LinkedIn is a wonderful resource for anyone with a B2B relationship and specifically a selling relationship. As a person with many personal connections I have the opportunity to research more about my peers, prospects, or clients, and I have the opportunity to showcase my talents and priceless recommendations.
My frustration with LinkedIn is the lack of quality content I see on many profiles. Therefore, I put together three helpful tips I use to fill any holes and maximize all the social network has to offer.
Tip 1 – Have a Complete Profile. I’ll keep this one extremely simple. If you don’t have a LinkedIn profile and your income relies on relationships, get your butt in front of a computer. Invest 30 minutes to get your profile up and running. NOW. If you love video tutorials here is a helpful one on setting up a LinkedIn profile from Tracy Repchuk.
If you do have an existing profile I suggest getting the profile up to speed with accurate info and a great description of your skills and passions.
Tip 2 – Ask for Recommendations. This tip is one I consider to be widely underutilized by account people. There are typically two main reasons I find why there are either very few or no recommendations on a profile.
The first is fear. Fear of asking a client for a recommendation. You’ll notice I specifically said client and not: buddy, friend, spouse, or relative. I’m not interested in your buddy Ted who works in accounting recommending you because you two share beers on Friday night. I’m interested in a client who invests money with you. Future clients will use this as they asses risk of investing time, energy, and money with your firm and more importantly you.
The second and extremely sad reason could be a brutal truth. Your work doesn’t warrant a recommendation. If this doesn’t get you fired up I’m not sure what will. You’re following this blog and reading this post because you’re committed to getting better. Use some of the other teachings in this blog (Saturday Text & The Power of an Agenda) to make an impact in your client’s business right away. You’ll feel great reading the words of your first recommendation. Embrace the challenge.
Lets take a turn away from negative town and look at what happens when we’ve “earned” the right to ask for a recommendation. Earned is important contextually. I don’t recommend “begging” for a recommendation.
Let us look at what success should look like. You’re doing great work, producing results, taking care of your client, and you have a strong client relationship. Asking for the recommendation is digital payoff to the time and effort you’ve invested in the relationship. Make the ask and please make it sincere. Do not use the lame context provided to you from the good folks at LinkedIn. Reference a recent accomplishment or pat on the back the client gave you. It will add relevancy and likelihood the recommendation will be written and written well.
I’m extremely visual so it’s time to put my money where my mouth is. Here are a couple of my own personal recommendations I’ve earned over the years. If you want to read more I invite you to visit my LinkedIn profile. These will lead nicely into the third tip.
Tip 3 – Utilize Your Recommendation(s). You’ve done the hard work, you made the ask, and you received a wonderfully written recommendation. BOOM!!! A touchdown dance is in order. A personal favorite is a nice heel-kicker to celebrate.
In all seriousness, think about the magnitude of what just happen. Someone out there seems to think you or your team is a big asset to their operation. Now who might want to see such a thing…?
How about every prospect you speak with in the next 5 years!
It certainly isn’t the first thing I’d showcase when pitching a solution, but if account service or referrals are ever asked for, you can be johnny on the spot with personal recommendations. Each recommendations comes custom made with a story of: who is the client, what was their challenge, and how you/your team helped the client specifically achieve their objective? There couldn’t be a better setup to tell a story.
ACTION ITEM: Make use of at least one of the three tips below. I don’t care if you’re starting on #1 or #3, just start today! In the next 90 days commit to getting through point #3.
- Ensure you have a complete profile
- Ask for recommendations (earn the right)
- Utilize recommendations