How NOT to connect with someone on LinkedIn if you sell your expertise for a living…

How NOT to connect with someone on LinkedIn if you sell your expertise for a living…

DING! A Linked In notification lets you know you have a message waiting from a new connection on LinkedIn.

That’s me, every time. Or, at least it used to be.

My LinkedIn inbox used to be full of genuine messages—people who have taken the time to read content or make a thoughtful remark about how they came across my page and why it would be of value for both of us to connect. Don’t get me wrong, I still get those from time to time, but now, as LinkedIn grows in popularity, I get much more of these…

“Thanks for connecting!

Quick background on us: We specialize in rapidly growing organic traffic for company websites through SEO and Content Marketing.

Our Track Record:

-Example One (300% Organic Traffic Increase, 300+ Qualified Leads Generated in Three Months)

-Example Two (1000% Organic Traffic Increase, 400% Increase in Keyword Indexation in Three Months)

-Example Three (1300% Organic Traffic Increase, $135k+ in Qualified Lead Value Generated in Six Months)

-Example Four (0 – 784 Organic Visitors a Month, 1700+ Keywords Indexed in Three Months) (I can also send a case studies package if you were interested!)

We actively work with 50 amazing companies to skyrocket their search traffic. We have generated some of our customers millions of dollars in value to their pipeline. Some are having their businesses completely transformed from our services.

 I like to connect people with my account manager! He can talk to you about your website and company and can see if we can help you and your website out in any way.

If you were interested shoot me your best email and phone number! If not no worries Thanks in advance!”

“…Oh, hi, nice to meet you too???” ← My internal reaction.

I don’t need to drone on and on about how annoying it is to get a message from a new connection and find it’s just a dissertation about how great THEY are. We have all been on the receiving end of this. I’ll bet money 4 of these messages are floating in your inbox right now.

Look, I get sales can be a bit of a numbers game, and I’m sure for every 100 of these messages you send 1-2 people may actually respond back. If your job is strictly sales, and you want to pound the proverbial LinkedIn pavement on a daily basis, good for you.

However, if you sell your expertise for a living, please, please listen to me when I say, THIS IS NOT THE APPROACH YOU WANT TO TAKE.

Here’s why:

  • It is a capacity issue.

If you’re sending 100 of these messages weekly, and even 3-4 people respond, “No thanks, not right now,” that’s 3-4 people you have to continue to nurture over the course of weeks, months, or years. Who knows? Maybe one day it will get to a point where they have a need, and maybe just maybe, your name will be at the top of their list if you stay present in their inbox, but that’s the point, you need to stay on top of them consistently, and that’s a lot of work for a business of one person.

  • It undermines your credibility.

If you’re the leading expert in your industry (as I highly advocate you position yourself to be if you sell your knowledge for a living), imagine the conflicting message it sends if you’re out fishing for leads all the time. Do you think that Gary Vaynerchuk, Mel Robbins, or Simon Sinek are out here in the LinkedIn trenches digging around for business? I’m going to wager “no.” They have hefty price tags and a long line of folks waiting to work with them. They’ve effectively established their thought leadership creating a favorable equation of:

Customer Demand for Them > Their Demand for Customers

That means they can command higher fees, set working schedules and boundaries on their time, and more.

  • You’re fighting noise.

You’re NOT the only one in their inbox sending this type of message. Now you are competing with the noise of other sales folks. The worst part? You’re not even fighting with direct competitors for their attention. You’re competing with people who are attempting to sell them other services. Now they have to wade through 5 messages before they even arrive at yours, annoyance building with each one, only to maybe, perhaps see your pitch.

  • Would you EVER, ever approach someone like this in real life?

Doubtful. I pray that your answer to that question is “doubtful.” Sales is about building relationships. LinkedIn just provides another platform to do this on, and as we all know, the key to relationships is COMMUNICATION—not a monologue about how you’re the best. It’s assumptive. Subconsciously, it sends a message to your prospects that you’re lazy. Even lazier? Sending this assumptive monologue about why you’re the best to help them with a problem you don’t know they have, then following that up with, “go ahead and book time in my calendar here to learn more: (Calendly link).” Again, you’re basically saying the following:

“Great to meet you. Without taking the time to properly understand what your needs are, here’s a list of everything I do really well. Again, because I don’t want to take the time to ask questions about your business, I’m also going to ask YOU, the person I’m courting, to book time in MY calendar. Please fill my pipeline, this is all about numbers for me. K thanks, bye.”

Exaggerated? Maybe. True? I think so.

So, of course, the next logical question is, so then how do I use LinkedIn to build a quality network who will want to engage my services?

Great question, and one I’ll tackle next week, so stay tuned 😉

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