I Got 99 Problems but My SSI Score Ain't One


When a Type AAA A sales professional is challenged to attaining an unbeatable score, they'll do whatever it takes to reach that goal....


...until you're stuck at 99 and decide that's close enough.


For now.


Candidly, when Dominic Archibald called me 2 days before LinkedIn's Sales Connect conference and told me I had the highest SSI (Social Selling Index) score at the conference and asked if I'd shoot free throws with Shaquille O'Neal, I was shocked (on both fronts). It wasn't something I 'worked' on, it just was. I prospect on LinkedIn heavily and that's how I got my (then) score of 96.



I'm here to tell you that your SSI score is important. It is. There are countless studies (I'm in some of them!) that link a high SSI to performance; here are just a few of the tidbits on what the studies show.


Those with a high SSI are score are more likely to...

  • Generate 45% more opportunities per quarter
  • Get promoted 17 months sooner 
  • Hit quota (51% more likely than those with a low SSI score)
  • Attend President's Club (3X more likely)

However, I'm also here to tell you that when you start commenting/sharing [on] useless irrelevant photos or posts just to boost your SSI, it's not worth your time. It takes time away from prospecting and focusing on the end result: MOVING THE NEEDLE.

Leaving a conference with the highest score definitely makes a Type AAA A person like myself want to keep that score, and even more, beat it. It's a vicious cycle.


In my opinion, if you're above a SSI score of 75 be proud.

That is fantastic. I will go on record to say that while attaining the unbeatable "100" would be fantastic just for my own satisfaction, I'm no longer out to seek that goal. I'm out to seek my own goal of improving my 50% InMail return. That's my biggest focus, and doing that will naturally increase my SSI without having to think about increasing it on my own.


Alas, if you are trying to improve your SSI score, here are some tips I can offer. Each category is worth 25 points, and I'll share where I rank on them today.


1. Create a professional brand (25 of 25)

  • Have a professional photo. This is literally the easiest thing you can do that will set you up for success. Don't crop out your kids or spouse...get a real professional picture. It helps. Trust me.
  • Fill out all of the sections on your profile! At the top of your profile it will even alert you if you haven't filled out your profile 100%. The biggest parts I encourage you to fill out are: Summary, Projects, Job Descriptions (detailed!), Honors & Awards, and Interests.
  • Think of each section above as a museum of your work. A person should be able to come to your profile and determine what you do, what you've accomplished, and a little bit about your personality based on your profile. View mine here. You'll learn a lot about me even if you've never spoken with me.
  • If you have presentations, add them! If you have been in videos, add them as well! Projects and the Summary section is a great way to display your accomplishments and educate someone that visits your profile on what you do.

2. Find the right people (25 of 25)

  • This, in particular, is where Sales Navigator helps me tremendously in prospecting. I can build lists, searches, and see beyond a 2nd connection in the search results.
  • Lead Builder, another functionality in Sales Navigator is HUGE. I've beenquoted in a LinkedIn publication about this being the 'secret sauce' to Sales Navigator. That quote still holds truth.
  • If you're prospecting people do not add them until you've had a 2-way dialogue. This hasn't been confirmed, but I truly believe that it hurts your SSI score if you add people on LinkedIn when you've never had a 2-way dialogue, and then bombard message them with your product offerings. Don't do this - please! NO ONE wants this. Including me.
  • For best practices on InMailing prior to connecting, please read a popular article of mine here.

3. Engage with insights (24 of 25 - this is where I'm missing my 1 point / bitter)

  • This is another area that Sales Navigator helps me tremendously. Yes, it's great to see what my current connections are doing and I comment regularly on articles that entice me, but Sales Navigator allows me to do this with people that are NOT 1st connections. It's a game changer.
  • This is what I was talking about above - don't make following your feed a full-time job. Do it as you prospect, and share notable content on your company, articles you write, or content that speaks to you. Again, be authentic.
  • If I post something and someone comments on it - especially with a question - I respond back acknowledging their question. I do this in bulk actions though; not in real-time. I've found that tagging that person in your response helps engagement as well, because that person will then be notified of your response. This all helps your SSI.
  • Participate in Groups. This is a section that I, myself, could be more active in truthfully. I've made some great connections by participating in group discussions and learned a lot about hot topics that relate to my industry.

4. Build strong relationships (25 of 25)

  • Every single time I meet with someone - work-related or not - I add them on LinkedIn.
  • As much as building relationships is important, I believe that nurturingrelationships is just as important. If a colleague writes an article that helps boost your company, share it. If a friend publishes an article that speaks to you, share it. Comment on it. Be authentic.

So, what do you think? Are you spending too much time trying to improve your SSI score that it's taking time away from moving the needle? Any and all feedback is welcomed and looking forward to reading the discussion below!

Don't know your SSI? Click here to find out what it is.

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