Using LinkedIn for Your Digital Sales Footprint


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It never fails; I’m out everyday with clients conducting sales training and teaching social selling techniques and when I ask what people are doing with LinkedIn, I almost always receive the same response. Even experienced sales professionals believe that accepting people into their networks and capturing their job titles is all they ever thought to use it for. But that’s when I let them know that LinkedIn can and should be used to land actual deals!

Sales professionals should be using LinkedIn to not only analyze their networks but they can leverage tools and techniques to understand how they are connected and how to monitor the activity of the folks in their networks.

That said, let’s focus on how LinkedIn should be used to build your resume and make sure you have a digital brand that you can be proud of but also use it as a path to a “digital sales footprint” – something I always look for when hiring sales professionals.

One of the most important aspects of your LinkedIn profile? Your recommendations. Clearly, the Internet and social selling have transformed the ways in which we interact and how we form impressions of people. This is the first way you can demonstrate true access to your connections. Like it or not, LinkedIn provides that first impression and the profile you display will tell people if you are worthy of their time.

Quick case study: I had the opportunity to work with a high powered executive that recently was given 3 months of severance from the company where he had worked for 25 years. To add a bit of context to the situation, he had held positions in sales, application engineering and was VP of Sales Ops and VP of Sales in EMEA and Asia. This kind of resume is pretty powerful but when faced with a career change after 25 years, it was a bit daunting for this experienced professional.

Our first course of action? We looked at his LinkedIn profile; he had no photo, 129 connections, and very little activity. This was hardly a candidate that screams, “I’m connected and I know how to use new tools to sell and market myself.”  With a little time spent building a strong profile and connecting with people he knew, he now has a strong personal digital brand and 500+ connections with recommendations for each role, in addition to customer feedback.

Taking the time to build out your profile with great recommendations enables you to really promote yourself with confidence. Rather than trying to recall why you were so good at what you did in the past, let your recommendations tell your story via LinkedIn. I’m also happy to report that through great networking, the above-mentioned VP landed an SVP role after only 30 days and has just signed on for a sales kickoff that includes Sales Gauge! This is only further proof that good investments in your network always pay off.

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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