The Steps Every Salesperson Should Take to Solicit Recommendations on LinkedIn

May 15, 2018

To Support what you say about yourself, ask for recommendations and endorsements from satisfied clients.

You wouldn’t buy a car or big screen TV without reading ratings and reviews, right? The B2B buyers you work with are no different.

Put yourself in the shoes of your ideal sales prospect for a moment. Suppose two sales reps reached out to you. Their messages were equally insightful, and upon reviewing their LinkedIn profile, you find that both sellers are equally experienced. You notice one major difference, though. One seller has several glowing recommendations from B2B buyers just like you. The other seller doesn’t have any. Who are you more likely to respond to?

When a buyer reviews a salesperson’s profile and discovers strong endorsements from customers who faced similar challenges, it’s only natural that the buyer would place more confidence in the salesperson. The firsthand experience shared by the buyer is a good indicator of what future buyers can expect when they work with you.

Tips for Seeking LinkedIn Recommendations

Think about the ultimate goal of your LinkedIn recommendations: to influence prospective buyers to engage with you. Ask yourself, what do my ideal buyers care about? What are their top fears and challenges? What makes them successful, and how can I support that as a seller?

Make it easy for your existing customers to write compelling recommendations that will persuade future prospects to engage with you. It may seem assumptive to sketch out what you’re looking for, but to a busy decision maker with little time, this extra context is often appreciated, and makes it more likely that you’ll score a superb recommendation. Here’s a format for how you might go about requesting a recommendation from a satisfied buyer:

Hi [Customer name], hopefully you agree that by working together, we were able to:

  1. Solve [ideal sales prospect pain point]
  2. Achieve [ideal sales prospect goal]
  3. Overcome [ideal sales prospect logistical issue]

Using this approach, you can gently steer recommendations so that they speak to the tangible benefits your ideal buyers care about most.

How to Solicit Recommendations on LinkedIn

When you’re ready to ask existing and prior customers for their support, take the following steps to request a recommendation:

  1. Open up your LinkedIn profile page. Scroll down to the Recommendations section.
  2. Click "Ask for a recommendation," then enter the name of the person you’d like to ask when prompted. That person’s name should appear in a drop-down menu.
  3. Complete the Relationship and Position fields.
  4. Draft a personalized message and hit Send.

A personalized message can take time to craft properly, but it’s absolutely worth the investment if you receive a useful, descriptive, and persuasive recommendation in return.

If coming up with what to say stumps you, or you're uncomfortable asking for the help, refer to our example below and adapt the phrasing to suit your situation:

Hi [recipient’s name],

Warm professional intro that doesn’t drag on. “I just wrapped my meeting with the implementation team and I got word that we’re already seeing an increase in production. That’s great!”

Get quickly to the point. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working with you on your company’s initiative and I sincerely hope you feel the same way. I’d be honored if you could write a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile that speaks to my willingness to tackle complex problems and my ability to collaborate with multiple teams to not just create a tailored solution, but also deliver it within the expected timeframe.”

Conclude with a thanks-in-advance. “Thank you for considering my request. I’d welcome the opportunity to write a recommendation for you as well. Your communication is always clear, organized, and proactive, which is why my team members and I love working with you.”

With a few solid recommendations on your profile, you’re well on your way to showing buyers you’re the best choice to help with their current situation.

Discover more tips for building an attention-worthy personal brand using LinkedIn with our new guide, Read Me If You Want to Create an Effective Sales Profile on LinkedIn.