Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Guest blog by Rob Thomas: “LinkedIn, Networking and Diners?”

guest blogRob Thomas talks the talk, walks the walk, and sips the morning coffee of quality networking.

It’s immediately obvious how likeable he is.

He uses that charisma to help others learn his “Rob Thomas Method™” (gotta love that brand name–see below) of networking and he usually can be found in one diner or another in Southwest Connecticut working his magic and teaching it to others.

After his session, his posts carry a headline: “Do you know {name}? If not you should!” Original.

You should know Rob.

Here he is, guest blogging at you today and joining together LinkedIn, networking and the classic American icon of diners, of course. Thanks Rob!

LinkedIn, Networking and Diners?

You probably know something about LinkedIn and networking, but where do the diners fit in?

First, I am a firm believer in the value of LinkedIn. It not only is the best online tool for making and keeping contacts, it is a turnkey resource for my Rob Thomas Method™ of networking. It’s where I start the process of teaching people to create their own financially rich network.

To begin, the first goal of my method is to use LinkedIn to identify your most valuable contacts. It involves identifying the contacts you know well. They probably include your trusted advisors, vendors and people with whom you have done business or those to whom you have referred business.

Then you categorize them into groups based on whether they:

  1. Have helped you and you have helped or are likely to help
  2. Have helped you or are likely to help you in the future
  3. Have referred you, even if it didn’t turn into business
  4. Have done business with you

I suggest starting with the first group, people with whom you have had mutually beneficial relationships.

Next, you set up face-to-face breakfast, lunch or coffee or meetings with each contact. Here is where diners come together with LinkedIn and networking. I network and advocate networking in diners, because the atmosphere is always relaxed, the wait staff is friendly and the coffee is bottomless. If you are having a meal while networking, there is something on the menu for everyone–even pancakes for those early-morning meetings.

Beginning by meeting with people you know well makes learning the RTM process easy. However, you will be surprised what you don’t know about them!

To start that discovery process you have to do a little pre-meeting research on LinkedIn. You will be amazed when you really look at each person’s profile what you didn’t know about them! Plus, you will discover what you have in common, including mutual connections. Having and using this information in your conversation is what leads to turning contacts into real connections. During your meeting, you also ask specific questions that are part of the RTM process. They will help you determine which people fit into your value network.

As you continue, it is largely a rinse and repeat process, but LinkedIn is always integral in my client’s success.



Rob Thomas, a master of business development and founder of Networking in Diners and Creator of The Rob Thomas Method, turns the adage “It’s not what you know, but who you know,” into a new and actionable process. Rob teaches and coaches business owners and sales people on how to grow business by identifying and building a network of effective relationships

See his website and his LinkedIn profile

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