You don’t exist to your prospects. You’re nobody. They’ve never heard of you. If they went to your company’s website, could they get a sense of your personal expertise and the value you could bring them?
Probably not. And, that’s a real issue! Recent research by CEB shows that YOU are more important than your products/services in getting the business.
What prospects really care about today 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 recent 2013 Sales & LinkedIn Survey, 41.3% of top performers rated their LinkedIn profile as decent or better, compared to only 15.1% of all other respondents. That’s a substantial difference – and one that can immediately be corrected.
Here are three ways to build a LinkedIn profile that boosts 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. (Watch my video blog: Examples of a Good LinkedIn Summary).
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% of reps landed pivotal initial meetings with large corporate accounts within just 60 days." It's a fact. And, it helps my prospect know what kind of results they'll get from working with me.
But 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 till 60% of the way through their decision process, it's imperative -- but tough -- for your salespeople to get into conversations much earlier."
Statistics like that add credibility. They show you know the challenges they're 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. Suggest you trade endorsements. Before you do that, make sure you know which skills or expertise is 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? Having a strong professional presence on LinkedIn that supports both your online and offline sales initiatives. Start improving your LinkedIn profile today. It's entirely within your control.