7 Tips for HVAC Sales Reps to Position You as The Industry Expert
Linkedin Personal Branding is now more important than ever in the digital age and with restricted contact. Make sure that your profile is reflective of the Sales Engineer expert that you are. Your profile is like a mini-website that instantly qualifies you as the expert in your field… if done right. Watch the video or read below for 7 (okay 8) tips to create a strong Sales Engineer profile.
1. Profile Photo
Your LinkedIn profile is 11x more likely to be viewed if it includes a photo. Your photo should be a high-quality headshot. Make sure you’re looking at the camera and smiling. The key is to look professional, not like you took the picture at home. If you can’t get a professional headshot, make sure the background in your photo is free from distractions.
2. Professional Headline
Just below your name, you will see a headline space where you can write 120 words. This is your personal branding statement that tells customers what you can do for them. It’s important to describe yourself in a compelling way—not just as “Sales Engineer at Rep Firm Name.”
Your headline should describe what you do, who you do it for, and the results that they can expect working with you or your unique selling proposition (USP). Make sure to include keywords describing yourself and your areas of expertise- these usually cover your hard skills and allows you to appear in relevant searches. Try to showcase your strengths without being ostentatious.
An example for a sales rep would be “HVAC Sales Engineer advising Midwest engineers and contractors seeking energy-efficient building solutions” or “Molly keeps Midwest businesses warm by installing premier heating installations utilizing the most advanced Hydronics equipment”.
Here is a quick exercise to help you get started.
[your role] who helps [your audience] do or understand [unique offering] so that [transformation and benefit].
3. Cover Image
Add a banner image to your profile to serve as a cover image- one that reflects the HVAC industry or the work you do. If you’re in the Hydronics department display a boiler or pump picture, if you’re in aftermarket sales display an image collage of motors, OEM or Non-OEM parts, VFDs, or Cylinders. If you are in sales post a picture that is descriptive of the HVAC industry. Canva is a great resource to design a banner image for free in the correct dimensions.
4. About Section
This is a summary of both your hard and soft skills. Make sure you are speaking to your audience addressing pain points and how you can solve them. Think of writing in the form of challenge-action-results. Write about the value you deliver to your customers. This is a section that is about you, but not for you.
5. Featured Section
LinkedIn makes it easy to showcase your work via the featured work section. You can add white papers, presentations, datasheets, posts, videos of the manufacture’s products you sell, photos of you at a customer product show, recent job site photos, or an industry award. This is a great area to visually express your expertise. This is not a space to be self-promoting, but rather provide information that is useful or insightful for those you work with.
6. Experience Section
The experience section is your resume essentially, but let it tell the story you want to brand yourself with. Make sure to clean up this section and remove any roles that are not relevant to your current position within the HVAC industry. Also, make sure that you don’t have positions listed from your younger years that are no longer relevant- this is a sure-fire way to date yourself.
Try writing this section with the perspective of a customer in mind who is interested in doing business with you. How can you add value or insights? What track record can you talk about where you have brought positive results to other companies?
7. Skills and Endorsements
This section allows you to highlight your top skills and present recommendations given to you by people in the HVAC industry. Listing your skills gives you 13X the boost in profile views and increases your brand equity.
Okay so there are 8 tips… this last one is important!
8. Ask To Be Recommended!
Start by asking for recommendations from colleagues, employers, and especially customers who can speak about your qualifications and credibility in the HVAC industry. When asking for the recommendation, request that they focus on a specific skill or personal characteristic that qualifies you for your current position. This helps you build instant rapport with your customers and colleges in the HVAC industry. Think about the last time you meet a new person in the field of manufacture who came in for a lunch and learn presentation. You most likely looked them up on LinkedIn or Google to learn more about them. Having updated recommendations reinforce that you are credible by others in the industry.
LinkedIn has great resources to offer. Click HERE to check out this quick 10 step guide to building your sales profile.