The buyers’ journey has changed. The typical buyer is online more than ever before. Where a buyer once engaged with various sellers to learn about their products and services, social media and online interactions now guide their purchasing decisions. According to the Corporate Executive Board, 75% of all buyers use social media to learn about vendors and services.

Sellers are becoming obsolete in this buying journey…unless they go social. Becoming a social seller is more than getting a Twitter account or copying your Facebook photo into your LinkedIn Profile.

It’s about:

  • Being buyer centric.
  • Listening to your buyers.
  • Engaging when the time is right.
  • Reaching out to the right prospect with the right message.

In this blog we will give you some tips on step #1, being buyer centric.

In 2012, there were more than 5.7 billion professionally oriented searches on LinkedIn, so chances are good that someone is looking for what you have to offer. As the go-to network for business, many LinkedIn users view their profiles as extensions of their resumes. But when social selling is the goal, it’s time to reconsider what you are presenting to the world.

Here are three easy steps to make your LinkedIn Profile sales centric:

Profile photo: No (dress) shirt, no shoes, no service.
Your LinkedIn Profile is your chance to demonstrate your professional self, not how good you look in a bikini or how cute your kids are. Make this a professional photo, think headshot. Be sure to smile!

Headline: Does it translate to buyers?
Your company may have a very specific way of describing your role, but does this description communicate your value to your buyers? If your title has “sales” in it, nix it and instead use your headline to show what you provide to your clients. For example, “Social Selling Team Lead” does not tell my potential clients what I do or how I can help them. “Providing Social Guidance for Sales Success,” however, gives everyone who visits my profile a better idea of the value I bring to my clients.

Summary: Who are you trying to impress?
What do you want your buyers to know about you? What you’ve accomplished–or the experience and high regard you have for the services and products you sell? The first appeals to potential employers, while the second speaks to the buying journey. Be sure your LinkedIn Summary shines the spotlight on what you are offering as a seller, not as a job candidate.

With your LinkedIn Profile tuned up for social selling, you’re one step closer to putting the power of social media to work for you as a sales tool.