Top 7 Mistakes Salespeople Make on LinkedIn

LinkedIn is like most business tools and sales techniques.  They are only as good as you use them.  And they want to be used.

Below are the top mistakes salespeople make when attempting to build credibility and demonstrate their professional commitment to their sales career, employers, clients and the marketplace.  All are possible with the free version of LinkedIn and you can start applying them today.

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Not posting timely and relevant status updates.  Content is king.  When you post information (like your blog posts, a link to a recent industry article, an upcoming event, etc.) and share it with your connections, you are helping them better understand what is important to you, that they should are be aware of, in their role or career.  You want to position yourself as ‘the knowledgeable authority’ on a specific subject that is focused on working with your connections to grow their business; When you do that, consistently, they will turn to you, first, when in need.

Joining and participating in groups.  There are two types of groups to join.  One is focused on you continuously developing your industry knowledge and the other is filled with your prospects that want your knowledge.  Learn from the first, share in the second.  The prospect filled groups, where your connections (and prospects) will see your knowledge and compare it with other group members.  Plus, as you build your connection network, this is a great source of 2nd degree prospects your connection can introduce you to, if you ask them.

Creating a company page.  This is the page that displays when someone clicks on the current or past company name in your profile.  This is the opportunity to share information about your company, including services, products, website, etc.  All influential evidence for your prospects to weigh when deciding on whether to continue the conversation with you or disqualify you.  The default is a list a people that have the same company name in their profile.  A missed opportunity if not used.  Here is an example: Professional Sales Association.

Alphabet soup your summary.  Load your summary up with all the industry buzzwords of past and present.  These keywords show up in searches within LinkedIn.  Include the problems prospects experience and outcomes when they become clients and customers of your product and services.

Include your phone number. Seems so simple, but often it is omitted in your contact information AND, also include it in your summary.  Make it easy for non-connections to call you.  I know what you are thinking, “I don’t want to be called by a lot of recruiters.”  I’m sure you can handle that conversation if they do.  Just don’t make it difficult for your network to connect with you to offer prospect referrals and other opportunities.  LinkedIn is developing itself into a contact management program (CRM) for people and having your contact information available on their smartphones is invaluable.

Ask for recommendations.  You may believe that if you offer extraordinary service your clients will automatically give you a recommendation.  Wrong.  This is the same belief that they will give you a referral.  Not true.  You have to ask for it.  Compliment your network with gratitude and ask for a recommendation and referral.  This further shows your commitment to your sales career and future customer service by demonstrating that commitment.  And build more sales from past success.  No recommendations sends a message that clients are not happy with your service.  Sorry to be so harsh.

Lastly, build your network.  Add connections every day.  When you go to a networking event, send an invite to connect the next day.  Send an invite to connect to a prospect after you leave a voice mail message.  If they accept, you increase your chance of a conversation while you build credibility when they see your daily status updates.  Target marketing at its best!  When someone sends you an invite and you don’t know them – Connect and Call them.  Have a brief conversation.  If they are unavailable and uninterested in talking with you, kick them off the island and remove them.  It is your network.  Your sales pipeline, your marketing universe, your future clients.

Today, join five groups, post a status update, update your profile with keywords and phone numbers; start a business page and add company information; send a recommendation request to a satisfied customer.  Send me a connection request and let’s talk.



  1. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook the most basic activities that pay rewards. Your list is a “keeper,” Scott. Thank you so much. It will take me more than today to accomplish your motivating suggestions, but as you tell us in the Keystone Club, “Awareness is the first step.”


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