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minute read
May 13, 2016

4 Huge Mistakes Sales People Make on LinkedIn

Written by
Noel Hooban

LinkedIn is one of the most opportunistic social media tools for sales people, especially in B2B industries.

However, common mistakes detract from the relationship and productivity gains for many reps.

Here are four huge LinkedIn mistakes that you want your team to avoid to optimise lead generation and social selling performance.

Selling Too Quickly

I’ve said this many times – people don’t connect on social media to attract a large volume of digital sales pitches.

Instead, they connect with people they view as professional, credible and relevant experts to integrate into their network. recently noted that the majority of LinkedIn users are open to connections with potential suppliers.

In fact, many professionals join social networks liked LinkedIn to generate business relationships.

Don’t immediately send an email or InMail pitch to a new connection. The response rate is extremely low.

Instead, share insights and backgrounds, interact through group and discussion forums, and then naturally shift into an initial sales contact when a contact is intrigued.

Misusing Profiles

If using LinkedIn for personal branding, it makes sense to create a personal profile page that reads like a resume.

Employers source profiles by looking for professionals with the right education, experience and skills to match job needs.

Social selling has a much different intent.

As a sales rep, you want your profile page to read more like a customer-centric layout of the value you offer.

  • Use a summary to provide a concise description of your role in delivering the value your company provides.
  • Highlight your sales and business relationship accomplishments.
  • Acquire quality endorsements of your skills as they speak to the interests of targeted prospects scanning your page.
  • A professional photo is an important component of a quality LinkedIn sales profile as well.

Prospecting with Basic Search Only

Basic search is the simple search toolbar located at the top of the LinkedIn site.

Many sales people enter job titles and other keywords in the hopes of hitting on quality B2B prospects.

However, this type of search produces a large range of results that are often inefficient to quality and contact.

Advanced search is much more efficient at targeting your prospects precisely.

Filter based on factors such as geography, industry, job title and business size.

You can also gain more details on prospect needs and preferences by interacting with them in group forums related to your business.

Not Using Content to Engage

LinkedIn offers excellent opportunities to extend the reach of your content marketing.

You can share your content as well as links to other relevant content.

However, many reps directly post link after link to their timelines, which eventually causes people to get desensitised to them.

An excellent way to stimulate conversations is to use content that is relevant to your target audience.

Don’t forget to add a personal message or insight when you share your link or another party’s link.

Add comments to other shared content that highlight expertise and credibility.

Your content is valuable on LinkedIn only when it is seen and when it contributes to conversations.


Viewing LinkedIn as a community-centered social learning platform may help a salesperson naturally interact and develop a rapport with prospects.


You have to treat LinkedIn differently for social selling than career networking.

Put your profile to work for you and your prospects.

Focus on engagement, not peddling products to new connections, start using advanced search opportunities, and engage through content.

Are you looking for more ways to support your reps and boost your sales? Contact us via the form below and find out if we can help with your lead generation activities.

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