In my blog post What's In Your Salesreps' LinkedIn Profiles? I suggested that salespeople should use LinkedIn, not as an online resume, but as a chronological accounting of the value they've delivered to their customers and markets. That's what I've done on my LinkedIn profile. That personal branding should serve to differentiate them from their competition through articulation of their business value.
That salesrep would build a profile that was customer-value oriented instead. They would list the companies (or profiles of companies if confidentiality were an issue) to which they had sold their products and services to in the past. The rep's profile would outline initiatives, projects, etc. The reps would get recommendations from people in those accounts who would acclaim the rep's honesty, business savvy, determination, and desire to see the customer succeed. Once a rep had developed a LinkedIn profile like that, they would attach the "See My LinkedIn Profile" button to their email signature, inviting customers to click on it.
Well, right now (at least when I wrote this) LinkedIn is having some technical problems. It's been going on for well over a week. I feel for them. I really do. But searches often don't work. And updating my profile has been a nightmare.
So, while I was waiting for LinkedIn to resolve their technical problems, I spent a bit of time on Plaxo. I've been getting invited to connect by colleagues and friends for a while now. I can't see maintaining both.
I'm interested in your preference for business/social networking. Please vote and then tell us which you prefer and why in a comment...
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