Everyone is telling salespeople to start doing things on LinkedIn, and they’re right. But first you need to stop doing a few things. Here are three things you should stop doing on LinkedIn:
1. Stop asking for business cards without asking to connect on LinkedIn.
Set this trigger up in your head. You’re exchanging business cards and as you look at their card, you know you need to ask them about something online. Right. “Thanks, Steve. Let’s connect on LinkedIn too. I’ll send you an invite.” Or, “Are you on LinkedIn?” You’ll be surprised where this topic can lead. You’ll get a pretty quick idea how they participate online and how to reach them.
2. Stop sending the stock message, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”
Sure, many people will accept this invitation. But the better prospects and business partners will want to know why they should bother connecting with you. The good news is, you already know why, or you wouldn’t be asking them to connect. Don’t overthink it. You might have a great valid business reason, or it might be as simple as having a common interest or connection. Stating why up front aligns expectations early.
3. Stop writing your profile to look good to your employer.
Bringing in lots of revenue for your employer is important—if all you’re doing is looking for a new job. But if you’re a salesperson who is looking to connect with good prospects and want to be taken seriously, then your profile should be written to appeal to those good prospects. They’re not looking for the top biller to sell them something. They’re looking for someone who can help them with the challenges they face in running their businesses. How you offer value to your clients should be the relentless focus of your profile.
So next time you ask for a business card, send an invite to connect, or work on your profile, STOP. And think about the better way to use LinkedIn.