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Just STOP (warning LinkedIn rant)

I’ve been doing a non-scientific, anecdotal sales behavior on a LinkedIn research project without telling anyone.

The results have been less than delightful.

I’ve been viewing people’s LinkedIn activities with me from the prospect end. You’ve got it – I’m a people’s prospect for something and I’ve been putting both my sales trainer hat on PLUS my prospect hat on when viewing both InMail messages and connection requests.

Here are three things I keep seeing over and over and over again that are NOT helping make connections with an actual human being and build a relationship.

In no particular order of importance – as they are all ghastly:

#1 Impersonal Attempts at Personalization

“Hey Lynn, Looking forward to linking up.”

“Your profile caught my eye and I thought it would be great to send you an invitation to connect perhaps to add value to each other.”

I’m sure that for every single salesperson in the universe – there is an attempt to streamline their prospecting activity. I know I do it, I even teach it.

There is a WIDE bold line between streamlining (making prospecting less complex) and sales laziness (that disinclination to put in the effort).

Did these two examples especially irk me? NOPE, they happen to be the most recent examples I have for you. I get multiple connection requests and InMail messages that fail at personalization – because they took a template, copied & pasted it into LinkedIn, clicked connect… without considering my profile’s content, AND used what they saw to connect with ME the person.

Neither actually told me why they wanted to connect with me OR how it would help me. Ignore.

#2 Connect and PUSH

I also will sometimes feel duped – I connect with someone and then BOOM I get a pitch InMail message.

First, I feel tricked because they got past my “why do they want to connect” filter. Second, most of their message feels like an infomercial… telling me how AWESOME my career/business will be if I do what they want.

Not old enough to remember infomercials and want to experience them for yourself… here is Infomercial Compilation: Volume 1.

Yes – I really read those LinkedIn messages (in my head) using the over-enthusiastic announcer’s voice. Hey, I have to amuse myself somehow. Remove Connection.

#3 Not Responding to a Question.

Another thing I’ve done is to respond with a question for the person who sent the message.

“Your profile caught my eye and I thought it would be great to send you an invitation to connect perhaps to add value to each other.”

For instance, with this connection request, I sent a note back saying: Thanks for the note, I’m curious what caught your eye?

NOTHING, no response. Really, they took the time to send me a connection request and then never responded AT ALL. Now I’m really not feeling valued.

All they had to do was click on my profile and pick something. Even something that might help them sell me something later. Instead, prospecting effort wasted. Ignore.

Maybe that is what annoys me the most.

I see that they’re putting in a little bit of prospecting effort – I’m guessing with a LOT of people.

If instead they picked 1/3 the number of people and were actually SOCIAL on social media their efforts would pay off with results.
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