According to data in the State of Inbound Sales report, social selling might be more hype than reality at this point. But the burgeoning ideas of today often become the best practices of tomorrow. Sales leaders who’d rather be ahead of the curve than chasing it would be smart to start systematizing the practice in their sales forces.
I recently visited the LinkedIn profiles of a client’s sales team — to say that these profiles needed “tweaking” would be kind. As your organization becomes more “inboundy”, it makes sense to check the LinkedIn profiles of your sales team to make sure every one is up-to-date and focused on what the sales person brings to the client.
If you’re a salesperson, and your audience is checking out your LinkedIn profile, you should begin by revamping it. Just as you’re researching potential buyers on LinkedIn to learn more about them, they’re looking at your profile to judge if they’d like to do business with you. Don’t ruin great messaging and positive interactions with an outdated, sparse, or inappropriate profile.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile for your target buyer
A good question to ask yourself while working on your profile is “would my target buyer care about this?” If the answer is no, it should probably be scrapped.
Here are seven steps to give your LinkedIn profile a social selling facelift:
- Have a current, hi-res picture. According to LinkedIn, profiles with pictures get a 40% InMail response rate.
- Make your headline a mini value proposition. Don’t just use your title. . . add the answers to these two questions in your headline: Who do you help, and how do you help them?
- Write a 3X3 summary — three paragraphs with three or fewer sentences each. Reiterate your value proposition in the first, and provide some social proof of how you help clients achieve results in the second. Include a concise call to action in the last that explains why and how a buyer should reach out to you.
- Post a few pieces of visual content that will be helpful to your buyer.
- Write the experience section with an emphasis on how you enabled customers to improve their businesses — not how many times or by how much you exceeded quota.
- Seek recommendations from customers to increase your credibility.
- Join groups that your buyers are in.
What should your LinkedIn profile look like?
HubSpot has put together an infographic that breaks down a social selling LinkedIn profile, section by section. (See the bonus tip at the bottom about sharing content on LinkedIn.)
LinkedIn profileInfographic courtesy of HubSpot.
Share at least four to six pieces of content per day on LinkedIn
According to HubSpot’s research, people who consistently share content get 2-3x the number of unsolicited profile views.
Considering that salespeople rarely blog or create their own content, what should they be sharing? Articles of interest to their target audience. As long as it falls into that category, both internally- and externally-produced content is fair game.
However, third party articles make you look more credible and less self-serving. Strive to strike a balance.
Spend at least 20 to 30 minutes per day looking through your feed for content. If you see an article that is sure to grab your prospects’ attention, click “share” — it’s as simple as that.