At the risk of showing my age I liken a lot of the current communication on Linkedin to that of my younger days when we would go to pubs and clubs to meet people. There was always one guy then who would spend the night going around the pub and just asking women if they “Fancy a Shag?”.
Statistically the odds were stacked up against him and inevitably he would go home alone. But he would persist on the very remote chance someone was drunk or desperate enough to say “yes”.
Fast forward to today and Linkedin is a sea of people asking me if I “Fancy a Shag?”. Never mind them getting to know me and or me them. Forget about forming a relationship that benefits both of us, it’s just wham! Straight to the sales pitch!
Only the other day I got the usual “Your profile keeps being recommended to me by LinkedIn as one I should connect with. So here goes”. I thought I would give this person the benefit of doubt, connected and replied asking how things were in her part of the world. Then boom! Her reply came, selling me a website and the virtues of her company, never mind getting to know me and my needs or developing a relationship. The crazy thing in all of this is that we offer web development as a service, something she would have seen had she visited our website.
I often say the secret to selling is not to sell. Rather sales are about developing a strong relationship and building trust, the rest will take care of itself. Depending on which customer engagement model you subscribe to there are multiple stages from the initial connection to final engagement that you can’t just skip.
Linkedin is a great way to connect with people, allowing you to interact, and develop a relationship building trust over time, and hopefully creating brand loyalty. It’s from this solid relationship built on trust that sales will come.
Whilst a lot of your competitors will act like the guy in the pub asking at random everyone and anyone if they “Fancy a Shag”. You can instead, focus your attention and energy in developing real relationships and building trust on Linkedin. It will be far more rewarding in the long run.
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