I took a break from LinkedIn these last few months. During this quiet time, I have been sent quite a few connection requests accompanied with messages such as:
- Great connecting with you Marcy. Hope your day is going well. Are you accepting new clients?
- Between persistence and annoyance. I fear I may have crossed that line. Based on your silence, I’m assuming you’re not interested in learning more about our services. If I’ve misread you, please let me know. A referral would be very kind.
- After reaching out to you so many times and not hearing anything, I was wondering if any of these options are true?
- I am trapped in another dimension and I need you to send help.
- We don’t need anymore deals to chase.
- I am just too darn busy with other priorities, contact me in 3 weeks when I can breathe.
- I have been struggling to secure the fate of our planet, but can’t wait to try out the (service/product).
They all sound familiar. Not effective but boringly familiar.
I should know.
I have used variations of these for far too long. (Well, not the last one). It’t the LinkedIn version of the cold call: call enough people and someone will respond.
I’ve sent this messages when I was too lazy to remember what Joe taught me years ago,
I started my professional life in commercial design and dealt with a lot of vendors. But none like Joe. He stopped by my office late one afternoon to pitch me on his company’s products. I was distracted, grappling with a problem for a client and mentioned that I could not find an adequate solution. Now note, this problem had nothing to do with the field this man was in.
The next morning, Joe came to my office to share with me a report he had found that could be used as a creative solution to my clients challenge. I was amazed that Joe, a successful regional sales manager, had taken the time to help me (I was not a client) help my client (who did not need his product) with a problem (that had nothing to do with his line).
Joe understood what I and each of the people who sent me these InMail messages forgot: To sell a product, find the target markets and tailor the sale to the market. To sell a service, a platform, a solution do your research on the company, their customer base, understand their pain points or their growth opportunities before sending the InMail. Joe learned a lot that night about my business, my customer base and our solution based approach and for that evening of research, he became a trusted vendor for years.
I am currently consulting with a company that is looking to build a digital platform for it’s offline business. I have sat in on numerous vendor calls and heard some reps go on about their product, some about their exemplary customer support and two who spent the first meeting asking insightful questions, who came back with a customized solution.
Guess which one got the contract?
So to all of you that had your inbox flooded with my messages, I apologize.
And to Joe, thanks.