Nearly every sales professional is on LinkedIn, but not all LinkedIn profiles are created equal. Social selling is an incredibly powerful tool for sales reps, but only if you have a well-written and captivating profile. Following these LinkedIn profile tips could be the difference between a prospect immediately answering your email or InMail, and the same prospect completely ignoring you.
An effective sales rep profile on LinkedIn should be focused on attracting new prospects, keeping their attention and proving your credibility. Take these LinkedIn profile tips from this prime example of a great profile that you can emulate in order to get the best possible sales results from the social network.
Always Think About Potential Prospects
It’s not enough to just have a short description of your job and title on sales LinkedIn profile. You need to think strategically about your summary description and headline specifically, since it’s the first thing anyone will read when they visit your profile. So consider, what would your target customer be most interested in reading? A great summary is a clear description of not just who you are and what you do, but should also makes prospects want to talk to you. In Heather’s LinkedIn sales summary example below, you can see that she makes big promises to prospects.
Heather says she always provides value to her customers and is focused on building quality relationships, which is very appealing to prospects who might eventually become customers. She also notes that she has 11 years of experience, positioning herself as an expert in the field. Most importantly, Heather promises to be prepared and keeps things simple, which will appease any prospects who may be concerned about her wasting their valuable time with a disorganized or lengthy sales pitch.
Don’t be afraid to include very specific information in your LinkedIn profile, about your company and your position. By including these details, your profile can help you to qualify any leads that hit your page. In her profile, Heather includes a description of her current role at InsightSquared, describing both the sales mission and the powerful value proposition of the company. Here, prospects get a quick idea of why they should be interested in talking to her.
Heather specifically calls out small- or midsized- businesses as the customers that get the most value out of the product she’s selling. If someone from a larger businesses reads this, they might disqualify themselves and won’t return her message. However, prospects that fit her company’s ideal profile will be intrigued and want to learn more. Some reps might be afraid of chasing some prospects away, but this actually helps Heather. Her LinkedIn profile is actually qualifying the leads she’s reaching out to before she speaks to them. Prospects will self-select to fit her ideal customer profile, saving Heather time and effort.
Many sales reps have a tendency to set up a profile on LinkedIn, and then not touch it for weeks or even months. However, the key to success on LinkedIn is to remain active and get involved in a variety of communities and groups online. Join your college alumni group, a sales-specific group, or an industry group and then post and share articles and comments that are relevant to that audience. Much like networking in person, LinkedIn is all about the amount of effort that you put into it.
Here you can see that Heather is part of a large number of groups, including Boston Sales Careers, Alliances and Channels, and Alumni of Northeastern. She also follow some powerful sales influencers like Jack Welch, and reads his posts regularly. By modeling her activity after these powerful influencers, she can start to increase her reach on LinkedIn. She posts interesting articles and blogs in these sales groups at least once a week. Occasionally, a blog will catch the eye of a prospect and she’s able to attract new business, instead of having to constantly seek it out.
Endorsements and recommendations are a part of LinkedIn for a reason – they offer other people a chance to show off their qualifications and skills. How many endorsements do you have on your profile? A great profile like Heather’s has a high number of endorsements for individual skills as well as a few personal, written recommendations from supervisors. This gives her more credibility and positions her as an expert in the world of sales.
If you imagine a prospect reaching Heather’s page, they’ll notice that she’s well-respected by her peers and skilled at her job, simply by glancing at the endorsements on her profile. This section is really all about building up your credibility in the eyes of a new prospect – they’ll be more likely to trust someone with more than a hundred endorsements, than they would someone with just a few. Reach out to your peers and endorse friends and coworkers for skills, and they’ll usually return the favor. However, be aware of which endorsements you’re accepting – you can be endorsed for any skill, even silly skills like snacking or punching. But if you start building and improving your reputation online, you’ll gain more trust from prospects as well.
It’s never too late to start improving your presence on LinkedIn, and a strong profile isn’t too difficult to achieve. Take some time to re-write your summary, your experience, and your job description from a prospect-centric mentality. Join some groups, get active by sharing content, and connect with peers to build up your reputation. With a stronger LinkedIn profile, you’ll find it’s easier to have quality sales conversations with the prospects you find online.