LinkedIn Recommendations: Your best stories!


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Recently, a CMO who we work with came to me with a concern: his company was being acquired and he wasn’t quite sure how he would fare in the reorganization.  But he has a lot going for him – he has a fantastic network! That said, in order to be a leading CMO, you must be able to not only incorporate traditional marketing communications expertise but also be a digital expert utilizing social media to share your thought leadership.

While his profile was in good shape, he had no recommendations – he had never thought it was an important factor. The reality is that your recommendations from colleagues, other executives, and mentors can be incredibly powerful. Like your network, you should always be thinking about how to nurture and improve your profile since it’s likely the first thing people will see when they try to learn about you. This is something you should be working on all the time, even when you don’t think you really need them. As things change in your career, you should never be scrambling to put the right pieces into place.

So how do you acquire recommendations on LinkedIn and make it easy for others to provide them? When you’re asking people for recommendations: 

  • Let them know what key points might be useful.
  • Remind them of specific situations that you would like to highlight.
  • With executives, I may even suggest that you write up a potential recommendation and ask them to edit and/or approve. 

Your best contacts will be happy to help you but you want to make it easy for them to do so.

In my sales career, I have used these recommendations as a way to tell stories from my clients’ point of view. Stories are what great sales people use to handle objections and to build rapport with new prospects. When you can share with them a first-hand account of what your other customers have experienced in working with you, the anxiety that they might feel of engaging with someone new goes away.

The charismatic sales rep uses these “stories” strategically throughout her/his conversation because they have memorized them. When you win a great deal and your client loves what you have done, think about how you can use this story to handle an objection. Then, write it up and ask your customer to approve it for posting to your LinkedIn profile. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of this great opportunity?

Here at Sales Gauge, the most common objection that we hear from VPs of Sales is that they have experienced sales reps who already know how to prospect. With these recommendations or “stories,” we can share examples to get them to really think about this more carefully. We let these prospects know that some of our current customers also felt this way until they engaged with us.

For example, our client – Ed O. – felt this way until he experienced the power that comes from bringing together disciplined sales techniques with the social selling strategies that we teach. Ed tells us that he wishes he had taken our class 20 years ago. Well, Ed, social media wasn’t around 20 years ago but we appreciate the enthusiasm!

In this way we are aligning with our clients and sharing the value that others have gained rather than trying to argue or explain it. LinkedIn provides an excellent way to capture these stories through recommendations and to use them for sales success.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Tim Haller
Tim Haller has over 25 years of sales and sales management experience. He has delivered training and consulting to Fortune 100 clients across a variety of industries, including technology, business services, travel/leisure and biotechnology. Tim has trained hundreds of sales professionals to close business through the use of effective sales prospecting, negotiation, and closing techniques.


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