Somewhere there's a disconnect between understanding what's marketing and what's selling. There is a preconception that LinkedIn is a Social Media outlet and therefore is more about marketing.... with a bent to sending out an advertising message. It's more than that.
Selling is a process. There are numerous ways to engage with customer:
You can meet new customers through cold calling, knocking on doors, or you can meet them through networking events and trade shows. LinkedIn is a big network. But what about those companies that you already know about but can't get to the next "level" in the sales process?
It's been talked about in several of our articles and videos of how to use LinkedIn as a business intelligence tool. You "follow" a company and see who's been promoted, is a new hire, or who has left. But that's really just he beginning. As you have completed more of your profile, and your connections have increased, you may have noticed a little box on your LinkedIn home page that tells you how many people have viewed your profile and how many times you have appeared in searches. It makes you feel good to know that people may be checking you out. You've probably clicked through to see who has been looking at you. Interesting at times and other times a bit frustrating; because you can't always see exactly who it was because of the person's privacy settings.
Now put on your salesperson hat. If you are clicking through to see who's viewed you, don't you think that other people are doing the same? Can your customers or prospects see that you looked at their profile?
What if, before your next meeting, you looked at every person's profile in the company you're meeting with and your name showed up on a LinkedIn list like the one on the left.
What happens if, during your meeting you see or meet some of the people whom you looked at and they have that "feeling" that they may have met you before? (in a positive way!)
What happens after you leave the meeting, when your contacts are talking around the coffee pot and your name and meeting is brought up? What happens if the final decision maker happens to over hear (and just got done seeing that you had looked at their personal profile) so that they decide to listen in and find out more about you and your company? As a salesperson these are all good things. These are the kinds of things that top salespeople already try to do. The devil is always in the details.
But none of this will work if your profile only says "Someone in the...."
Now take off your salesperson hat and put your marketing hat back on. If no one was able to click through and see your profile, they where also not able to click through and see the link to your website, Twitter, YouTube or Facebook links that you have taken the time to input.
Now before you say "Well, I'm not in sales and I don't want people seeing my profile.." let me ask you this: Does your company sell something? Do you have customers? If you happen to be looking at someone's profile on LinkedIn for your own personal or professional reasons and they happen to know someone who was just talking about the kind of things your company does... is it so terrible that your company would get more business? If increasing the sales and revenue is not a concern for every member of your company then you probably have a different set of problems.
Check your settings and let people see that you've been looking at them.