Salespeople want to be found on LinkedIn. Sales managers want clients to find them on LinkedIn. It’s that simple. Millions of professionals use LinkedIn for prospecting, thought leadership and engagement, with the hopes of piquing the interest of a prospective client.
Clearly, sales people are always looking for clients and sales but sometimes the client comes to you because your profile resonates with them. Why are some profiles magnets for clients and others scare them away? If you engage someone in the C-suite, an influencer, or a future client on LinkedIn and your profile is average at best, will you get their attention? Does your profile reflect YOUR skills or does it demonstrate that you can help with the problem they need to solve?
Skills on LinkedIn are search terms that your clients may be looking for. Do you have the skill set to attract those customers? The average sale today involves five or more people. Is one of your skills cross-functional problem solving or multi-level communications? Are you in sales or consultative selling; in other words, are you solution selling? 89% of buyers turn away from the sales person if they don’t have the right insights or knowledge about their business so you want to be sure your profile clearly demonstrates your comprehensive knowledge.
The easiest way to find skills is to search your competition. That’s right, when you do a search for the term “sales” on LinkedIn search box the results are the best profiles for that (skill) search term. Who are the sales leaders in your company? Look at their profiles and the competition to see what skills people in your industry have on their profile.
Note: Remember that when you visit profiles, they can see that you have visited. That may or may not be an issue for you, but if it is, you can change your profile to Anonymous. When you do that, however, you’ll lose visibility to those who have visited YOUR profile and you’ll ‘start over’ when you return your profile to Public.
Which skills to add to your profile? When you are searching for skills for your profile, don’t select the first skills you see. Be strategic: Don’t just select marketing; ask yourself which skills are your customers looking for. Is it online marketing, social media marketing, digital or email marketing that people need? When you are searching in the skills box, the dropdown will give you a list of skills and that list is in numerical order of number of searches. Aim for the skills that you have that are highest on the list since they are searched most often.
Where to add the skills to have the best search results. On your LinkedIn profile, the most optimized and highly searched areas start with your HEADLINE. Your headline should not be your job title and company name; you already have that in your experience section. Your headline should include at least three skills, tell people what you do (include a skill), who you help (include a skill), and how you help them (include a skill or two). Then strategically add skills at the beginning of your summary, and at the beginning of every paragraph. Then add at the bottom of the summary (after your call to action) type in the word SKILLS: add ten skills for which you have the most endorsements. Each job experience should include skills as well as the summary of each job. Make sure you select all 50 skills to add to your profile. Finally, add skills to your interests section, these should be business interests (skills).
How to use the skills section on LinkedIn. To view the secrets behind the skills section click on the blue “View Profile As” then you will see your profile as your client would view it. Then scroll down to the skills section and click on the name of the skill. Behind each skill are people, topics, education, groups, articles, and additional skills related to the subject skill.
Related: LinkedIn Skills Features – Which Ones, Where they Are, and How Many! [VIDEO]
These are additional skills you should add to your profile because they are related skills which could make you a better skills fit than your competition.
Related: 14 Tips for Getting Your LinkedIn Profile Working Harder For You
If you are sharing content with your leads the skills section is an ideal area to supply you with content for your customer, it has Lynda courses, SlideShare presentations, as well as Pulse articles related to your skills. You have to be the subject matter expert for your customer or your client’s resource for their problem. SlideShare and Pulse articles will give you an advantage over other salespeople because they don’t have access to this information but you will. Make sure you share content about your customer’s interests, not yours. There are thousands and thousands of articles to from which to choose.
As with any sales process, you have to be consistent and persistent. LinkedIn is the same way, and they are consistently changing, so you have to be persistent with the skills on your profile.
Bruce Bixler is a Retail professional with 30 years of varied experiences. He has worked in every facet of retail; from being an entrepreneur, to having corporate positions with a Fortune 500 company. After his corporate retail position was eliminated in 2009, he became involved with LinkedIn, Twitter, and social media in his job search. If you would like continuing information about LinkedIn, I’m always happy to connect with people who PERSONALIZE their request. Phone: 224-221-9700 Email: [email protected].