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Getting Ready for a New Job on LinkedIn

By Sander Biehn | Feb 21, 2018

When the market correction hits, what’s your career strategy on LinkedIn? As a social selling company, we often ignore one of the main reasons LinkedIn has become so big for professionals: It’s potential to steer us in the direction of a new job. But how does this translate to a sales professional trying to knock down a quota in a current sales role? How does that sales rep future-proof her career while using LinkedIn for social selling at the same time? Is it time to choose between current success and future prospects?

My old boss, Andy, taught me that the best way to future-proof yourself is by making quota. But this is not the only reason I want to add to the  “profile-as-a-resume/CV” approach that J.T. O’Donnell suggests in this Inc. article. That said, I do need to add just one additional thing that I think every sales professional should do to get ‘future-proofed.”

My suggestion may seem a bit round-about, but I think it is equally important in landing that next position.

The one thing you need to do?

You must be fanatical about connecting with the people you interact with in person and via phone and email.

My anecdotal research while training sales teams globally tells me that 25% of the people we interact with never make it to a LinkedIn contact. Why? There are several major culprits:

  1. The contact doesn’t have immediate business value
  2. The contact is a partner or vendor and not as interesting to connect with
  3. Time is short and social connecting just slips through the cracks

How does radical connecting help land a new job? I tell salespeople that more and more their value to a prospective employer is not what they know, it’s who they know. Technology moves forward at dizzying speeds and there is no way to remain an expert for long. Meanwhile, having online connections is an arsenal of not only buyers but also ecosystem partners who ultimately will win you your next job. Connecting people with others who can help them solve business problems is a skill that will take us far.

For a quick example, consider you are an employer looking for a new salesperson. You can either hire someone with a smoking resume that may or may not include some bending of the truth or someone who has thousands of contacts in the industry? The choice is obvious especially if many of those contacts are people in a target industry or job title who are not already known to the hiring manager. And consider this. The hiring manager can assess and compare candidates based on LinkedIn connections with just a few taps on a smartphone.

Get your resume ready. You never know when a better opportunity will come along. However, also be ready to land that new opportunity by being the best-connected candidate. I predict that someday our ability to sell will be correlated with the size and strength of our social networks.

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