Episode #387: Laura Hayton
Laura Hayton is a seasoned sales hunter with a specialized focus on electrical engineering within the United Kingdom.
With over 17 years of experience in the field, Laura has honed her expertise in navigating the complex landscape of electrical engineering solutions. Her career journey has been marked by a relentless pursuit of excellence in sales, constantly seeking innovative ways to connect clients with cutting-edge technology in the electrical engineering domain.
Her passion for understanding client needs and industry trends has propelled her to excel in identifying bespoke solutions that align perfectly with the demands of the sector. Laura’s dedication to forging strong client relationships is evident in her track record of consistently surpassing sales targets while ensuring customer satisfaction at the highest level.
Our Mission Is To Change The Negative Perception Of Sales People
Our Vision Is A World Where Selling Is A Profession To Be Proud Of
15 years ago people made connections via industry events, cold calling, and emails. They had limited access to information. That’s just how it was. But the world has changed. We are firmly in the digital age.
More buyers are researching online before speaking to someone in sales. LinkedIn, as of 2024, has over 1 billion users worldwide (38 million in the UK). That’s half of the population of the UK.
92% of buyers want to buy from a salesperson known as a thought leader. Use LinkedIn to showcase your skills and build your personal brand. It is the first way to build a connection and demonstrate authority and credibility in the field.
Outline of This Episode
- [1:28] Why a compelling LinkedIn profile is important
- [4:51] The elements that have an impact on sales
- [6:34] How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn
- [8:34] Balancing professionalism and personality
- [11:07] How often to update your LinkedIn profile
- [12:31] Tools to improve your LinkedIn profile
- [15:09] Laura’s top LinkedIn profile dos and don’ts
- [17:54] Harness the power of LinkedIn
How to tell your professional story on LinkedIn
Your LinkedIn profile is like an exhibition stand. Your stand needs to be branded, share your core message, and provide information. If you dressed poorly and spoke like a robot, you wouldn’t have great success at the event. No one will come to your stand.
LinkedIn is like a 24/7 exhibition stand. When you are authentic and professional, your communication is likely to follow suit. The professionals with longstanding clients have genuine intent. They care about their client(s) and forging connections with them.
Your skills, endorsements, and recommendations add to the authenticity. People need to know you’re exactly who you say you are. LinkedIn allows them to do this without even speaking to you.
Balancing professionalism and personality
The human brain is still wired with a desire for connection. The digital age hasn’t changed that. Use LinkedIn as a medium for communication to build likability and rapport. Communicate your message and infuse your personality.
20% of Laura’s content is personal so her network can see who she is. But she always keeps it relevant to her professional growth or her prospect’s challenges. Let people see that you’re a relatable person with vulnerability.
Tools to improve your LinkedIn profile
LinkedIn offers a wealth of training courses to build your profile. You can find an abundance of information on YouTube as well. You can use ChatGPT to help you write content or adjust wording.
LinkedIn analytics can show you how successful your content is, if you’re using the right visuals, etc. It will teach you what is—or isn’t—working. You can also use Sales Navigator’s SSI score to identify opportunities for improvement. It will tell you what you need to do.
Laura’s top LinkedIn profile dos and don’ts
- Build a powerful LinkedIn page with the right photo, headline, etc.
- Provide quality content consistently. The more touchpoints with your network, the more powerful your rapport.
- Build a network of quality users that fit your demographics. Don’t populate your network with people from unrelated industries.
- Don’t build a LinkedIn page if you’re going to leave it with zero content. It can decimate potential trust.
- Don’t make your profile self-centric. This isn’t Facebook. It must be all about the demographic you want to target.
- Don’t connect with people and try to sell to them. LinkedIn isn’t about selling online. You’ll turn people off. Serve your network and add value.
Laura built a connection with the CEO of a multi-million-dollar business. She wrote something that offered him real value. He quickly got back to her because he liked the value she offered. He put her in touch with the person with decision-making power.
15 years ago, connecting with this person may have been impossible. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity to build a network, offer value, and grow your pipeline.
Learn More About Laura Hayton
Are there any definitive guides or resources you recommend for crafting an effective LinkedIn profile?
There is so much information on the internet to what you can utlise to craft an effective linkedin profile, my favourite to date has to be the information I gained while doing Base Over Apex course, not only can you understand the information simply the course teaches you the who, what, why and hows. Paul and has team give such a detailed understanding of the digital platform, it makes the passion to do it infectious.
In the realm of LinkedIn branding and sales, who do you most admire and why?
My favourite person to follow Is by far Gary Vaynrchuk, with a staggering 5.5 million followers he has crafted a fantastic personal brand. Offering value to his followers is at the heart of what he does, he saw the opportunity social media and Linkedin had to offer and took full advantage of the opportunity. Recognising that EQ is at vital, if not more vital than IQ he has enabled to create connections with a huge following.
What are your top ten tips for someone looking to optimize their LinkedIn profile for sales – your golden advice set?
Top ten tips for someone looking to optimise their Linkedin Profile for sales
Strong and professional profile picture without question, it will work in your favour if you look approachable and confident. Save your personal profile pics for Facebook and Instagram If you want to be taken seriously.
Your headline is the second insight a follower has of you make it concise and descriptive to what you do, what value can you offer to a follower. You an also feature a URL to the company business
Banner, often this is overlooked, visually each follower has around 30 seconds to make a snap judgement of who you are, if you work for a company, do they have a banner you can utilise that is a powerful aid. Perhaps you work for yourself, can you find a banner that symbolises your core values or what you do for a business.
Summary, here you can write a compelling summary, use it to highlight your skills and experience. Its important that you can build a foundation for your follower to develop trust with who you are and what you stand for.
Experience, do you highlight domain expertise in the field your follower would benefit, how does this translate to value to the potential client. You can also link a URL to your company website so what you are currenrly representing is easily accessible.
Skills and endorsements, do you offer the skillset that a follower would need, do people you have worked with previously endorse these skills
Recommendations, the strongest method in which you can build a foundation of trust, what do your peers and clients say about you. Are you really client centric? Do you really do what you say youre going to do?
Featured section, what are the most powerful articles you have written or shared? You can pin these on your featured section. The follower will find these within seconds of scrolling on your linkedin
Content, please remember to keep content client centric people don’t want to read content that is purely about you, how does it serve them? What benefit can they get from your content? Is it engaging, is it powerful, what is the message to them. You can also showcase your personality through the words and visulation that you use, use it to your benefit
Last but not least analytics, this will be how you understand as to whether your content is working for you, remember the more engagement you have secondary and further connections will be able to view your content as your followers engage with you.
What are the primary considerations that companies should be aware of regarding their employee’s representation on Linkedin?
In the UK alone as of June 2023 there were a staggering 38.1 million users, this spans the entire hierarchy within organisations, not only your decision maker but the surrounding influencers to any decision too. LinkedIn has quickly become the most powerful B2B networking tool available to any business. Companies should utilise their employee’s profiles to build a strong brand image and incorporate successes through an employee’s KPI. Staff should also be briefed on what is and isn’t acceptable, the messaging should be utilised for the strength of the business as well as the employee’s personal brand.
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?
The dynamic of sales has changed significantly in the past 10 years, the sales role used to be primarily in person, but through the shift of the digital age, there has been a significant shift to how such connections are made. Some salespeople will find the LinkedIn process effortless, others won’t be as natural to appreciate its benefits, a company must recognise this as they would want to invest in the time to train an employee for other aspects of the business. Arguably LinkedIn has become one of the first areas in which a connection is made, without sufficient training, it is an opportunity for the business that has been overlooked.
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?
My own LinkedIn profile has enabled me to make connections that without Linkedin truly wouldn’t have been possible, its also enabled me to develop hundreds of thousands of £’s of businesses for the companies in which I have worked for, communicate with CEO’s and training for hundreds of engineers. The opportunities I have generated through the platform have been endless, don’t forget in this period of time, your communication to a prospect via Linkedin is within their pocket, this makes the person far more accessible with well crafted communications than ever before.
LinkedIn is constantly evolving. Are there any new features or strategies that you’re currently delving into or recommend sales professionals should explore?
Like all social media, LinkedIn has evolved significantly in the past decade. Keeping on top of the evolution and understanding your audience truly is key, there is a wealth of groups, webinars, training and great features such as engaging polls which can be utilised. Posts now have a feature to delay when the content is released and there are other social media add-ons that can be used to understand the audience much more easily. For example, Crystal knows.
How do you balance showcasing your hobbies and interests on LinkedIn, ensuring it complements your professional brand?
I’m a big believer in keeping your personal life to your own personal platforms, that being said your personality should transpire via Linked In, after all, we all need human connection, it is the foundation of how we build trust with one another… as the age-old saying goes, people buy from people. In my linkedin, I talk about how my love of fitness enables me to have a good mindset for work, or how my why is my children which enables me to focus on my career. Posts such as this are engaging and very relatable to my network.
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