A LinkedIn interaction from some time back still sticks with me today. Why? He and I connected, then he immediately asked to review my personal finances so he could do for me what he had allegedly done for so many other “thrilled customers.” I told him “No thanks.” He replied back asking me why. Being the direct guy I am, I told him I thought it was insincere to connect with me and immediately want to review my personal finances and try to sell me on his service. He said he never asked me to send my personal finances through LinkedIn. At this point, the discussion was no longer about him trying to sell me a service; instead, I wanted to provide a teachable moment for him. I told him that sending personal finances through LinkedIn wasn’t the issue, but I didn’t want to divulge my personal finances to someone I didn’t even know who connected with me only 30 minutes ago. After another couple of interactions, he told me that “nice people” would agree to meet with him (I guess I’m not a nice person) and that he was rescinding his offer to meet (even though I already told him I didn’t want to meet with him). It was kind of like “you can’t break up with me because I’m breaking up with you first”. He then wished me the best. He made an impression on me for sure, just not one he wanted.
As of this writing, LinkedIn has over 600 million users and has become a dominant force in connecting people to do business with each other. It has disrupted geographic barriers, so that someone in his basement in Cleveland can do business with someone in Los Angeles, Paris, or Bangalore. It’s also insanely cheap and easy to establish a platform and reach potential customers who 20 years ago would have been out of reach. This low barrier to entry and massive audience potential is fertile ground for ambitious businesspeople (who I refer to as LinkPitchers) to canvass large populations for business. Now I’m in no way telling the ambitious to not pursue business using LinkedIn with all their passion and energy. But there are right and wrong ways to do it.
My years of LinkedIn experience have led me to seven fatal errors LinkPitchers make:
By all means use LinkedIn and the powerful tools it can bring to your business. Just keep these seven fatal errors in mind during your next LinkPitching expedition.
Lonnie Pacelli along with his wife Patty created the Six-Word Lessons series. He is the author of Six-Word Lessons for Project Managers, Six-Word Lessons to Avoid Project Disaster, and Six-Word Lessons for Dads with Autistic Kids. See more at lonniepacelli.com.
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