You may have noticed that your contacts tab in LinkedIn looks a little different recently. This is because LinkedIn has rolled out a relationship tab, which contains some simple CRM tools to help manage our relationships better.
These fields include the ability to put notes, reminders, history and tags against contacts. All the information entered into these fields remains private so only to you can see it.
The relationship tool will also automatically put any LinkedIn email chain history beside the contact. You can also choose to sync your Google, Outlook or Yahoo email and calendar so any information attributed to the contact in the one place. Just think of it like a timeline of all the events and communications you have had with the connection.
Another great field is the notes tab. Here you can add your own personal notes beside each contact, again all this information remains private so you can put down any details about the contact that you would like to remember.
There is a reminder tool so you can schedule actions in the future. For example you might have a contact that you met at a function last week and you would like to make sure that you stay in contact. You can use the reminder tool to set a recurring monthly entry to help you stay in touch.
Because we all meet so many contacts regularly and can sometime forget how we met them, there is a tool which allows you to add all these background details. As an added bonus you can even add the person who referred you to this connection. This is a great way to track referrals and enable you to regularly thank those people who are great connectors.
Finally, the tag tool enables you to tag contacts into categories, and you can set up your own categories. For example you may want to setup tags for clients, prospects, industry influencers or colleagues. This is great way to segment your contacts, so when you open LinkedIn you can select prospects and easily see those people you need to follow up.
As you can see this new LinkedIn relationship tab is great for business development and managing your connections. With the Christmas season now in full swing and new connections are being made at a greater frequency it is the perfect time to make the most out of this tool. It is also opportune to start planning your actions, targets and follow-ups so you hit the ground running in January.