The get-to-know-you call with the newest member in my networking group did not start well at all. Before the call’s designated time, I had already perused her resume-y LinkedIn profile and had some collaborative ideas and observations, to be offered if asked.

Right away she led the chat (OK, someone had to) and jumped in by asking me what type of work I do–oh boy–I knew this was not going to be fun.

She had not taken a few seconds to review my background or LinkedIn profile. But wait, she offered to meet me and she scheduled the zoom chat. If I had the time, she should have too, it just takes a few seconds to quickly read and absorb the field of work we are both in. From there, who knows where we could go?

Start a healthy habit of researching those you come in contact with. This is so easily accomplished by searching them on LinkedIn, reading their profile, and finding common ground. And it takes next to no time!

So I suggest here, my dear reader, before you attend educational sessions or agree to zoom or meet someone, take the time to do your homework and learn what they offer, and better appreciate their “why they do what they do” in their own words, on their LinkedIn profile.

How else, and where else can you so quickly gain a respect for their credentialing to teach you something new? Or find whom you know in common? Or what they have published, or observe the tenor of what they comment on in LinkedIn, or have been awarded by peers, or where they teach, or where they worked before, etc.?

All to find common ground. Then the conversation springboards from there.

Do your homework. Sprinkle in your new knowledge about them in the conversation. They will appreciate your thoughfulness and effort.

Approaching a networking target ice cold is often not a harbinger of a warm relationship to be formed in the future.