I’ve spoken a couple of times on this blog about how having rich information about business contacts can make a big difference for your business. We thrive on personal relationships, and Rapportive gives you the essential informational grist about your contacts right in Gmail.
Rapportive is a free add-on for Gmail that works in Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. It enables the user to view a broad range of information about a business contact quickly and easily. The content appears in a sidebar, and includes recent Tweets and other social communications as well as the opportunity to follow individuals in Linked In, Facebook, Twitter, and more. You can review this content, understand their professional and personal interests, and build bridges with them by mentioning and understanding all of this rich info.
All this can be rather important because personal connection is such an absolutely critical currency by which to build, strengthen, and cement relationships. We naturally like people better that take an interest in us, and Rapportive makes it far easier to demonstrate that sort of interest in clients and prospects.
Another valuable component of the service is a notes section that works sort of like a contact manager to help you record and store other information relevant to your relationship with this person.
Here’s an intro video featuring a couple of the founders:
The feature set the offering currently provides is very valuable, but its also easy to imagine a number of ways that this product will likely be enhanced as time goes on. I would imagine we’ll see a convergence of the capabilities of a Gist and a Xobni in this offering, though I would also expect some of those components will be premium services.
If your business uses Gmail, as a growing number do, I think you should give this product a whirl. It’s currently free, and the convenience and ready access of information will potentially transform some of your business relationships – for the better! Rapportive is funded in part by Y Combinator, which bodes well for their ability to create a meaningful business model for the future.