10 Common Mistakes Sales People Make on LinkedIn & The Fixes

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Sales people utilize LinkedIn as a lead generation tool and yet I have found 10 common mistakes sales people make on LinkedIn and the fixes that could determine their success.

LinkedIn has morphed into a personal branding platform. A well-done profile should build your credibility, interest and clearly outline who you are, what you do and how you do it

1. You have no phone number or email within your profile that is easy to find.

I recommend you put your contact info in the bottom of your summary and current experience sections. If someone likes what they see in your profile they are more likely to contact you immediately. According to my colleague Scott Plum, President of the Minnesota Sales Institute – If you have a Yahoo or a Gmail address it sends the message that you are not confident enough to invest in your business to get a domain name and email address.

2. You don’t have current recommendations.

New recommendations should be gained yearly to show you are relevant. Recommendations should be requested using the words that describe the results the person or company got working with you. People care about results and find value in the opinions of others who have used your services. People will make buying decisions based on the opinions of others, so this is an important point.

3. LinkedIn Profile is unclear on what you do and the results or problem you solve.

Starting with your headline, followed by your summary and current work experience should clearly state what you do, and the results people can expect working with you. I also encourage people to include why they do it if they can communicate their story well. Your Headline should include 1-2 keywords and help you get found in search.

4. Don’t articulate your differentiator.

I see this so frequently among realtors and people in financial services. How will someone begin to decide if they want to do business with you? Be specific on the niche you serve, how you do it and back it up with great recommendations.

5. Your first impression turns people off!

First impressions online are more important than ever because people will make a decision about you before you get a chance to sell yourself! It starts with a current professional picture. This should go without saying and yet every day I see so many poor photos. Second, the invitation to your network can make or break you. By sending the default invitation with NO personalization can kill the deal before it starts. By taking the time to write a personal note about why you want to connect and if applicable how you might already be connected (by your other connections) this gives the person a real reason to accept your invitation.

6. You don’t send follow up messages.

The invitation is the first step into the door, it is the subsequent emails that will drive the relationship. I encourage sending a thank you when your invitation is accepted. It gives an immediate touchpoint and a chance to ask a question or share some information. In both cases it should be a non-sales approach.

7. You haven’t turned off “Viewers of this profile also viewed” under your privacy settings.

Otherwise, you could be suggesting your competitors to your prospect! Remember, how we do business has changed and often the decision to investigate or buy has been done, the purchaser is simply deciding who to buy from.

8. You have a transactional attitude versus a relational one.

Transactional sales people often hit and run. They are focused on closing the sale at any cost and often are not accountable for follow-up. Sales people who are relational find ways to always be building the relationship first. They are great at follow through and want to keep giving value after the sale is over because they want your referrals and recommendation.

9. You haven’t leveraged groups.

Group activity has been down on LinkedIn but you can still use groups for researching its members and topics. Specifically looks for groups where your ideal prospects might be aligning themselves.

10. You have no clear call to action.

Letting people know where they can get more information, a website, or how to contact you can be included in the summary and in your experience section. Additionally, if you are writing articles on LinkedIn’s publishing platform it is advisable to include a call to action at the end of your article. This could include a link to a downloadable report so you are building your email list with your call to action.

So how are you doing with this list of 10? Find some improvements you can make to improve your sales results?

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JoAnne Funch

Helping business owners and corporate leaders use LinkedIn and relationship building strategies to gain more exposure for their brand so they have more impact, credibility & income.

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