How Sales Pros Should Approach Their Personal Summary on LinkedIn

April 12, 2018

We recently explained how to optimize your LinkedIn profile headline for selling. A well-considered LinkedIn headline can do wonders for your lead gen because it can compel a higher percentage of future sales prospects to discover what makes you different. Whether prospects search for your skillset, or for your exact name – often to put a face to your recent outreach – getting a prospect to click through to your LinkedIn profile is an opportunity earned.

What your sales prospect sees after the click is entirely up to you.

After a quick scan of your profile photo, company, education, and connections, your prospect will zero in on your summary. Is yours optimized to impress?

How a Personal Summary Supports Lead Generation

Your personal summary is the first area of your profile a prospect will go for substantive information about you. A good summary calls the reader’s attention to your unique attributes and how those attributes serve to make your customers’ worlds better.  

By investing time to craft a clear summary that speaks to the top motivations and pain points of your prototypical sales prospect, you can create an always on elevator pitch that makes scores of future sales prospects more comfortable with the idea of doing business with you.

What Goes into A Good Personal Summary

Your personal summary is your proxy; it represents you in situations where you aren’t physically present. If your summary is blank, it won’t do any work for you.

Use the space to demonstrate the value you offer, establish credibility, and build rapport. Conclude with a statement covering what you’d like the reader to do next and provide contact information to make it easy to connect with you.

A good personal summary is complete and clear. It expands upon the idea expressed in your headline, and it tells the reader why you’re the perfect person to work with. A few things to keep in mind as you aim to up the conversion power of your summary:

Do

  • Have a good understanding of your ideal buyer audience
  • Write to be understood
  • Incorporate your personality

Avoid

  • Trying to appeal to all audiences
  • Jargon and complex language
  • Projecting an overly formal or stiff image

People reviewing your profile won’t know about your approachable demeanor and helpful attitude unless your profile conveys as much. And even though you see it everywhere, do your best to avoid run-of-the-mill jargon in favor of straight talk. Jargon puts people to sleep. And complex language can signal that you’re not the easiest person to work with. That’s a legitimate concern for buyers who need to collaborate with their sales partner over a lengthy sales cycle. Straight talk, on the other hand, is refreshing.

Best Practices for Salespeople Writing a Personal Summary on LinkedIn

If you’re unsure what to include in your all-star summary, here are a few pointers.

Be concise.

The most effective profile summaries respect the reader’s time. Roughly two-thirds of those who visit LinkedIn do so from a mobile device, making concise, clear language a must. Avoid long chunks of text because it makes for a more difficult read. Instead, shoot for shorter paragraphs and capitalize on headers and bullets to organize key points, including ample white space.

Highlight your best work.

Hopefully you have many accomplishments and accolades to feel good about. Rather than cover them all in your summary, select one to two of your most recent wins. Be specific as to why these are notable, taking care to cover the benefit to the customer and the value the deals delivered for them. Make the scenario relatable to the prospects who will be viewing your profile. Try to incorporate keywords your ideal buyer is likely to use during a search, without sacrificing message quality, of course.

Reveal your differentiators.

What factors, traits, or experiences separate you as a sales professional? Explain what motivates you to carry out your best work and describe circumstances in which you shine. If useful to those reviewing your profile, describe a brief scenario that typifies your methods for solving customer problems.

Offer next steps.

Close with a call-to-action that clearly explains how the profile viewer can connect with you. Include at least one phone number and email address, and a web page they can visit to get more context about specific ways you could help.

Incorporate proof.

Punctuate your great new profile summary with resources that further underscore the text you’ve written. Add a presentation, press release, or other file to your profile. You can also link to a website, custom landing page, or page with a video. Take advantage of the rich media capability in your summary to demonstrate your strengths in a visually appealing format.

Take care of housekeeping items.

Writing about your attention to detail carries little weight when typos or grammar errors are present. Pay attention to capitalization, grammar, and syntax. It can be helpful to read from the bottom of your summary to the top; sometimes errors are more obvious when read out of order. Reading it out loud works, too. Better yet, get feedback from someone you trust.

Follow these best practices to craft a LinkedIn profile summary and you may soon find more B2B buyers in the mood to do business with you.

Learn more ways to generate quality sales leads with our guide, Read Me If You Want to Target the Right Prospects on LinkedIn.

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