With the rise of social selling, LinkedIn has become a powerhouse for sales professionals to find potential business opportunities, business owners to find new employees, and professionals to grow their networks. Understanding the amazing potential of LinkedIn, over 330 million individuals have joined this business social network. With such an overwhelming sea of profiles, how do you distinguish yourself so opportunities can come to you?
One “powerful way” to do so, my fellow hustlers, is through LinkedIn recommendations. Here are several reasons why:
- They showcase your expertise and validate what you claim to be good at
- Offer instant reference and credibility
- Elevates you for possible promotion opportunities
- Helps you stand out to potentially interested parties
However, understanding this, the next obvious question is: “How do you get more recommendations?” Well, lucky for us, LinkedIn has made this very easy. All you have to do is write more recommendations! When you write a recommendation for someone, the recipient will receive a prompting to return the favor by writing you a recommendation. My experience has proven that most will write you a thoughtful recommendation, especially if yours was thoughtful.
So how should you write a recommendation? Here are the four main components of a powerful recommendation.
- Attention Grabbing:
Just like with email or a blog post, it’s important to grab the attention of your readers right away! You want them to read your recommendation and not just pass over it. Well, have an amazing, attention grabbing, one-liner at the start of your recommendation.
Say something like, “Talented is an understatement when talking about Jim’s work.” or “One of the best designers I know.”
- Identify who you are and establish your credibility:
Think like the reader. They are reading a recommendation that evaluates them. Since they may not know who is writing the recommendation, it’s important for them to know you are a credible source right from the beginning. They need to know the qualifications you possess in order to write this recommendation.
Mention if you were a colleague, mentor, previous boss, life long friend or vendor. The reader will develop a mindset of understanding who you are as they go through your recommendation.
“I had the honor of working for John while he was managing the North American division of Global IT”
“For 7 years, David’s company served as our IT vendor, while being an account executive for Mountain Ridge manufacturing.”
- State a specific reason why you are recommending the person. Support your recommendation with a reason that tells a story:
There is nothing more disappointing than to read a recommendation, which is it expected to offer key information or insights, but leaves you empty because it’s bland and doesn’t have the suitable points of a recommendation. To avoid this, with recommendations you write for your friends and colleagues, make sure to incorporate the following:
- Offer a brief story that gives meaning to your recommendation; people love stories!
- Be specific and use metrics or statistics if applicable
- Offer a glimpse of the personality of the individual you are recommending
- Keep your recommendation short and concise (under 200 words)
The final part of your recommendation is to encourage the reader to take action on what you are recommending. However, remember, this is not a sales pitch. It is a simple, one-sentence encouragement. Here are a few examples:
“I thoroughly recommend, that if you think Barbara will be able to help you or your business; that you pick-up the phone sooner rather than later. You will not be disappointed!”
“I would recommend her to anyone looking to create a professional website.”
“If you are looking for a quality sales professional for your organization, I encourage you take a look at Richard.”
Now that you have a better understanding of why LinkedIn recommendations are so important and how you can do them, start writing recommendations to increase your social selling. The more you do, the better off you’ll be able to gain new opportunities and start doing BIG THINGS.