why you” so that once someone looks at your profile, they get a really good snapshot of what makes you do what you do.

That’s a good way to win them over from the beginning of what could be a great business relationship.