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How to get recommendations on LinkedIn


LinkedIn can be a useful tool from both a sales standpoint and a marketing standpoint. Part of that usefulness comes in the form of social proof.

Social proof is where people look for affirmation or justification of a decision—sometimes before finalizing the decision, sometimes after—by seeing what other people have said or done. In the marketing world, that can take the form of Google reviews, social media followers they're friends with, and even a recommendation by an expert or influencer.

On LinkedIn, social proof often takes the form of recommendations and endorsements. If you would like more recommendations or endorsements, this method we’ve used for getting them is pretty straightforward.

Step 1: Add connections

Start out by requesting connections from jobs you've worked at in the past. Or if you own your own business or are a freelancer, request connections from past clients and customers. Add as many as you can that fit two qualifications:

  1. They will likely recognize who you are.
  2. They will likely say you did a good job while you worked with or for them.

Step 2: Give recommendations

You need to give before you can expect to receive. Once people start accepting your connection requests, recommend each person you feel comfortable recommending.

Don't leave the same recommendation every time. It will make it easier to have 3-4 templates you use for the recommendations, but be sure to rotate through them and customize them as much as possible.

A recommendation that feels personal to the person receiving it will work much better than one that doesn't.

Step 3: Request a recommendation

Once you've sent that recommendation to your contact, follow up with a short message. Send something along these lines:

Hi Mike, this is Tim. I just sent you a recommendation here through LinkedIn. If there's anything in there you'd like me to tweak, please let me know. And don't feel any obligation, but any chance you'd be willing and able to leave me a recommendation as well?

Make the message short and sweet, and be sure to give them permission to say "no." Studies show that when you give people permission to say "no," they're actually more likely to say "yes." Plus it's just the right thing to do!

That's the entire method! The key is to be honest and complimentary, and many of the people you recommend will recommend you back.

This same system will work if you want to increase your endorsements as well. You can endorse your connections' skills if you'd like, or you can even stick to recommending them as that shows even more that you care.

You can expect to see 10% return or better when using this system. Tim has used this system since 2007 and has a 27% return on recommendations.

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Mike Crandall​​​​​

Mike Crandall

Sandler Custom Growth Solutions

Mike Crandall is a Speaker, Consultant, Coach and Trainer focused on Sales, Management, and Leadership Development.

He's also the owner of Sandler Custom Growth Solutions, a world leader in innovative sales, management, and leadership training. They offer consulting, coaching, and training for individuals and organizations serious about professional development and growth.

Mike is the author of "Motivational Management The Sandler Way" and has written a sales column for several years.

Tim Priebe​​​​​

Tim Priebe

T&S Online Marketing

Tim Priebe is a public speaker, author, columnist, and the owner of T&S Online Marketing. He helps businesses that are worried they don’t have the expertise or time required to invest in doing their own digital marketing. He helps them plan where and how much to invest and often helps execute the plan.

Tim’s company helps with websites, social media, blogging, email newsletters, Google rankings, and online video. Tim is the author of several online marketing books, including "102 Tweets," "Blog a Week," and "Online Marketing Mindshift."