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A well-designed, intelligent, relevant and regularly maintained LinkedIn profile is a very important tool in the sales industry.
In fact, some errors on LinkedIn can be cost you a lot in a social sales process. With a few clicks, you can establish your credibility, so that potential customers will more quickly accept to unvirtualize your relationship by meeting you.
How can you have an attractive and professional LinkedIn profile to benefit from social selling? By following those 3 steps: plan, build and feed your profile.
Step 1: Plan your profile
Before adding content to your profile, take the time to think about what message you want to convey to your contacts and potential customers.
By identifying the problems that the services or products you represent solve, you will be able to define your target audience much better, i.e. the types of people or industries that are likely to be interested in your offers.
It will then be easier to develop your positioning statement, which is part of the company's sales message. This positioning statement will indicate in particular to which axis of the organization you report, what role you play, what kind of problem you can solve.
I strongly recommend that you add this in the first few lines of the "Summary" section of your profile.
Step 2: Build your profile
Write a status that clearly indicates your role and area of expertise. It will be displayed directly under your name and will be visible at each of your interactions. You can put your positioning statement (example: "I help frustrated business leaders not achieve their sales objectives"), but traditionally, it is your role within the organization that hires you that is included.
Don't just write that you are a "Representative". You have to be precise, for instance say that you are:
- "Forklift representative",
- "Pharmaceutical products representative",
- "Doors and windows representative", etc.
Even the term “representative” is debatable. It may discourage some contacts who will be suspicious of you at the mere sight of the term.
However, there are ways to avoid it while promoting your expertise. Thus, you can instead present yourself as
- "Forklift Expert",
- "Pharmaceutical Specialist" or
- "Passionate about doors and windows."
Be surprising and creative!
The summary closely follows your name and status on your profile. People who sneak into your account very rarely exceed your summary, and few will take the time to click on the small arrow to scroll through it.
Thus, the first 8 to 10 lines have a much higher visibility. Then, since the reader's attention time is very short, you are only granted a few seconds of reading time to interest the prospect in a more sustained way.
Therefore, the first paragraph of your summary is EXTREMELY important. It is in these first lines that you must highlight your positioning statement (which you will have reformulated if you have also put it in your status).
Then, briefly, you can list the services you offer, and then the problems you solve.
Step 3: Feed your profile
It is essential to maintain your profile, keep it active and feed it regularly.
Writing blog articles is recommended, but not necessary.
You can simply like the content of influencers in your community, by clicking on I like. It will appear in your news feed and may be viewed by your subscribers. This way, they will see what your interests are, and will have an idea of how you can help them.
You can let your creativity run wild by broadcasting new content: a status, a 30-second video, etc. If your communications generate interactions, respond to these comments directly, to show your subscribers/connections that a conscientious human being hides behind this virtual profile.
This last step is the most difficult one, since it requires consistency, but it is also the most important.
For salespeople who are looking for new opportunities
If you are unemployed, you can give a completely different orientation to your profile, and instead highlight your achievements and skills.
In your resume, don't just list the positions you have held: clearly describe the tasks you have been assigned and how you have distinguished yourself in this company.
Your passion and consistency could attract a recruiter using LinkedIn to find good candidates.
It is not up to your company's marketing team to create and maintain your LinkedIn profile. It is your responsibility to feed your network, build your credibility and position yourself as an expert in order to facilitate your prospecting on LinkedIn.
I truly hope you will be able to take advantage of the opportunities it offers.
How should Social Selling and LinkedIn fit in your daily activities to reach your targets? Download our free pipeline and sales activity calculator here to figure it out.