By Tom Fournier
LinkedIn had long been viewed as a place to match up prospective employers and job seekers. Perhaps that was once the case, but now it has also become a very active business community. There are interest groups that match up like minded individuals in specific industries or on specific business topics.
It has also become a critical tool for connecting prospective customers with potential vendors. This comes into play with social selling, digital marketing and networking. It is an excellent opportunity for an individual to establish credentials as a subject matter expert and perhaps to showcase a portfolio of work. Sellers are checking out their prospective customers but customers are also researching their prospective vendors.
I would like to spend just a few moments on the power of a profile view.
We all get them. You get a notice that someone has looked at your profile. A profile view notification can be a good thing!
If you are in a selling situation and preparing for an upcoming meeting, a modern seller will be doing research on the prospective customer’s business realities so as to understand their situation and to maximize the value of the time the customer has given them. Should that research not also extend to the individual (s) that the seller is going to meet with?
To me, this is an active demonstration that the seller is serious about their prospect’s business and that they do not want to waste their prospect’s time asking questions that could have been easily answered through a little research.
A seller should not look at people’s profiles in a private mode! Letting them know that the seller looked at their profile is an important signal that the seller is serious, professional and has their business interests at heart.
Personally, when I have taken meetings I liked it when someone looked at my profile. I thought they were doing the necessary preparation for an effective meeting.
This also extends to the interviewing/recruiting dance. When I was interviewing candidates for an open sales role, to me it was a critical element that the individual prepared for the interview and part of that preparation was understanding what experiences I had and gained insights to my business views and values. This was easily gained by looking at my LinkedIn profile.
How could I believe that they had the entrepreneurial selling skill set to represent my company when they missed an opportunity to represent themselves at an important stage of their hiring journey?
So, the takeaway? Look at LinkedIn profiles and make sure you do so in a public mode. It shows someone that you are serious and interested in them and their business.
Go and look at some profiles today! Feel free to start with mine: www.linkedin.com/in/tomfournier1
Tom Fournier, founder of the Shade's Mills Group, history enthusiast and happy walker!