How many times have you pulled up the LinkedIn profile for someone you met at a networking event, a prospect, a client, a co-worker or a friend and seen the image below?
Why do you think that is? Have those people never done anything memorable in their careers?
Have they never impressed someone with their work ethic or excellent customer service?
Are they just bad at their jobs?
While that certainly could be possible for a few people in your network, that probably isn’t the case with most of your LinkedIn connections.
So why do most people have no LinkedIn Recommendations or maybe just 1 or 2?
1. THEY HAVEN’T ASKED.
They haven’t taken the time to ask long-time colleagues for one. In general, we don’t recommend you ask people for recommendations unless you have worked with them extensively and you know they are someone that would gladly recommend you. When asking for recommendations, don’t email the person or send a note through LinkedIn.
Instead, pick up the phone, see how they are doing, see if there is anything you can help them with…and then let them know that you are working on your LinkedIn profile and would appreciate it if they would write a recommendation for you.
2. THEY NEVER GIVE RECOMMENDATIONS.
Even better than asking people for recommendations, instead take time each week to GIVE recommendations to people that you have worked with throughout your career that have done great work, impressed you, delivered in a pinch, have an unwavering commitment to customer service, have referred people to you consistently, and on and on.
Once you write a recommendation, that person receives an email saying “Mary Jane has recommended you on LinkedIn”. They open the email, read your recommendation (that made their day because it came out of the blue), and then they click the button that says they want to add the recommendation to their profile. Then what happens? A little box pops up and asks them, in so many words, if they want to return the favor.
To write a recommendation, just click on the link that appears on the right hand side of your connection’s LinkedIn profile. (see image)
I often brag about Jason Terry who has 58 LinkedIn recommendations. (Please let me know if you ever see anyone with more. I’ve been on LinkedIn for about 7 years and that is the most I’ve ever seen…and it’s not even close.)
But you know what the more impressive number is? Jason has recommended 77 people on LinkedIn. (Again, that’s the most I’ve ever seen, so let me know if you ever see a profile with more!)
Recommendations matter. Whether it’s someone looking to hire you personally or your company to do work for them, it’s always better to hear what OTHER people say about you. At the end of the day, every single consumer out there wants to do business with people they can trust, who provide great value, and who do what they say they are going to do.
You can tell people all day long that’s how you work, but it’s so much more effective if they can read it for themselves from other people you’ve worked with throughout your career.
So do yourself, and a connection, a favor today….and give a recommendation. You just might be surprised by what you receive in return.