Without a doubt, LinkedIn is the most effective professional networking site with close to a billion users worldwide. Most people who use it for business development are aware of this fact. The platform is known as “LinkedIn” in part due to the sheer volume of professionals it attracts and its emphasis on them, as well as the opportunity it offers to locate and approach prospects. However, there is a sizable and expanding community of users who are abusing LinkedIn and giving the rest of us a less than ideal experience.
The Exploiters are sending us a growing number of LinkedIn sales messages every day. Because of those inappropriate, deceptive, and typically unwanted sales messages, both the irritation and the irritation are growing exponentially at the same time. So, if you want to use LinkedIn to grow your business authentically and avoid having the brand attribute “annoying” attached to you, follow these steps.
Let’s concentrate on what to avoid doing instead.
Don’t be deceptive. Consider the words of Sir Walter Scott, who said in his epic “Marmion”: “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” “I always love to get to know my LinkedIn connections, so I would love to have a 30-minute call to learn about you,” might be a deceptive LinkedIn message. I note that you work in the coaching and training industry. I wanted to ask you a question because I’m doing research for a project you’re working on. If you really do have those intentions, well done. Sadly, we have all discovered that this isn’t always the case. Don’t suggest it’s about the joy of merely getting to know and learning about people if your true goal is to close a sale. This deception is unbearably annoying.
Avoid using “proven sales letter” templates. There are many people selling what they claim to be the ideal formula for turning prospects into customers. Those authors do appear to be skilled at pitching their sales template models to a large number of LinkedIn members. They all start to blend together after we have read 100 of them. Don’t steal.
Make no fictitious promises. Wouldn’t you like to double your sales without making any investments? Typically, this bait proves to be as real as fairy dust.
Stop misleading people with the word “Partner.” You are not a partner; rather, you are a vendor or resource if the extent of your partnership is that someone pays you money in exchange for your goods. It feels less sleazy to be up front about the purpose of your message—a pitch to let someone know what value you can provide—because you’re outlining your role in that real network connection.
Avoid using bots. Without a doubt, using technology to automate a process that is supposed to be about human connection is the most evil tactic for acquiring prospects on LinkedIn. It is the polar opposite of fostering relationships. The good news is that if you receive one of these messages from a bot, you can usually tell pretty quickly.