The Giant Mistake You’re Making on LinkedIn

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Leslie Ye
Leslie Ye





If you’re a sales rep, you’re probably on LinkedIn. (If you don’t, drop everything and go create a social selling-optimized LinkedIn profile right now.)

Take a closer look at your profile. If you’re like most people, it’ll include your job history, educational background, and your professional achievements.

But you’re not most people. You’re a salesperson -- which means your LinkedIn serves a different purpose than anybody else’s.

In the course of my job, I’ve probably seen 1,000 salespeople’s LinkedIn profile. They’re B2B and B2C reps, sell in and to dozens of different industries, and work all over the world. And the vast majority of them make the same giant mistake: Their LinkedIn profiles are built for recruiters, not prospects.

Think about it. You’ve probably seen hundreds of profiles of top reps that look like this:

Company #1

  • Identify and secure meetings with prospects to create net new opportunities
  • Top rep in segment for three of last four quarters
  • Qualified for President’s Club three years in a row
  • Achieved 204% of quota for 2015

These are impressive numbers, and you should absolutely include them when you’re looking for a job, because these are the numbers sales recruiters care about. But your prospects don’t.

They want to know what you’re going to do for them, and summing up your sales performance over the last year doesn’t tell them anything about that. It only lets them know that you’re very good at getting deals across the finish line -- which not only doesn’t help their situation, could create the impression you’re a ruthless, untrustworthy shark.

But you’re not (we hope). You’re an effective salesperson, but your primary job function is not to broadcast your achievements in terms of dollars and cents. It’s to demonstrate how you can help prospects achieve their goals and reach a better situation.

Rewrite your LinkedIn profile to highlight your sales success as it relates to your buyers. They want to hear about the other customers you’ve helped, the expertise you have in your industry (or theirs, if your product serves a specific industry), and what exactly you’ll be able to do for them.

Here’s an example of how a HubSpot rep could rewrite her profile from a description that sounds like the one above to one that would be helpful to prospects:

I help companies adopt the inbound methodology to transform their online presence into a consistent source of inbound prospects and revenue. I work with marketers in <industry or vertical> to identify and improve upon the weak spots in their marketing strategy and help them attract new customers.

My customers have achieved:

  • X average ROI within Y months of adopting HubSpot
  • X average increase in new customers
  • X average increase in inbound lead flow

If you’re interested in a free consultation to explore new marketing strategies, you can reach out to me via <email> or <number>.

The difference between this description and the first one is that in the second, the sales rep demonstrates exactly what kind of value she can provide in a sales conversation. She outlines how she helps prospects achieve their marketing goals, and shows the results her customers have achieved using HubSpot.

This rep is putting her buyers first. She knows that buyers research their sales reps on LinkedIn, and she’s providing them useful information when they do.

Write your LinkedIn profile the same way. Be helpful to your prospects before they ever even meet you, and it will be easier for you to demonstrate why you -- and your product -- are the best for the job.

HubSpot CRM

Topics: Social Selling

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