How Not to LinkedIn

by | Sep 7, 2020 | Business | 0 comments

A Chance Encounter

I’m single. You’re single.

I’m dressed to the nines, enjoying my favorite local swanky downtown bar at happy hour.

I order an espresso martini in an effort to kick back…decompress.

Out of nowhere, our eyes meet; no words necessary, we had an instant, energetic connection.
“Oh, where is this night going?” we think to ourselves.

In stride and much confidence, you briskly walk my direction. I’m not going to lie; I’m nervous. Palms are clammy, heart is pounding.

Effortlessly, you extend your hand to meet mine, as a gentleman should.

“Where are you from?” you ask.

I reply, “Charleston, how about you?”

Anticipating each second…

“You can’t be from Charleston. You must be from heaven, fallen from above. You’re an absolute angel.” you retort.

Interaction over. Done. Finished.

Seriously? That canned pick-up line used by playground teenagers will never work on a sophisticated woman, and it should never be used by a man who’s worth it.

This fabricated chance encounter for a moment seemed epic; it evoked such hope of love and deep connection, only to be let down with the choice of words.

Clearly, this is not a real story, but it’s the perfect illustration to explain how sooooooo many are misusing networking opportunities, pissing off users, destined to be blocked forever in the world of LinkedIn.

Much like the initial introduction of LinkedIn messenger ads, it seemed like a great idea, and maybe in some cases, it still is. However, for the masses, it’s being grossly overused, misused, and ruining potentially great connections.

The Death Nail of Sales


In the world of sales, inauthenticity is a death nail.

Emotionally intelligent individuals can sniff out a fraudulent, inauthentic, desperate person with little to no effort, regardless of whether they are in a digital space or not.

“If you want to gather honey, don’t kick over the beehive.”
How to Win Friends & Influence People

You put yourself at an insane detriment by approaching LinkedIn marketing like a cheap pick up line, using the instant auto-reply LinkedIn messenger ad technology with canned replies and canned sales pitches, rather than having an authentic conversation with someone.

Yes, it’s a time-saver to utilize LinkedIn messenger technology that sends these canned replies to users.
BUT…No one likes canned anything.

Want to make someone feel cheap and less than important? Use canned replies that are not authentic.

I know that’s not your goal, but inadvertently so many are doing this very thing.

I like to summarize this approach to “Puking Your Shit.”

Let’s take a gander at what this looks like in the world of Auto Replies in LinkedIn Messenger.

A request is sent, or even a potential custom initial message via messenger, and this is what you get in return…

These replies don’t happen after a day or two; they are instantaneous after I’ve taken some action. So it’s super evident from the start that this message isn’t meant specifically for me, but rather for the masses as the salesperson trolls for unsuspecting victims.

That’s just how people feel when these auto-canned replies are shot over…like a victim of a used car salesman who’s got to slither his way to a closed deal, like, yesterday.

Now, I’m not saying that it’s LinkedIn’s fault for this mishap, quite the opposite…I do feel there are potentially amazingly crafted “canned” messages that could actually build someone up, pique curiosity, and not turn them off entirely.

I feel this type of effective content is hard to achieve but can be done if you look at any conversations in the digital landscape much in the same way you would a person to person interaction.

The time it takes for you to craft a thoughtful, personalized, valuable message is worth its weight in gold. At the end of the day, no matter how money hungry or success-driven you are, people are what matter.

You may not sell every deal in your marketing efforts, but if you gain a mutually beneficial relationship in the process with another real human being, your life is all the more enriched.

Money will never hug you, will never send you a thoughtful, loving, caring message, never tend to you in sickness, celebrate your wins, or console you through a loss. Only people will.

I’m reminded of the infamous quote from Gary Vee “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” A very black and white way of articulating, you have to give, give, give, then ask.

It’s like the “mental bank account philosophy” my wisdom-filled father has always preached.

The premise is that we pour into others as much as humanly possible, so when that day comes when you need to “withdraw,” there is something to actually withdraw.

No great person-to-person relationship that I’m aware of, out of the gate, began with puking a sales pitch to an unsuspecting, uninterested person.

Soliciting & Being Solicited

If I’m scrolling through Instagram and see a compelling ad that I click on to learn more, I’m technically soliciting to learn more.

I’ve voluntarily chosen to gain more knowledge about that brand or product, and maybe, just maybe, become a customer.


It was my choice to take action.

Yes, the company created the ad that piqued my curiosity, but I feel in total control of this experience. I’m the one doing the soliciting.

I walk into a store, knowing I dig this brand of clothing. I’m more open to not being annoyed by the bubbly salesperson who wants to ensure I know the sales going on right now and where everything is…I came in knowing that I’m ready to buy when I find that perfect new power suit. Again, I’m doing the soliciting of that perfect new garment.

I’m sitting at dinner with my family when I hear a knock on the door. Hoping it’s the anticipated package from Amazon, I pop up, open the door only to find a vacuum sales rep.

Even if I need a new vacuum, I’m pissed you’ve interrupted my family time. I whisk you away in a blink of an eye, never to have a thought to buy from you again. However, I will take action on soliciting a new vendor to buy a vacuum from…thanks for the reminder to replace my broken one.

Point being, all advertisements with the highest level of success craft their messages in ways that allow buyers to feel in control, making them the solicitors of what you are selling.

Take the Pressure Off

When it comes to LinkedIn marketing, you can take the soliciting approach, puking your sales pitch right out the gate; you will have some takers.

I guess it comes down to your ultimate goals.

Are you willing to tarnish your reputation to the masses to find the few that will entertain buying from you…or would you rather build a network of relationships with people who can become your ambassadors, regardless of whether or not they’re your customer?

That is the question.

If you don’t mind people like me sharing screenshots and sharing with the world how your sales pitches on LinkedIn messenger are off-putting, go for it! But wouldn’t you rather your new friends be shouting to the world how wonderful you are, how much value you bring to the table, how much of a giving person you are, and how you’ve positively impacted their life.

Me personally, I choose the latter.

I could leave this world a bazillionaire, but if I don’t have loving friends and family surrounding to share in the triumphs & losses in this life, then what’s the point?

If you choose to look at your LinkedIn messenger marketing from a relationship-building perspective, this will remove the pressure-cooker of feeling like every message has to lead to a deal.

Marketing With a Givers Heart

“No one will care until they know how much you care.” Unknown

In the last year, there has been one personalized crafted LinkedIn message from a total stranger that left its mark on me.

This was the first communication in my inbox from David. I want you to pay attention that he’s not selling me anything. In fact, he’s validating, although unspoken, that I potentially have insights about marketing & advertising that could benefit his followers.

Plus, he’s mentioned that should I participate in this TV show, my message would be pushed to large media outlets at NO COST.

He’s “jabbing” in a big way. He’s not pushing his services or selling me his widget. He’s simply offering something that strokes my ego & providing some free, legit, PR.
This type of approach is one with a giver’s heart with seemingly no strings attached.

I can tell you that David and I continued this conversation. I was interviewed on his TV show, and it was an incredible experience.

This well-crafted message and offer evoked the unspoken rule of reciprocity. Being offered this gift cultivates a need to give back, setting the stage for an easy continuation of giving David my time learning about his company and what he is, in fact, selling.

David’s approach is an incredible example of a highly effective, attractive approach to using LinkedIn Messenger that truly connects, offers much value, and pours into others.

The End of the Date

As a business owner, the perk is, you really don’t answer to anyone, minus the IRS and maybe your spouse….but you do have to live with yourself.

You, at the end of the day, have to feel great about your sales & marketing approach, LinkedIn Messenger related or not.

I hope that you sharpen your skills with a deep understanding that we are living in a hypersensitive world right now. We exist in a space of political and social unrest, not to mention being pent up in a pandemic. We are longing for genuine connection. These facts alone should encourage you to be conscious of the way you digitally approach anyone. Don’t make someone want to ask for the check before the appetizers even arrive.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Pin It on Pinterest

Call Now ButtonCall Now