Sales & Marketing Management takes a look at how LinkedIn can be used to leverage referrals:
Your reps can learn where their targeted prospect worked before and with whom. The rep can then see whether the target connects with anyone in his or her business or personal network. There may be people within your company with connections to the target executive.
LinkedIn shows you those connections. The site eases the rep’s pitching duties and is less intrusive for the prospect. It makes getting in contact much easier from the rep’s point of view and much more acceptable for the prospect.
For the first couple of paragraphs, you’ll be wondering what the point is of this highly entertaining story from Dave Mendoza. Once he gets to it, though, it’s pretty meaty (but go read the story if you’ve got time – it’s worth it):
Social Relationship Networks (SRN) and personal and/or corporate Blogs are the stepping stones to your personal brand, with digital footprints linking your name, your capabilities, your peers and associations,alumni, charities and your daughter’s birth announcements to your job descriptions, promotions, trade shows and speaking events.
The interest rationale to any given linkage or introduction is in the eye of the beholder. The key is how you manage your personal brand and follow through on your relationships. Success is underscored by the mutual benefit and respect you afford to your network and your audience, The conundrum is how few, in proportion to our overall industry, actually recognize the need to educate themselves about the value and the means by which to create a substantial brand despite how prevelant the role of commericial branding, in comparison, effects our day-to-day decisions.
Social Relationship Networks & Blogging for Talent are not for convenience sake, they are the interactive bonds which can distinguish your career ladder, create meaningful business relationships and friendships, and your quality of life throughout. In this manner, ask yourself, – is it not time to become an Influencer in the day to day decisions of your employer, clients, and candidate prospects? The tool is at your fingertips.
Marketing recruiter Harry Joiner talks about the value of LinkedIn’s endorsements feature:
By now most HR and marketing professionals know that Linked-in testimonials are impossible to manipulate. All a user can do with an average testimonial is not add it to their profile — they cannot change it. That lends an air of authenticity to Linked-in testimonials, which I love.
Linked-in testimonials will legitimize your claims of functional expertise, and they will help a hiring manager understand exactly where and how and when you have created value in the past.
This is particularly important because thanks to our society’s litigious nature, we have gotten to the point that reference calls to former employers and bosses can basically consist of little more than whether the employee is eligible for rehire or not. LinkedIn endorsements may only show the positive side of someone, but you can still learn a lot more from those few sentences, especially if the person has a good number of endorsements.