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LinkedIn power promotes credibility

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 16, 2013 11:12PM



For many years I have shared these three sales-buying rules with my small business clients and in my presentations:

Rule No. 1 - People buy from people they know and trust. They will trust the words of another customer over all the expensive or not so expensive advertising.

Rule No. 2 – People buy first on emotion justified by logic. We are creatures of emotion and not ones of logic.

Rule No. 3 – People buy on value unique to them. Everyone has different emotional experiences, wants and needs. What one person values such as a high priced, high performance sports car another will discount and seek the environmentally friendly vehicle.

LinkedIn has incredible power to leverage these three buying rules to further build your credibility through these three areas:

• Your skills

• Endorsements

• Recommendations

Within your summary, you can share your skills. Again remember to use keywords to your advantage. Then under the section Skills & Expertise you can receive endorsements from your first degree contacts. Endorsements are a relatively new feature and provide a great way to connect with your first degree contacts.

Now some will say this is a bunch of hooey. However my response is if you are receiving endorsements from contacts you don’t know, then you probably accepted everyone and his or her brother or sister. Additionally, as someone who gives endorsements, I am quite selective about making those endorsements. If you believe they have no value, what you are telling me is my actions have no value.

My goal is to acknowledge all these endorsements with a quick thank you and then if that first degree contact and I have not spoken for a while I ask to set a time to “catch up.” This has already increased my sales for the year.

Recommendations provide even greater credibility because this is where someone invests the time to write a personal referral. For me, when this happens, I immediately send an email thanking that individual and if I have his or her physical mailing address I send a thank you card via the USPS.

Of course, if you never give recommendations, then it is really unrealistic to expect them in return. A first degree connection might ask you for a recommendation. This is quite common. My advice is to only provide recommendations when you actually have had a personal experience with the individual. Remember, your name is on the line whether you give a written recommendation or an endorsement.

LinkedIn is indeed a powerful goldmine for prospecting and now has the potential of being your own customer relationship management system (CRM) all for the price of zero dollars.

June’s final column will explore LinkedIn’s newest updated feature that turns this free tool into your own CRM.

P.S. Shout Out – To Main Source Bank in Lake County and 1st Source Bank in Porter County, both are small business-friendly.



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