LinkedIn has just added a nifty contacts tool. It allows the user to include information about the contact including how you met, (context is always good) any notes, and reminders for follow up. (I don’t know about you, but the older I get, the more faulty my memory is with these details. It’s helpful to have some kind of reference.) Since so many of us are in the role of reluctant sales people, this is the kinds of nudge that can really be helpful in relationship development. People who are really working the sales and development angle use these sorts of tools all the time. This integrates the lead generation and follow up work right into your business social network.
It might look like just another task to manage in your online profile, but the long term benefits of strategically using these tools cannot be ignored. Take a look at some of the best profiles in your network and I bet if you ask those individuals about what they get out of using LinkedIn, you’ll be swayed.