Episode #386: Perry van Beek

Why You Should Take a Genuine Interest in Your LinkedIn Connections


Perry van Been

Perry van Beek, founder of Social.ONE and author of the #1 bestseller LinkedIn Sales Navigator for Dummies™, has helped a diverse range of clients across the globe, refining their commercial LinkedIn strategies to unparalleled heights.

Before starting his own business in 2007, Perry honed his expertise in various international sales roles for 15 years. He’s well-acquainted with the intricacies of sales and deeply understands your challenges. Now, he channels that knowledge and experience into his role as your LinkedIn Sales Navigator Coach.

Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People

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If someone wants to buy something sizable, they want to find the best person to help them. Most people turn to Google for answers. The top search result for someone’s name is usually their LinkedIn profile. That’s where people start. And if they know the product or service they need, people will go to LinkedIn to see who’s available, usually starting with their network. 

So your LinkedIn profile needs to be set apart from the rest. But the people in your network are looking for far more than a well-constructed profile. They want you to add value to their lives. When you approach someone with genuine interest and care about their outcomes, you’ll see success on LinkedIn. But don’t take my word for it—listen to this episode with Perry van Beek to learn more.

Outline of This Episode

  • [1:32] Why a compelling LinkedIn profile is important
  • [3:52] The #1 element that has an impact on sales
  • [5:41] How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn 
  • [8:21] Balancing professionalism and personality 
  • [10:06] How often to update your LinkedIn profile 
  • [11:34] Tools to improve your LinkedIn profile
  • [14:22] Perry’s top LinkedIn profile dos and don’ts 
  • [17:23] Show a genuine interest in others

The #1 element that has an impact on sales

Perry believes that your headline will make the biggest impact. Your headline will either draw someone in or turn them away. You need to spend time and money optimizing it. If your headline says “Sales manager,” why would someone click on your profile? 

What are you bringing to the table? What is your expertise? People want to talk to authorities in their field. They need to work with someone who can bring them value. Keep your headline between 100–170 characters. Make the first 50 characters count (especially because of mobile app usage). Add supporting details in the remaining characters. 

How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn 

Perry’s wife—a graphic designer—was approached by someone who’d been narrowing down five designers he wanted to work with. He saw that she’d run the New York Marathon because she’d shared it on LinkedIn. He explained that he was preparing for the marathon and when he saw that she’d run it, it was the tipping point. Why? 

Because people do business with people. People like people who are like them. If you both love running marathons, it’s a connection point to bond over. Don’t be afraid to add personal details to your profile. 

Secondly, share content that helps others. Comment on people’s posts. Ask questions. Engage with others. You‘ll be authentic and impactful. Perry’s formal is collect, connect, and convert. You can use LinkedIn to collect information and insights. Then you connect and engage in conversations. Converting to clients must take place outside of LinkedIn. 

Perry’s top LinkedIn profile dos and don’ts 

Perry’s dos and don’ts are on point: 

  • Your headline should be about the value you can give your potential customer. They need a reason to connect with you. 
  • Use a professional profile photo and set the visibility to “Public.” Perry’s received countless invitations and people have profiles that aren’t public. 
  • Share your story in the about section and make it compelling.
  • Don’t talk about being a quote crusher or sales tiger. Only 3% of people trust salespeople. Why would they reach out to someone who advertises themself as a sales manager? 
  • Don’t talk about yourself but show a genuine interest in others. You show interest in others at networking events. And the more interest you show in others, the more interest they’ll show in you. 

Show a genuine interest in others

Perry had a client come to him who was ready to give up on LinkedIn. He didn’t think it worked. Perry looked at his profile and it was far too egocentric. He only talked about how he killed it in every job. They worked together to update his profile to make it customer-centric.

Then he spent the next week—30 minutes a day—commenting on other people’s posts, asking questions, and building rapport. He showed a genuine interest in others. Within one week, he had 1,700% more profile views. Showing an interest in others makes them interested in you. 

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Learn More About Perry van Beek

Are there any definitive guides or resources you recommend for crafting an effective LinkedIn profile?

In 2009 I created my LinkedIn Profile Checklist for the first time and I have updated it at least once a year since. Since that time, over half a million people have used this resource. You can find the latest version for free at www.linkedincheatsheet.com.

In the realm of LinkedIn branding and sales, who do you most admire and why?

I would have to say that one of my absolute favourites on LinkedIn regarding branding and sales is Darren Pallatina. It’s very inspiring to see how he plays with colours and how he manages to do this for his clients as well.

What are your top ten tips for someone looking to optimize their LinkedIn profile for sales – your golden advice set?

  • Make sure your profile is not ego-centric or sales-centric but that it is customer-centric.
  • Treat your profile like a landing page, make it clear for your profile visitors what to do next or where they can get additional resources.
  • Spend more time on your LinkedIn Headline than on anything else on your profile.
  • Get a professionally taken headshot
  • Make sure your profile picture is set to public
  • Customise your banner to create a positive first impression and impact
  • If you’re struggling with your About section, start with your Why.Then with What it is that you do and for Whom and then How you got to that position. End it with a short Personal Note.
  • Add your specialties (keywords) to your current job title for optimal findability (on and off of LinkedIn)
  • Share your results in your job description so that potential customers that read that will also want those results.
  • Review your profile at least once a month.

What are the primary considerations that companies should be aware of regarding their employees’ representation on LinkedIn?

    I always compare this to the clothes that your sales representatives wear. Those clothes belong to them. But when they visit customers, you can demand that they present themselves professionally dressed. Not in shorts, shades and shirtless, right? The profiles of the employees are the same. They belong to the employees themselves. However, when they choose to represent you on LinkedIn, companies can demand that they do this in a professional manner. 

    Do you believe companies should provide specific training for employees to utilize LinkedIn effectively? Should this be a standard part of a salesperson’s induction/onboarding process?

    Absolutely and I’m surprised this isn’t part of onboarding at every company. Especially for sales professionals. So often I see sales people with profiles that scream that they’re quota-crushers or tough negotiators. It’s because they created their profile when they were looking for a job. That was fine then. But now their potential customers are reading this. Do you think these prospects are eager to connect with “quota-crushers”?

    Can you share some case studies or examples of how a well-crafted LinkedIn profile has significantly impacted a company’s sales or networking capabilities?

    A profile by itself does nothing. You can optimise and design the best profile, but if you don’t use it properly, it will never stand out. I had a client who I helped redesign his profile and then he started using that profile to comment on leaders and influencers that matched his ICP for at least 30 minutes per day. He had 1700% more profile views within a week!

    LinkedIn is constantly evolving. Are there any new features or strategies that you’re currently delving into or recommend sales professionals should explore?

    Upgrade to Sales Navigator (Advanced version) of you’re serious about sales. If you learn how to use it properly, you will be able to find much more relevant leads in less time. Once you get the hang of it, it will help you save at least 30 minutes a day in your prospecting. That’s more than a full work-day a month that you’ve just saved!

    How do you balance showcasing your hobbies and interests on LinkedIn, ensuring it complements your professional brand?

    Mention your hobbies and interests in your About section and every now and then, post something about it. And even if that post is about a hobby or an interest, if you can, try to link that post to your line work in some way.

    For listeners eager to learn more, what’s the best way to connect with you on LinkedIn or other platforms?

    Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn. I decline a lot of unpersonalised invites, but when you include a personal message and mention that you came through the Sales Reinvented Podcast, I will definitely accept. My profile is www.linkedin.com/in/perryvanbeek.

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