With more and more companies looking to generate leads using LinkedIn, I am often asked how to craft the ideal LinkedIn Profile for sales professionals. Because there is a big difference between a LinkedIn profile set up to gain employment, and one set up to connect with prospects.
The truth is the first step in generating leads with LinkedIn is creating a LinkedIn profile which highlights your company and your expertise so you can start attracting clients.
Few social media platforms offer as great an opportunity to increase your exposure to potential clientele as LinkedIn. LinkedIn is the go-to website for companies looking to reach their potential buyers, especially when it comes to B2B sales.
- Using LinkedIn as a Lead Generation Tool for Sales
- LinkedIn Recommendations Mean More Than Endorsements
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Filling in your name on your LinkedIn profile seems pretty self-explanatory. You’re probably thinking: it’s my first and last name, right? Well, yes and no. There are 2 schools of thought on this one, either use your real name or ‘jazz it up’ with icons, emojis and descriptive words:
Tom Abbott or 🎤Tom Abbott🏆 Award Winning Sales Keynote Speaker 🗣
I went overboard on the emojis to prove my point, but you get the idea. Scroll through LinkedIn and you’ll see a variety of examples of how people are ‘jazzing up’ their names.
To be honest, this is one area I’ve experimented with and will continue to experiment with. I’ve done the name and description combo of ‘Tom Abbott – Motivational Speaker and Sales Trainer’ but recently went back to plain old ‘Tom Abbott’ as some schools of thought are that LinkedIn prefers it.
I’ll let you continue to experiment on this one with me but one thing is for sure, emojis sure do stand out!
When creating a LinkedIn profile for sales professionals, your professional headline is one of the most important parts of your profile. This is one of the first things your prospect reads when they visit your profile, and a preview of it shows up in your comments.
With over 575 million profiles on LinkedIn, it takes a compelling headline to stand out. A good headline describes who you are, who you are talking to, and the real-world benefits you can offer. It’s not easy, especially using 120 or fewer characters. But since your headline is so critical to your success on LinkedIn, it is worth the effort to do it right. Here are a few ways to get started:
Proudly proclaim what you can do for others
You may believe the value you provide your customers is clear, but it doesn’t hurt to spell it out directly. Think about what matters to the person reading your LinkedIn headline. The better you know your potential customers, the easier it will be to craft a relevant value proposition. Remember to incorporate your prospect’s pain point. For example, you may want to talk about “reducing costs” or “streamlining operations” in your headline.
Highlight your strengths, but don’t go overboard with self-glorification
Potential clients admire people who are confident in their abilities but are unlikely to tolerate braggarts. Go ahead and mention your achievements, but leave the hyperbole out. You may very well believe you are the best in your field, but it is much more useful to prove it with objective facts than subjective adjectives. Instead of claiming your company is ‘the best choice,’ back it up with facts like ‘voted the #1 solution provider 3 years in a row at X Awards’.
If you don’t feel confident in crafting your own headline, try using one of these ready-to-go templates when creating a LinkedIn profile for sales professionals:
- A [Job Title] Helping [Targeted Customer] [Overcoming Pain Point] : A Recruitment Professional Helping HR Departments Reduce Onboarding Expenses.
- [Job Title] | [A Question Your Prospect is Asking Himself] : Customer Success Representative | Is Your Small Business Data Secure From Hackers?
- [Achievement] [Job Title] [Value] : Award-winning Sales Trainer Ready to Take Your Sales Team to the Next Level
LinkedIn Profile Image
Images are powerful. A good versus bad profile image could be the difference between coming across as nice and approachable or shady and untrustworthy. The first choice is ideal when it comes to sales.
That is why you need to be careful when selecting the image for your LinkedIn profile. Images which make a good impression are:
Up-to-date photos of yourself
Avoid the urge to use your company’s logo as your profile image. The Internet is already an impersonal place; anything you can do to humanize your profile is advantageous.
Also don’t use an image from you wedding 20 years ago, no one is fooled that you still look that way 😉
Keep it professional when creating a LinkedIn profile for sales professionals
You may think that a casual snapshot of you steering your yacht is impressive; it isn’t. The small cost of hiring a photographer to take a few forward-looking smiling headshots with a solid, light background is well worth the expense.
When creating a profile image for the whole team at the company, you could consider uniformity in the image. One example is how many of HubSpot’s employees on LinkedIn use a profile picture set against an orange background. How’s that for branding!
LinkedIn Cover Image for a LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals
Your photo shouldn’t be the only quality image in your profile. Don’t waste your LinkedIn cover image’s prime marketing space on your company logo or a cute picture. Use it to attract attention by visually representing your value proposition. An idea when creating a LinkedIn profile for sales professionals is to use a photo of you with your product or a representation of your service, or you receiving an award. Anything that establishes credibility or gets your message across. Consider hiring a professional designer to integrate several of these elements into 1 image.
Remember, you can use multimedia in the rest of your profile. Not only do images help break up the monotony of blocks of text, but they can occasionally communicate more effectively than words. Adding embedded videos is a great way to allow visitors to see your personality and to delve deeper into a topic.
LinkedIn Summary/About Section
The headline may attract visitors, and images invoke emotions, but the words in your LinkedIn profile summary should be good enough to close a sale. You must not only write persuasively but ensure you are including relevant information. These tips can help:
Write in the first person
Not only is the first person more friendly, but you will find it easier to showcase your unique personality when you use words like “I” and “me.”
Have a specific audience in mind
It may be your profile, but you are actually talking about your potential customers. Mention what matters to your prospects, and show you are sympathetic and understanding of their needs by directly addressing them.
Keep your summary a summary
A short paragraph or two is sufficient in the summary section of a LinkedIn profile for sales professionals. Your goal is to keep the visitor’s attention, prove your credibility by mentioning your past accomplishments, and establish how you can solve prospects’ problems.
Use searchable keywords
Make a list of the words your prospect is most likely to use when searching for a sales representative in your field and include them in your text. Aim for general terms such as “sales” but also include more specific ones like “HR SaaS solutions” to capture particular queries.
Experience Section of a LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals
Much like the LinkedIn About section, your Experience section is where you can highlight your achievements at specific companies. Again, write in the first person and share how you help customers, how passionate you are about your industry and any awards you may have received.
Make sure to include photos of you with happy customers or with your product as well as company videos.
Recommendations section of a LinkedIn profile for Sales Professionals
I’ve intentionally skipped over the ‘Skills and Endorsements’ section of LinkedIn because I believe more effort should be put into recommendations, especially when building a LinkedIn profile for sales professionals.
The Recommendations section is where your customers do the selling for you. As the saying by Jeffrey Gitomer goes, ‘When you talk about your own company, you’re bragging. When your customers talk about your company, it’s proof.’
So please put in the effort, make it a habit to ask your past customers for a LinkedIn recommendation. This is an easy way for you to build your own library of ‘Proof Devices.’ It’s how your prospect can see that they should work with you.
Accomplishments section of a LinkedIn profile for Sales Professionals
The Accomplishments section of your LinkedIn profile is where you should brag. Put in all of the awards you’ve won, all of the organisation you’re a member of, any courses you’ve taken and all of the languages you speak.
Languages are especially important when building your profile to generate leads as this allows prospects who speak different languages see how they can communicate with you.
Pick a URL for Your LinkedIn Profile
Instead of having a boring LinkedIn Profile URL which includes your first and last name and a string of numbers, customise it to be your name only if available or your name and what you do if not.
Customising your LinkedIn Profile URL is easy. Click on the drop-down menu below your small profile picture at the top right then click on the ‘Settings and Privacy’ link. Once inside your settings, click the ‘Edit your public profile’ link. At the top right-hand corner, click on the ‘Edit your custom URL’. Change your URL, and you’re ready to go!
Stay Connected to Learn More About How to Create a LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals
Now that you have set up a Linkedin profile for sales professionals get out there and start connecting. You can connect with me on LinkedIn here. I’m always sharing tips around sales and social selling.
Building A LinkedIn Profile To Generate Leads from Tom Abbott, CSP
LinkedIn Profile Infographic
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