I love to challenge common thoughts, ideas and practices that do not help business leaders and sales and marketing executives turn LinkedIn leads into revenue. Today, I’m challenging how LinkedIn profiles are being created for them (whether they are doing it themselves or hiring a social media firm).
As I’m on LinkedIn all day, helping technology companies, professional service firms and B2B organizations make the right connections build their niche communities and engage with their prospects (many of which are sales and marketing leaders) – I see hundreds of LinkedIn profiles per day. I’d say that 9 out of 10 business leader and sales and marketing executives’ profiles are worthless as sales and marketing tools.
Why Most LinkedIn Profiles Are Worthless…
The real engagement should be done on the personal side and not on the company side of things on LinkedIn because B2B buyers are looking for real relationships with experts, not companies. But profiles are merely a resume. Summaries are like cover letters and then you just see a listing of current and past jobs and accomplishments.
In most cases, business owners and sales and marketing leaders do not communicate the business value that “prospects” are looking for. For example, here’s the LinkedIn profile summary for a Senior Vice President of Sales inside my LinkedIn group:
Driven Sales Executive with demonstrated success meeting and exceeding business development targets. Effective, strategic-thinking leader with exceptional ability to develop strong organizations and creative solutions that balance growth and profitability. Engaging communicator and presenter with the ability to win others over. Establishes expectations and holds others accountable in ways that motivates and produces results. Led new business development focusing on firms with 5,000 plus employees located throughout the U.S. as well as, providing employee benefit solutions to the clients of national consulting firms.
- Led national sales as the top producer in 2009, 2010 & 2013. Sold nine Fortune 500 accounts during past six years representing over 400,000 eligible employees.
- Developed new sales territory in central and southwestern U.S. that included 20 states. Sold new premium revenue exceeded $5 million annually in each of the past five years.
- Grew broker distribution channel by over 325% in four years resulting in a commission growth that exceeded $6 million annually.
As a potential buyer, do I find any “business value” that gives me a reason to connect, ask questions and engage with this (insert position)? No! If I was an employer looking for someone like him, then I’d see the value. But as a prospect, why do I care if had a commission growth that exceeded $6M annually?
And, the boilerplate company information that he puts in the experience section does not give me real insight into his “business value” or his company’s “business value” either.
Here’s the LinkedIn profile summary for the President of Active Fund Strategies:
“Jeff McTague gave the best presentation I have seen in eighteen years in the business.” — Mark McCarthy, FC – UBS, Atlanta GA
I use my extensive background (29 years) as a retailer, wholesaler, researcher and lecturer to create and deliver an investment philosophy and process designed to raise the competence, confidence and production of ALL financial advisors. What makes my program – supported by my two websites ActiveFundStrategies.com and FundElert.com – different is that every facet of it is supported by fact, rather than opinion.
Over the years, my lectures and continuing education classes have been enthusiastically received by thousands of advisors across the country.
“Jeff made one of the best presentations I’ve ever heard. It was powerful, got your attention, and I look forward to his return trip.” — Mark Katzoff, Sales Manager – Legg Mason, Philadelphia PA
While being asked to be part of the training programs at Raymond James and Morgan Keegan, I also have lectured for advisors at firms like:
- AG Edwards
- Ameriprise Financial
- Janney Montgomery Scott
- Legg Mason
- McDonald Investments
- Morgan Keegan
- Piper Jaffrey
- Raymond James
- RBC Dain Rauscher
- Robert W. Baird
- SunTrust Investment Services
Now this profile summary was completed by another social media firm (and I know that because Jeff has come to us for help). It’s not the worst profile summary as it includes testimonials and firms that invited Jeff to speak, which gives him credibility.
But I don’t see his story that discusses his first-hand experiences with the challenges that his targeted audiences have. I don’t see his business value and how he is different from others serving the financial advisor industry (except for the fact that his programs are based on fact, not opinion, which we see no proof of!) I don’t see exactly “why” financial advisors need Jeff’s help – and exactly how he has helped financial advisors at some of the top firms.
Although part of Jeff’s business is to get more speeches and lectures, his main goal is to get more enterprise level subscribers to his services and then for the enterprises to invest in his trainings. Yet, his LinkedIn profile and presence has done very little for Jeff. His subscribers are few – and so are his firm contacts.
The CEO of a well-known social media firm that offers LinkedIn profile makeovers and LinkedIn services started off talking about it in the summary. From there she discussed how her firm’s programs work and why it works. She mentions who her firm works with and why you should work with her firm. You see, the CEO made it all about her firm. She forgot that prospects connect with you and your story first – not your company.
This CEO put an automatic wall between herself and her prospects because she’s not letting her prospects get to know her with her unique story. I don’t see her unique business value as other social media firms (including my firm GetLinkedInHelp.com that also works with tech companies and professional service firms to build relationships.) She talks about a unique process but I don’t see this unique process in action with case studies that show tech firms that she understands their unique challenges – and that she has the solution.
Because the “business value” that prospects are looking for are taken out of the equation in most cases, there’s a big gap between B2B sales professionals and buyers.
What a Sales Professional’s Profile Should Be Like:
As a sales leader, your LinkedIn profile should be the social “bridge” that has buyers wanting to connect with you, accept your inmail, join your LinkedIn community and most importantly enter into a sales conversation.
To be the “social bridge” your profile needs to:
- Demonstrate that you understand your buyer’s specific business issues and it needs to clearly articulate how to solve them.
- Help the business buyer think differently about how to solve their business problems.
- Share insights not considered before
These are the top 3 things that buyers look for in a sales meeting. Don’t you think if you communicate the “value” buyers are looking for in your LinkedIn profile, then you’ll attract more key decision makers who want to talk to you?