How to use LinkedIn Contacts as a CRM

Last week, I received access to LinkedIn Contacts, the new app designed to bring together all your connections in one place. One of my favorite things about LinkedIn Contacts so far is the opportunity to use it as a customer relationship management (CRM) tool of sorts. Here’s an example:

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See the area circled above? That’s where you can store information, visible only to you, that will help you manage your relationships. You can add…

  • note of any kind–everything from the name of a connection’s spouse to the best time to call him or her.
  • A reminder about an upcoming appointment or date to remember–the connection’s birthday, perhaps, or an upcoming meeting. (One note: I tested this last week and it had a couple serious flaws, like attributing the reminder to the wrong connection and providing no conspicuous prompt to recall the reminder. I think this one’s a work in progress, at best.)
  • Details about how you met, which may come in handy if you want to connect with him or her in the future and need a conversation starter.
  • A tag to categorize the connection. This has existed on LinkedIn for quite some time, but it’s now incorporated into Contacts.

If you’re part of a large organization where multiple people interact with the same person, LinkedIn Contacts won’t likely replace your existing CRM. If you’re a one-person shop, however, or responsible for one-to-one relationships, LinkedIn Contacts might just be a good place to store all those little details that go a long way toward making your relationships even stronger.

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