I do my homework regarding the company. What is the history / values / timeline / interesting facts / important dates
Then I do research about the person using public channels like LinkedIn or Product Hunt. Where is the person from / what's the background / education / interests
Besides the normal research (LinkedIn / Bio / Background) I look at all of those sites with a specific question in mind "How can I be helpful to this person?" If I can find one way to be helpful, then that typically sets the conversation off to a great start!
Many brought up info-research about the person they're about to meet.
In my case, however, when it comes meeting new people I start with questioning the essence of the meeting. Not individual as such.
The moment I know we're reciprocally valuable I start looking for common touchpoints to bond around.
Lately I've been emphasizing the importance of "communication cues". Those little things that you know / remember about people communication's specifics can make it way easier to understand each other.
If we're talking "pure business", I try to understand their needs on the granular level and how I (company) can fit into their demand.
Hope you find this answer useful 😉
I try to gather complete information about them and set an agenda for the meeting. Official meetings are different than personal chatting. If I am going away from my plan during the meeting, I try to move around pre-set meeting objectives.