To your prospects, you don’t exist. You’re nobody. They’ve never even heard of you. So, if they were to go to your company’s website, would they get a sense of your personal expertise and the value you could bring them?
Probably not — and, that’s a real problem. Recent research by The Corporate Executive Board shows that when it comes to winning new business, you are more important than your products/services. What prospects really care about is working with a knowledgeable person who can help them achieve their business objectives.
LinkedIn provides one of the best ways for you to show prospects that you can be an invaluable asset. Yet, in my “2013 Sales & LinkedIn Survey,” 41.3 percent of top performers rated their LinkedIn profile as decent or better, compared to only 15.1 percent of other respondents. That’s a substantial difference — and one that can be swiftly and easily corrected.
Here are three ways to build a LinkedIn profile to boost your sales credibility:
1. Create a strong, customer-centric LinkedIn summary. Create a summary that highlights the value you bring to your clients and makes you sound like a person worth meeting.
2. Add statistics. If you have good data from your customers, use it. For example, on my LinkedIn profile, I state, “With one client, 87 percent of reps landed pivotal initial meetings with large corporate accounts within just 60 days.” It’s a fact, and it helps my prospects know what kind of results they’ll get by working with me.
If you don’t have client statistics, don’t fret. You can always use industry statistics. In my situation, I could say “With recent research showing that buyers don’t contact vendors until 60 percent of the way through their decision process, it’s imperative that your salespeople get into conversations much earlier.” Statistics such as these add credibility, and they show that you know the challenges your prospects are facing.
3. Get endorsements. You probably think those pesky endorsements are a pain in the neck, but your prospects don’t. They’ll look them over and see how others are evaluating you. Start with people who know you well. Maybe you could suggest an endorsement trade with some of them. But before you do that make sure you know which skills/expertise are most important to your prospects.
Of course, you can leave your endorsements to chance, but that virtually guarantees that you won’t be thrilled with the results.
The key to success? It’s a strong professional presence on LinkedIn that supports both your online and offline sales initiatives. Start improving your LinkedIn profile today.
Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:
- LinkedIn: Answers vs. Groups
- Help your clients recommend you on LinkedIn
- Tips to speed up your client testimonial process
Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.