Getting started with CRM can be difficult- how to build a lead base quickly can be the most difficult task for any new sales person. However, if they’ve got a personal network, especially using LinkedIn, importing your contacts is easy peasy with this tip:
Export your LinkedIn contacts
You can easily transfer from contacts from LinkedIn to another service by visiting this page: http://www.linkedin.com/addressBookExport and selecting from the available options. You can save your address book in one of several spreadsheet formats tailor-made for Outlook or Yahoo! Mail or as a VCF file which is compatible with a Mac OS Address Book.
You can also export your Outlook contacts that way as well. Unfortunately the Apple Address book doesn’t easily spit out CSV- only VCF files. Our CRM of choice, the open source vTigerCRM, doesn’t have a really great vCard import capability (best trick- import to Gmail contacts- then export).
The only downfall with LinkedIn is most people don’t have complete contact info available- you are lucky to get name, company, title, and e-mail address at most. However, that’s when you set up a mass-mailing to direct them to a portal contact update page to fill in the rest of the data you need- these are your business associates after all.
Update: Linkedin was bought by Microsoft and they disabled the email downloads. “Your data is yours” as far as who your contacts are, and where they may be working, but, their email is LinkedIns. See this page on how to get what’s left of what they will let you see: https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/66844/exporting-connections-from-linkedin?lang=en