Are You Making This Embarrassing Mistake With LinkedIn?

Ani DiFranco once said that every tool is a weapon if you hold it right. LinkedIn can be a very powerful sales weapon — but it will backfire if you don’t use it correctly.

the wrong way to use a radio advertising sales tool

Photo by apops/dpc

LinkedIn has become a powerful tool for researching and making contact with new prospects. But like any other tool, there’s a right way and a wrong way to use it. I’ve received a couple of egregious “wrong way” examples in the past couple of weeks.

Both came from members of LinkedIn Groups I’m also part of. The writers have figured out that being part of these groups gives them the ability to contact complete strangers who are also members. They have not figured out how to use that ability.

The first one started like this:

Hi Doctor

Hope you’re doing well.

I wanted to take a few minutes from you today to mention how “hosted” video conferencing is changing real time collaboration. Although most of us know what video conferencing is, the only difference here is the word “Hosted”. Like every technology, now video conferencing is available on demand on cloud.

Here is a whitepaper that will tell you why this technology is spreading like a wildfire.

She wanted to “take a few minutes from me today”, but she offered no reason to give her those precious minutes. It would have been helpful if she’d “taken” a few minutes of her own to learn something about me before sending the message out.

The other one went like this:


I saw your profile and felt you might fit the profile of what we look for in our company (Elite Sales experience to the SME/Enterprise Space)

Can you please review this YouTube video of our company and what we offer, and then give me your feedback on interest level?

No, I can’t. Or, more accurately, I can, but I won’t.

Any time you attempt to communicate — on the phone, in an email, or a LinkedIn message — with a client or prospect, you are in the “attention-rental” business. You offer information to the recipient, who “pays” for that information with a very scarce resource: his or her attention.

You must offer a compelling reason for your target to give you that attention. It starts with giving some indication that you know something about them.

I suspect that the folks who sent me those messages were attracted by the ability to blast out hundreds of them with the click of a button. It’s fast, it’s easy, and requires very little thought.

It’s also spam, and they’re running the risk of having their LinkedIn accounts suspended.

With great power there must also come great responsibility. — Spiderman’s Uncle Ben

Membership in a LinkedIn Group gives you the ability to find common ground with complete strangers and build relationships with them. But it’s only an effective weapon if you hold it right.



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