Last week I received a message on Linkedin from a first-degree contact that started with the phrase: "This isn't spam, but….."
The message went on to articulate a proposition for a new online service, coupled with a new subscriber discount. All innocuous, and easy to delete, but the shame of this approach is that it is a missed opportunity.
The irony is that I originated the initial connection, after reading some interesting content, but rather than nurturing me as a connection, my new contact decided to spam me with a copy and paste message that showed no understanding of any of my needs.
I can understand the appeal of sending these messages to connections, the response rate is probably higher than email, it's probably called a "sales hack".
But if you care about your network, however, great the product or service you have to sell, don't do it. It diminishes your personal brand, and no one will listen to you going forward.
Linkedin is a potent network for building your personal brand, growing relationships and keeping on top of the industry you operate in. We coach our clients not to sell to their network on Linkedin, it undermines the value of their relationships. We work with our clients to build networks of trust and authenticity by writing, curating, and sharing thought-provoking, knowledge-based content that uniquely differentiates them in their industry.
If you want to read more about this, I read this useful article today, from Willam Aruda who writes about the issue faced on the platform with these unsolicited sales pitches and offers a great response to the spammer.
My favorite thing about LinkedIn is connecting with interesting people to share ideas, get inspired, etc. My least favorite thing about LinkedIn is receiving unsolicited sales messages, so please don’t be offended when I ask that you please remove me from your sales communications. If your only reason for connecting was to sell to me, feel free to remove me as a connection. Otherwise I look forward to staying connected. Thanks."