Use Your LinkedIn Profile To Market Your Expertise, Not Your Resume

August 2016

Smart Selling: Distributor Sales Strategies From HIDA

By Elizabeth Hilla
Senior Vice President, HIDA

Many of us in the business world use LinkedIn every day to find information about the people at companies with which we work. Rest assured that customers and prospects use it to check you out as well.

Why is that important?

It means we all need to think about the impression a customer will get when they look us up. Do they see:

  • Someone who’s proud of their current organization and the value they provide? Or,
  • Someone who appears to be trolling for their next job?

If you want customers to be more inclined to buy from you, make sure it’s the former.

Social media expert Jan Beery of KBK Communications pointed this out on a HIDA webinar last year, and it really stuck with me. She recommended emphasizing customer-focused areas of expertise, so your profile lets current and prospective clients know how they can benefit from working with you.

Which of the following would make a better impression on you, if you were the customer?

“John Salesguy is a results-oriented healthcare sales rep with a proven track record of making quotas and closing sales. He is an expert at finding new prospects, cold-calling, and growing revenue.”


“John Salesguy serves as a resource to healthcare providers, offering product and service solutions designed to help organizations save money and improve efficiency. His areas of expertise include logistics, low-unit-of-measure programs, and value analysis.”

I hope you picked the second one.

Profile pointers

Start at the top – professional photo, current title and organization

If I’ve convinced you that it’s time to update your profile, here are a few tips:

  • Start at the top. Make sure your title and organization are up to date at the top of the profile.
  • Consider selecting “Hospitals and Health Care” as your industry, rather than “Medical Devices” or “Wholesale” so you’re in the same category as your customers.
  • Take time with your “Summary.” This is where you spell out your areas of expertise.
  • Tell what’s great about your company. A good place to do this is in the “Description” field for your current position.
  • Choose a professional photo. Pictures really do say a thousand words.

  • Make sure it’s grammatically perfect. Typos and poor writing detract from your professional image. (Most salespeople weren’t English majors, so ask for help if you need it.)
  • Consider making some of your contact information public. If you’re afraid to put your email address public and risk getting a barrage of junk mail, consider at least including your work phone number so that prospects can contact you.

Also, remember to update your profile when your role changes. Good luck and smart selling!


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