By Nicola Little, Digital Sparkles (and Digital Drive speaker)
I love LinkedIn. I really do. This online networking platform is one of my favourites and generates leads weekly for Digital Sparkles. But if you want me to love you on LinkedIn, please stop pitching at me the very second I accept your connection request.
Let's get offline for a moment. Imagine we've just met and introduced ourselves in a face-to-face networking event. We've smiled, shaken hands and eyed each other up as a business prospect. We know each other's names and the next few seconds are crucial to building up a rapport.
For this reason alone, the very next words out of my mouth will never be:
"I'm a trainer do you want to buy some digital training from me?" or
"I offer 1–2–1 mentoring for business owners, want some?"
Or anything of the millions of different variations of BUY ME, BUY MY STUFF, BUY ME NOW that I could devise for this blog post.
Apart from being insanely bad-mannered, entirely self-centred and making me sound a wee bit desperate (for the record I am none of those things!), it's just not an effective way to sell. At that moment, I have no idea if you need anything that I offer, or if I want to work with you – whether you're my ideal customer or if we're a good fit for one another.
So I'll hold my pitch back and be far more interested in finding out who you are, what you do, what you love about your business or job, than selling every Sparkling offer I have at that moment.
Back to LinkedIn. When you send me a request to connect and I accept, it's because I think you may be useful to me or my network. Please prove me right. I encourage you to drop me a line about anything you want – mutual connections, something in my profile that's stood out for you, how nice the day is, a link to something I may find interesting – anything at all but your pitch.
Do this and you will grab my attention and my conversation. Otherwise, pitch at me immediately and I'm likely to do the thing you want least of all – disconnect and never buy.