Other than a mall kiosk, when was the last time a person just walked up to you and tried to sell you something? Not a place where you are there specifically for that service like a department store, but a genuine out of the blue sales attempt. Never. And why is that? Because it’s weird. So why should the internet be any different?
Who has gotten a LinkedIn request to connect only to have someone immediately try to sell them something? With millions of professional users worldwide, LinkedIn is the obvious place to be out there networking and even selling. However, its reputation also means that people will often be tempted to leap past the “let’s get to know each other phase” and immediately jump to start connecting with people — and not everyone will know how to do it right.
Then there is the other type of person showing almost no interest and taking no effort to make a meaningful introduction. How many people have been sent an invitation to connect with a lazy or generic greeting? Or been sent a request to connect with no greeting whatsoever? It has led to many less than favorable first impressions. Connecting with people randomly and sending sales pitches to every contact as soon as they accept the invitation aren’t good ways to impress anyone. Let’s have a look at some ways of improving your quality of outreach on LinkedIn and in person, as well as examples of what you shouldn’t do:
Remember There is a Human Behind the Profile
Many business people nowadays send connect requests on LinkedIn. They believe that incorporating a few obvious details to show you did your research will resonate. Some terrible examples of generic and uninspired outreach shared by Adrian Chenault include:
● “It looks like we have some mutual connections, and I’m impressed with your accomplishments and background.”
● “I took a look at your company, and I am very interested in learning more. You help people with their technology, and we help people with their business.”
● “I saw your recent post, reviewed your profile, and thought it made sense to reach out to connect.”
As Adrian points out, these requests devoid of any personalization won’t get you anywhere close to developing a meaningful connection. Research your prospect and make an effort not to sound like a generic script.
Adopt a “Give First” Approach Without Expectation
Think about why you want to connect with someone on LinkedIn... the main reason is usually the value you can get out of it. But unless you tell your prospect what kind of value you can provide them in return, why should they bother connecting at all? And if they do give you the benefit of the doubt, will they get a cold sales pitch or real value?
According to Brian Pontarelli, being offered value on LinkedIn is rare: “LinkedIn has become a total disaster of cold selling. I’ve been trying to avoid it, but it is nearly impossible. Apparently, asking nicely not to be pitched doesn’t work.”
Jordan Ryan also has some feedback for those who keep sending cold pitches immediately after connecting: “In a world where there are so many tools to research, personalize, and automate outreach, lazy plug and chug your sales pitch won’t cut it. Either get with a quality process or get off the tracks, because you’re just wearing people out with your noise and making things harder for everyone else with quality to offer.”
Avoid being perceived as a noise-maker, always aim to give first, and only make the connections that can benefit both sides. While making noise can get you noticed, it won’t be for the right reasons.
Give Purpose to Your Connection
To make a meaningful connection with a contact, you have to invest time and effort. With so many options to conduct research, there is no excuse for a dull and impersonal pitch. There are no shortcuts when it comes to paying attention.
However, there is a shortcut to ensure that you can easily establish a foundation with everyone you meet through Contact Mapping. Trying out our Contact Mapping app is simple – you can join free for a month and enjoy a different way of making and maintaining connections.