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Boost Your LinkedIn Profile for Sales

by on January 14, 2013  

Grow sales with LinkedIn Sales Strategy

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There is a big huge disconnect for many sales professionals and other company employees about the value of their LinkedIn profile and how specifically to make it work for them.

When I talk about how an online document can “work for you” I mean that it is a lot like inbound marketing – it is a way for you to promote your awesome self, your incredible products, services, and company without interacting (yet). It is a professional representation of you to get others interested in wanting to connect.

We are so engrained in the resume value of our LinkedIn profiles – for years that has been all many folks have done with LinkedIn – keep their job skills up-to-date in hopes that an incredible recruiter or two will come along and tell them about the perfect new career. That is so yesterday with LinkedIn – now there is so much more you can do.

We have talked before about creating a great profile. I tell clients that if you do nothing else, make sure you have a professional head shot (or at least a very quality photo of you) and a professional overview of who you are up at all times through your LinkedIn profile.

The “power step” that can really set you apart and help you attract partners and even clients your way is the next step:

Make a Business-focused Summary

Create a business-focused summary about the company you work for. Yep, not all about YOU and all your SKILLS, but the skills, value and differentiators your company brings to the market – right in the summary section of your LinkedIn profile.

This is important for several reasons, but the top two are:

Unless you ARE searching for your next position, you should be focused on the company you work for, not you and your skills. In other words, since all of LinkedIn is searchable, professionals are already on and looking at content, people, tips, and updates. If you share the good work your company is doing by helping other organizations, this becomes interesting and people will see it. People search with search terms on search engines and right in LinkedIn. Your summary can catch someone’s attention.

Who’s Attention Might You Catch?

For starters, your boss and company you work for will appreciate that you are spending time on LinkedIn and that your profile, while all about you, also talks about key company offerings, strengths and differentiators in the market. Consider it a smart move professionally.

Secondly, you could attract the eye of a strategic partner or a great referrer – someone who can refer you to many new customers. See Winning Teammates (get your free download here) if you want to learn more about how to build business through strategic connections – it is very powerful.

So how is your summary looking? Have you maximized it for the current position? Unless you are really looking for the next gig, you owe it to yourself to update the summary, and know that you can always change it . Next we’ll talk about the power of updates.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized as one of the “Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012″ and one of “20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management”. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.

  • Robert Terson

    This was especially poignant for me, Lori because recently Mike O’Neil gently pushed me to completely revamp my LinkedIn presence, including posting a summary; I hadn’t put up a summary prior to that. One of the things that helped me a lot was studying the profiles of those I knew to be LinkedIn savvy.

    • Lori Richardson

      Bob, the summary is such an important area – thanks for mentioning it. Looking at other profiles is a great idea. Thanks for sharing.

  • Jacco

    Lori great article. Big fan – I recently created this for my own sales team at my corporation to build a deeper understanding the power of LinkedIn and provide guidance on how to setup their profiles – there was a bit of RedBull involved in the creation of this :-)

    • Lori Richardson

      Jacco- just saw this and really appreciate you posting the link to the Prezi slideshow – wow. I would buy a case of Redbull if I knew I could create what you did – thanks again, and I will share it with others.

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  • Rob

    I believe the biggest boost comes from changing your headline from your job title to a value statement or a few words that describe what you are providing through your role. If I hadn’t done this I would not have been found by a recruiter for a job I would have never know about.

  • Rob

    with that said …I need to upgrade to a more professional picture :)

  • Bill

    I’d like to argue the opposite. Users shouldn’t make their summary about their company. If someone wants to know more about company ABC, they can just go to the company’s LinkedIn page or website. The reason LinkedIn exists is to market YOU. Not your company.

    Besides, if you work at a high position at a company and state that in your Summary, you might lose a potential job offer. The employer might think you won’t accept, or even be interested in the position simply because of who you work for presently.