Whenever I receive an invitation to connect with someone on LinkedIn, I always carry out a little bit of due diligence first. There needs to be a very good reason for me to want to connect to anybody. It might be that I am interested in their connections, their knowledge, their products or services. Or they might even be a potential customer, supplier or know somebody that I already know, deal with, or respect.
Generally I will read their profile, take note of their experience, review their activity, look at their website and read their tweets. Although I am keen to connect with most people, like most of us, I really don’t want to waste my time and be bombarded in the future with spam.
The other day I had a very interesting invitation to connect, the product the connection was supplying was relevant to my needs and they even exhibited at a couple of exhibitions where we built exhibition stands for some of our clients.
So I clicked the connect button and sent them an InMail, “Thanks for connecting how can I help you?"
But before I could remove my finger from my mouse button, I received a four page standard introductory email with several large attachments a list of reference letters a full price list and a map showing the location of their distributors!
Hold on a minute, this isn’t how it works. So I replied to the email advising that I needed “more foreplay than that”, and got an immediate response thanking me for my advice, “and by the way here is some more information about my company”!
Now let’s think about this. Where else would you meet a potential prospect and immediately get stuck into a full blown sales presentation about your products or services without carrying out any small talk?
Imagine being at an exhibition and ramming a price list or brochure down a visitor’s throat as they walk down the aisle? Do you really think that approach would be a winning formula?
I like to communicate with people, get to know them, find out what they like, what they are interested in, and what makes them tick. If they don’t then become a customer or a supplier so what? At least I know them as people, what they do and what they represent. That way, should things change in the future there is still the opportunity for a relationship to develop.
Just remember. Asking your partner if they are “awake” isn’t “foreplay”!
Related: And You Call Yourself a "Sales Professional"?
Access Displays Ltd
Access Displays Ltd