It’s been said that a person’s LinkedIn profile is an important part of their professional brand. I’d call that the understatement of the decade.
As part of the largest professional network on the planet, which is still growing by leaps and bounds, your LinkedIn profile is singlehandedly the most important part of your online professional life. It communicates who you are, your accomplishments, the types of people you surround yourself, with and much more.
And if your goal is to present yourself to buyers in the best light possible (which it should be), how your profile looks and sounds is important. Remember, describing your achievements and expertise on LinkedIn is not bragging. Although some people feel shy in speaking about themselves positively, I encourage you to remember that you have expertise — your LinkedIn profile is simply a place for you to showcase it.
If you believe that buyers are researching vendors and their salespeople online (Hint: They are!), then you need to show them who you are and what expertise you have. A great way to do this is through LinkedIn’s Recommendations feature.
Why Are LinkedIn Recommendations Important?
When a buyer visits your profile, will they learn anything of value from the recommendations you’ve received from colleagues, peers, superiors, and friends?
Don’t get me wrong. It’s great that you have these recommendations vouching for your professional capabilities. Keep them, as they do add to your overall professional brand. But do they help the buyer?
For better or for worse, we live in a reviews-powered economy, and we’ve come to expect and rely on guidance from peer reviews. Here are some examples:
- I check peer reviews of restaurants I’m going to try on Yelp and search for professional reviews on Google.
- Before I go on holiday, I check TripAdvisor and Airbnb reviews of destinations and hotels I’m considering.
- I recently had some renovations done in my home, and I researched contractors on HomeStars and Angie’s List.
- B2B software buyers check out user reviews of software platforms on G2Crowd.
- Job applicants can read confidential reviews from existing employees on Glassdoor.
This reflexive review-checking is now bleeding into people’s professional lives, which means that your LinkedIn profile will be checked for peer reviews as well.
Let me share an example with you. Last year, a CMO of a well-known IT services company reached out to us because another like-minded marketing executive had left a glowing recommendation about our company and services on one of our profiles. His interest in social selling prompted him to do online research. As soon as he saw a recommendation from a peer, his comfort level skyrocketed.
We know this because we discussed this decision-making process at length with him. He remarked that the recommendation from his peer assured him that he was indeed working with a reputable company that could deliver on the results we talk about.
Different Sales Roles Require Different LinkedIn Strategies
Within the sales profession, there are several different job functions you could hold. Each role interacts with buyers differently and thus will find different types of reviews useful.
1) SDRs/BDRs and Sales Engineers
Focus on getting recommendations from buyers that you helped find and possibly did discovery for. Ask the buyer to write about how they benefited specifically from working with you.
2) Quota-Carrying Reps (Account Executives)
If you carry quota and are responsible for closing deals, you’ve worked with many buyers. Their recommendations should focus on how you helped them achieve a certain business outcome from implementing your products or services.
3) Account Managers and Customer Success Positions
Your goal is to help customers successfully implement your products and services. Once you’ve built up a solid customer base with good retention rates, reach out to your best customers to ask for a recommendation.
Should I Ask For a Recommendation?
Yes. If you’ve genuinely helped the buyer achieve their goals, or in the process have provided exceptional service levels, there is no harm in asking the buyer for some love.
In the reviews economy we live in, it’s quite obvious why anyone would want to do this. Having commercial interests outside of your client relationship isn’t anything new or strange. Your buyers will totally understand.
It’s just like a business or app asking users and customers for social media reviews — they know that people look at these and they carry weight.
The Bottom Line
When you finish reading this post, go straight to your LinkedIn profile and check how many recommendations you have in your current role. It’s never too late to start getting recommendations on LinkedIn from your buyers.
What’s stopping you? In the reviews economy we live in, you’ll do yourself a huge favor by helping your prospects make decisions faster and with more confidence.
Check out the ebook ‘Where Does Social Selling Fit In The Buyer’s Journey?’ to learn more about how this tactic and many more can provide value and insight to potential buyers.