If your LinkedIn bio talks about how you’ve achieved the president’s club, or the sizes of deals you closed, you’re doing it wrong. And to succeed in sales, you should have one of the best sales LinkedIn profiles out there. And don’t forget these important sales skills to add to LinkedIn.
So what separates the best from the rest?
The sales LinkedIn profiles that stand out are optimized for… you guessed it… sales — and not your ego. By paying careful attention to each element of your profile, you set yourself up for successful social selling.
And to help, in this article, you’ll get a simple 9-step process you can use to optimize your LinkedIn profile today:
- What Are The Best LinkedIn Profiles?
- How Do I Optimize My LinkedIn For sales?
- What Is a Good Bio for LinkedIn?
- How Do I Write A Sales Summary On LinkedIn?
- Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Using These 9 Steps:
- Step 1: Choose a profile photo that represents you authentically
- Step 2: Use a custom cover photo
- Step 3: Learn from the best: LinkedIn headlines examples for sales
- Step 4: Write a summary that attracts the right connections
- Step 5: Fill your experience section with positivity
- Step 6: Show how interesting you are with education and volunteer experience
- Step 7: List your most important skills and get endorsements
- Step 8: Get recommendations from trusted professionals
- Step 9: Highlight your accomplishments
- I Followed All the Steps. Now What?
What Are The Best LinkedIn Profiles?
The best LinkedIn Profiles, especially for sales, are considered top tier because they have accurate and up-to-date information. A good LinkedIn Profile should meet and fulfill certain guidelines. These are :
- A professional profile Photo
- A clear and impactful profile headline
- A well crafted summary
- A well written list of professional experience
- Educational background
- A list of endorsements and skills
- Recommendations from customers, peers and colleagues
- Completed projects
- Written or published works
- LinkedIn Groups one is currently linked to
How Do I Optimize My LinkedIn For sales?
LinkedIn, when used correctly, has the potential to increase sales and revenue for companies and sales representatives. Below are some helpful tips on how to optimize your LinkedIn for sales.
1. Use a high quality, professional image
Use good lighting and an appropriate background. Your profile photo should not look washed out or blurred. If you have trouble finding or taking a good photo, hire a professional photographer.
2. Write your headline and summary
Pay special attention to clarity and accuracy. It should contain appropriate keywords that consumers might be looking for. Your summary should explain why people should work with you, not forgetting to add your contact information, making it easier for interested parties to contact you.
3. Get recommendations from customers, and even work superiors.
This boosts your credibility and allows people to trust you. Your LinkedIn profile, when used correctly, assumes the role of a branding tool and resource for your target market. A good idea would be to get customers who have expressed satisfaction from using your services/products, to give you recommendations.
4. Use media as a story-telling tool
Telling people your story isn’t enough, you have to show them. An excellent way to optimize sales using your LinkedIn profile is to use pictures and videos to get positive first impressions.
Here are great ideas you ought to include in your LinkedIn Profile include:
- Personal introduction videos
- Company blog posts
- Product demonstrations
- Customer testimonials
- LinkedIn articles.
5. Get and Make Connections
Your objective should be to make at least 500 connections. These should be distributed across buyers within your pipeline; both clients and colleagues. A good way to vet connections is to ensure that you have at least 3 areas of shared interests.
What Is a Good Bio for LinkedIn?
A strong and compelling LinkedIn summary is an essential tool for individuals seeking employment. A good bio is crucial if you are looking for jobs using traditional means. Also, it’s great for networking business events on the internet.
An exemplary LinkedIn “about” section can be used to illustrate your potential and value to recruiters, potential employers and clients. It should sell your best features and help you stand out from the crowd.
Here are some LinkedIn summary examples to help give you a clearer perspective of what a good bio entails:
Micah’s summary is a great example of how to infuse your passion and zeal for your work into your LinkedIn summary. She gives examples of her best qualities and even provides additional information about her educational background and interests.
How Do I Write A Sales Summary On LinkedIn?
Most individuals believe writing a LinkedIn summary is an extremely hard task. Quite the contrary; here’s an 8-step formula to writing the perfect LinkedIn bio.
1. Introduce yourself as if you’re at a networking event
The most basic step to any piece of writing is the introduction. Start by introducing yourself and what you do. Your tone should be conversational and not too corporate. You want to entice readers and capture their attention long enough to get your message across.
2. Be authentic
Originality is a vital aspect of a LinkedIn profile. It helps you stand out and builds your credibility. One way to boost your authenticity is to avoid generic phrases; ensure your content is not only unique, but also clear about your qualities and capabilities.
3. List your achievements
Your achievements are among your strongest selling points. Keep them brief and straightforward.
4. Use numbers and data
Numbers and data are the perfect way to add credibility to your achievements by providing measurable evidence of your performance.
5. Your value proposition
Value proposition in simple terms, is what you bring to the table. Make a unique offer that clients will find irresistible. Your value proposition should be clearly outlined in your LinkedIn bio.
6. Skills and experience
Your LinkedIn summary should contain a brief but thorough summary of your key skills and experience, relevant to your current goals and objectives. For further emphasis, use examples of instances where you’ve used these skills and had positive outcomes.
7. Maximize focus keywords
Your summary should contain conveniently placed and relevant keywords to increase traffic to your profile.
8. Call to action
To conclude your summary, ensure to add a call to action for people going through your profile. Tell readers what you want them to do. Perhaps, you want them to get in touch, or maybe you need them to purchase the products/services that you specialize in. This is guaranteed to increase sales, and consequently revenue.
With all these in mind, below are 9 simple steps to creating the best sales LinkedIn profile.
Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile Using These 9 Steps
Step 1: Choose the right LinkedIn profile photo
Who are you? What is your personal brand? Are you a buttoned-up, traditional professional or are you more of a chill dude?
However you describe yourself, you need a profile picture that represents you as both a person and as a personal brand. To make that work, there are some things you should do, and some you definitely shouldn’t.
If you’re a very serious person, go ahead and take a serious photo. If you’re a little more relaxed, it’s probably okay to go with a cheerful one or a reasonably creative photo that conveys your unique flair. That said…
What to avoid when choosing a photo:
DON’T include multiple people: People want to know who you are. If that’s hard to figure out, they’re less likely to put in the effort to make a connection.
DON’T think of your LinkedIn profile image like an Instagram selfie: LinkedIn remains a professional setting. This may not be the right place for your alluring pouty face. Keep it professional.
DON’T hold alcohol: Unless you’re in alcohol sales of some kind, it’s generally not a great idea to show off your enthusiasm for liquor on LinkedIn. In fact, it might be a good idea to skip food or beverages in your profile picture in general.
If you can’t seem to find a photo of yourself that makes the cut, think about booking a professional shoot or asking a friend to take some photos the next time you hang out. Just remember what you’re taking the photos for, and make sure you communicate that clearly.
Step 2: Create a custom cover photo
After your profile picture, the cover photo is the first thing people see on your LinkedIn profile. Most of the time, people leave their cover photo on the default or are some random photo of pencils or a forest.
Look at all this wasted space:
That’s no good! This is the most valuable real estate on your LinkedIn profile to constantly keep your prospects and peers updated on your company.
Look at this beauty:
(Check out any of the Lessonly team member’s LinkedIn profiles. They have a variety of custom header images their team can choose from that allow employees to express themselves while representing their brand.)
Talk with your marketing department, they may already have some cover photos designed. If you don’t have a cover photo that your marketing team designed, here are some tips on designing your cover photo:
1. Customize it for LinkedIn:
My mother always said if you’re going to do something, do it right. So, when you go to create your LinkedIn cover photo, please understand the nuances like the circular photo in the bottom-left corner, the sizing of the image, and how it looks both on mobile and desktop.
There are some helpful (and free) templates in Canva that help with this.
2. Keep it Relevant and Up-to-Date:
Did your company just publish an epic white paper or ebook? Ask the marketing team to create custom social covers that bring awareness to it while having a clear call to action.
3. Be Clear and Concise:
You don’t want a million words or supersaturated graphics on your cover photo. Figure out how you can provide just enough value to keep your prospect interested in your company.
Step 3: LinkedIn headline examples and advice
A good LinkedIn headline should quickly capture other users’ interest with relevant information. Consider the following:
1. Use your company one-liner:
Chances are, your marketing team put a lot of effort into developing that one-liner you never use. Think about using it as your headline. That way, you and your prospects can get used to this phrasing for your product offering before they even enter the sales funnel.
Here’s a good example from Riaan van Schoor, a consultant at Agentivity.
2. Exclude your job title:
While your prospects may buy from you, they aren’t necessarily coming to your LinkedIn because they care about you specifically. They want to know what you can do for them. So instead of your title, try including your passions, skills, or even a product description in your headline. And never use the words “guru”, “ninja”, or “rockstar”.
I like this example headline from Mark Aquino at Carta:
3. Create a story:
If you feel in your heart of hearts that it’s important to tell the world what you do, craft it into a story that demonstrates a kind of case study. For example, an account executive might say, “I build relationships with individuals by understanding their needs and connecting them to the right products.”
Focus the story on the outcomes you give your prospects, not on your individual function.
For example, look at Joe Apfelbaum’s headline:
4. Don’t brag:
We all know you’re the best salesperson, but your prospect doesn’t care. Don’t brag about being a “quota crusher” or any other super sales-jargon, all-about-me talk. You can highlight an accomplishment (especially if it’s outside of work), but don’t go overboard.
Now that you’ve crafted a compelling headline, let’s move on to your LinkedIn bio.
Step 4: LinkedIn summary examples + tips for salespeople
If you want to stand out as one of the best sales LinkedIn profiles, you need to focus on your summary.
The summary is the central part of your LinkedIn profile, and one of the most important. It can teach people a lot about you, and your prospects can learn about what your company can do for them.
It’s super important to get this part right. So I’m going to give you 7 tips, plus LinkedIn summary examples specifically for sales.
1. Write the way you talk:
Sales is all about building genuine connections. If your LinkedIn summary sounds like it was written by a robot, that’s the impression your prospects will get.
Don’t be afraid to be true to yourself, or to add a personal flair to your bio (I like to throw a “y’all” in every so often). Being down-to-earth and real with others will go a long way toward making the right connections.
Check out David Gerhardt’s LinkedIn Profile Summary if you want to see authenticity in action:
David’s about page oozes personality, and by the end, you feel like you know everything about him.
Emojis are okay, if that’s part of your personal brand.
2. Start with your prospect’s problem:
Can I repeat this enough? This is all your prospect cares about. Demonstrate that you know what that problem is by focusing on how you can help them deal with the issues that impact them most.
Here’s a solid example from Viveka (Vivica) von Rosen:
Or, you can use your summary to show you understand your buyer’s biggest pain points:
3. Share a testimonial:
Has one of your accounts contributed a testimonial, or can you ask for one? If so, using this in your summary can be powerful.
Heather Ann Havenwood used to use several testimonials in her summary:
4. Share facts and figures:
If you can incorporate real sales statistics that demonstrate how you helped customers and maybe even add a case study or two, that will show prospects that you’re all about adding measurable value.
Richard Harris has this down in his profile summary:
5. Add keywords:
Some people include keywords based on the top skills listed at the bottom of their LinkedIn summary. I also suggest adding keywords that your prospects are likely to search, so your profile appears in LinkedIn search results. Check the tags on your company blog if you need a quick way to figure this out.
6. Don’t be afraid to brag about your company (not yourself):
If you haven’t done that, the end of your summary is the perfect place to talk about how much you love your company, your team, and the results they achieve for customers.
7. Include your contact information:
Make sure you add at least your email address and company website to the contact info section in your intro. You need to be easy to reach!
Step 5: Fill Your experience section with positivity
It’s tempting to fill out your experience section like a resume or a job description. Before you do, though, remember that your buyer doesn’t care about your quota attainment – only their own problems.
So how should you approach this section? It’s easier than you think. The best sales LinkedIn profiles do it like this:
1. Get everyone on the same page:
It’s important to align your sales and marketing teams around what your company description should be. For instance, using your company’s one-liner will help to build a consistent brand in the minds of your prospects, regardless of who they speak to at your organization.
2. Do a bit of humble bragging:
Have you helped a lot of people in your position? Have your clients achieved impressive goals because of your products? Shout it out, and show your gratitude for being given the opportunity to help so many people.
3. Include all your positions:
If your role changed while you were at any one employer, list all those positions. If you had several title changes, but your responsibilities remained the same, just focus on the different things you achieved in each role.
4. Keep it short:
Unlike this article, your experience descriptions should be pretty short for each position. Aim for less than 75 words. Bullet points can help keep things concise and readable, too.
5. Add a punchy call to action:
At the end of the day, you always want your prospects to take action. Add a vibrant CTA on your description of your current role that leads prospects to a relevant page on your website, like a case study, product page, or pricing page.
Here’s a great example of a simple CTA:
Step 6: Show How Interesting You Are With Education and Volunteer Experience
You exist outside of work! Use this section to provide high-level information that points to the human behind the screen.
Get your degree in something weird? That’s a great conversation starter.
Did you join a board of directors for a non-profit? You can flex a little here.
There are a few key things to avoid, though:
- DON’T include your high school, even if you went to a fancy private academy that your parents paid too much for.
- DON’T include fraternity or sorority volunteer experience. Instead, go volunteer somewhere new, then update your LinkedIn profile.
- DON’T include the year in which you graduated from college. Sometimes age can be an unconscious bias in how people communicate with and respect you.
Step 7: List Your most important skills and get endorsements
The best sales LinkedIn profiles include social proof. That means you need credible endorsements.
While it’s nice to be appreciated by your coworkers, LinkedIn endorsements shouldn’t be given only by your peers. You also need endorsements from credible people in your field and from the customers you’ve helped. This shows that you know how to add value and that you’re good at building connections.
Which skills should you choose for this section? I recommend keeping it mostly simple, focusing mainly on the tactics you rely on to help your prospects, which they’re most likely searching for anyway.
Step 8: Get recommendations from trusted professionals
Many people think that recommendations only matter for your future career opportunities, but they also act as testimonials.
If you can write a genuine recommendation about your experience of working with someone, do it. Chances are, they’ll return the favor, adding value for both of you. This goes for prospects-turned-customers, too!
If they don’t respond immediately, don’t panic. Consider nudging them with a few endorsements, but be ready to move on to a new LinkedIn connection with a great recommendation if it doesn’t work out.
Step 9: Highlight your accomplishments: Honors & Awards, Projects, Publications, Language
This section can either make you look like the rockstar you are… or it can make you look like a total jerk. There’s an art to talking about your accomplishments, and when you’re in sales this becomes crucial.
Here are some tips:
1. List only External Honors & Awards:
If you’re a big guest-poster, or have been quoted in a wide variety of sales content, this is the place to showcase it.
If you don’t really speak that language, don’t include it. Two years of French from high school doesn’t count.
Most people leave this section blank. But if you did some great sales project, or helped a customer build a custom solution (and have their permission to share), highlight it here.
I Followed All the Steps. Now What?
Your profile should now be one of the best LinkedIn profiles out there. Optimizing it helps your career and puts you on the path to successful social selling on LinkedIn.
Now that it’s done, you’ve got to create social content that gets attention, connect with the right people, and start real-world sales conversations.