Recommendations and referrals are the gold standard of sales leads. It makes sense, then, that sales professionals take a proactive role in obtaining recommendations. Enter LinkedIn. The leading social platform for all things business/professional makes requesting recommendations simple and easy. In a recent HubSpot sales blog, How to Get a High-Quality LinkedIn Recommendation, author Emma Brudner succinctly outlines the simple four-step process as well as helpful guidelines for obtaining high-quality recommendations on LinkedIn. It's a two-minute read and well worth your time!
Two points worth expanding from a business development perspective:
Identify topics you'd like the person to focus on
Be sure to prompt your recommender toward the insights you would like them to share. Typically, it will address benefits you delivered to this client. For example, "I'm really proud of the reduction in materials waste we were able to achieve with the new inventory tracking system. Could you write a bit about that objective and what your results were like?" Not only will this approach get you a much more impactful recommendation, specificity also makes it easier for the person writing the recommendation.
Wording of the recommendation request
In her blog, Brudner provides a template with suggested verbiage for requesting a recommendation. Best sales practices require slight changes to her wording. First, the template references an asset for the customer. Ideally, value would be delivered to the customer prior to making the request rather than giving and asking in the same moment.
One other point that will catch the eye of seasoned sales pros is this sentence: "I know a recommendation from you will significantly elevate my profile." This statement is very much in the "odds are" of the sales professional making the request. A better approach would be to give the customer a spot in the limelight. For example, "Your commitment and reinforcement were significant factors in our terrific success at XYZ Company, and I would like to use your example to inspire other leaders.
"If you have not yet harnessed LinkedIn recommendations for your business development efforts, this HubSpot blog is a terrific resource to get you started. Read the entire blog here: How to Get a High-Quality LinkedIn Recommendation