Thank you for attending the May membership meeting. This was our last membership meeting until September, but SME has several events throughout the summer to keep you engaged, starting with the Sioux Falls Leadership Summit on June 14.

This month we heard from Kevin Knebl, the “Most Recommended Business Speaker in the World” among over 281,298 business speakers worldwide (LinkedIn 2020). He presents on how to network effectively and establish connections that lead to mutually beneficial, long-term, win-win relationships.

LinkedIn, Social Selling & Relationship Marketing for Huge Sales and Referrals Success!
Kevin Knebl

Bob Burg once said: “People will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.” To build trust, you must demonstrate your professionalism, integrity, caring and knowledge over time. Long-term success does not come down to product knowledge, it comes down to your ability to create sincere, authentic conversations and relationships with people.

To achieve the sales results you want, you must deeply understand these three principles:

  • Step 1: Identify the individuals. You need to have the ability to identify the individuals who are in a position to do business with you and/or refer business to you.
  • Step 2: Start a conversation. You need to have ways to draw someone into a conversation. This is where most people drop the ball. This is a conversation, not a sales pitch.
  • Step 3: Nurture and deepen the relationships. You need to have the ability to nurture and deepen the relationships in a manner that is never slick or salesy. “Checking in” and “following up” are for amateurs. Spend your time nurturing and creating relationships.

LinkedIn is the world’s largest rolodex. Your profile is your digital business card and the world’s first impression of you.

Most people think of LinkedIn as an online resume. Don’t. Think of it as an online cocktail party — how do you speak about yourself and the work you do when you are face-to-face? Adding humanity to your profile leads to know, like, trust faster than a title and company.

Tips for Profile Optimization

  • Most important: You should feel comfortable with the first impression you are giving. Do not overthink it. The moment you ask yourself how you should be, you are being inauthentic. Know, like, trust is about authenticity, not trickery.
  • Use your title to describe what you do. Be creative.
  • Take a nice headshot, but you do not need to spend a ton of money on it.
  • Take advantage of the available real estate of your background photo. Use a photo connected to you or your business. Overlay your company logo and information.
  • If you have credentials, put them after your name. You earned them.
  • Write in first-person.
  • “About” section = cocktail party. Most people talk about what they do and why they are good at it in this section. Instead, talk about what you do, but also what you are involved in and the person you are outside of work. (Hint: This comes into play for LinkedIn Sales Navigator!)
  • Add content to your page. Include videos, Power Points, whatever content you have on your website. Add a short 1-minute video introducing yourself.
  • Utilize testimonials. Request video or written testimonials from happy clients.
  • Add every single job you have had in your life.
  • Explain gaps in work history. The best way to slow down sales progress is to introduce doubt or confusion into a prospect.
  • Elaborate beyond just the years you were in high school. Again, you are at a cocktail party. You never know what will build rapport with someone.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator
LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a tool to build your business. It allows you to search by location, job title, company size, industry, and even key words like travel, sports, music, etc. (This is also why it is important to include “cocktail party” information in your own profile — every word is searchable.)

This tool serves prospects on a silver platter. Searches can be downloaded as lists and specific individuals can be saved. By saving them, LinkedIn will notify you of their activity on the platform, which allows you to monitor and take a sincere interest in their lives. All this lends itself to building know, like, trust faster.

You have at your fingertips the world’s best database. Now it is time to learn how to communicate in a way that is sincere and authentic so others communicate with you. Double down on know, like, trust and everything else will take care of itself.

Contact Kevin Knebl at or 719-650-7659. If you are interested in having Kevin review your LinkedIn profile, direct message him on the platform and tell him you attended the SME presentation in Sioux Falls.


Thank you to our meeting sponsor, First PREMIER Bank / PREMIER Bankcard! Sponsors allow us to bring in talented, quality speakers like we saw this month. As a sponsor, the speaker comes to your business for a one-hour presentation to your staff/customers and a table of six guests for the lunch. If you are interested in learning more about becoming a sponsor, contact Mindy Kroll or Sheila Hoff.

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