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Strategic Selling: Making the Most of LinkedIn for Networking & Social Selling

By Leslie Groene

Have you looked at your LinkedIn profile lately? Did you know that your LI home page is like your own personal business journal?

I asked my colleague Lynne Gullo, who coaches people on how to set up their LI profile, to provide a few tips as a refresher on how important LinkedIn is to all business professionals.

It’s important for both you as an individual and everyone in sales and marketing who represents your company to have a complete profile.

Basic profile tips:

  1. Profile Picture: Business-like, smiling, current and in focus. No pets, kids, obvious selfies, stray hands on shoulders and above all, don’t use the default blank head! You don’t need a professional photographer, but make sure you are presenting yourself in a positive light.
  2. Your Title: LinkedIn will default to your job title, but don’t make this rookie mistake. This is a searchable field and you want people to find you. Add three specialties to your title. This is especially important if you have the same title as others in your company.For example, don’t just list your title as Account Executive at Blank Company. I will have no idea what you do! Try Account Executive at Blank Company specializing in whatever vertical industry or company type you’re looking for.Summary: This is your elevator speech. How would you enthusiastically describe what you do for a living to your friends? This is another searchable field. Make sure you include key skills and expertise even though you are repeating them in other parts of your profile. You can even list your key specialties with bullet points. Your profile represents YOU as a brand, so don’t just copy your company mission statement here.
  3. Your contact information: Make sure your information is current so your connections know how to contact you. Include your company website.

Before and after a business meeting:

  1. Look up the company page and find out any current news.
  2. Look at the upper right corner of the company page to see “How You’re Connected” to their employees.
  3. Review the profiles of the people you will be meeting with to see what you have in common.
  4. Ask to connect with anyone you get a business card from.
  5. Follow that company.

Your Home Page:

  1. Periodically provide an interesting update about YOU. Tell a success story, brag a little, but don’t make this a sales pitch. Share an interesting article you’ve read to your LinkedIn page.
  2. Read your Home page daily and like, comment or share. Just a few minutes a day will give you a wealth of information about your connections and industry.
  3. Congratulate your connections on their anniversaries and job changes.

LinkedIn is the ultimate Business Directory. LI offers an unequaled and FREE way to promote yourself, your brand and your company. Take a few minutes to make sure you are making the most of this valuable social business platform.

GroeneLESLIE GROENE is one of the coaching superstars in the world of corporate sales as well as a business development trainer, executive consultant and author. Her background is in the paper and printing industries as a sales rep and sales manager. She helps her clients focus on revenue generation and profit growth. She authored the business strategy book “Picture Yourself & the Life You Want” and is a nationallyrenowned motivational speaker. To purchase her book or contact her please go to www.GroeneConsulting.com. Here is the link to her e-newsletter, http://www. groeneconsulting.com/ Newsletter/2014.12/ Now you can follow Leslie on Twitter @leslielgroene

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