I often write about all the useful ways to use LinkedIn to sell more and drive thought leadership . Today, I want to give you some hard warnings about the types of people on LinkedIn (and other job sites and social media networks ) you want to avoid if you want to keep your business and build a strong reputation. After you read this (knowing I am not the only one) I would like to hear your stories and comments. You never know, I could feature you and your business in my next LinkedIn Sales book.
LinkedIn Connection Type 1 - The desperate, devious vendor
The desperate, devious vendor (and I have had many) will Inmail you, find you on Facebook, find your e-mail and bother you in an every day, how can I help you, but really want to destroy kind of way. When someone compliments your work and they don't know you , then asks for a sale. This is a sign. When you politely say NO on LinkedIn and then they e-mail you, this is a sign. I think you know where I am headed.
Proper Social Selling is NOT about being over-aggressive. Doing LinkedIn sales the right way is about providing useful and valuable content, information, resources, references and real help when someone needs them. There is a lot more on the subject of LinkedIn Selling of course, which you can get from my new 2018 LinkedIn Sales Online course , LinkedIn Branding and Sales Book , LinkedIn articles and videos . However for the purpose of this note, please note if you are a vendor on LinkedIn trying to sell through sponsored Inmail or an Inmail credit, etc - STOP and try to first understand how, when, where and why you want to approach someone and when they want to be approached. If you are in B2B Sales and do not understand consultative selling, go back to school. you will only destroy your own company's reputation.
LinkedIn Connection Type 2- The yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes man who really means NO
I have hired many, many people through LinkedIn from interns to web developers to seo support to designers to social media and event support for my clients. As an employer, I look for people who have the skills and experience (and ethics) to get the job done right. I have A.B and C teams of professionals working for me at any given time ( like my role model in coaching Bill Belichick). Unfortunately many times I have run into C players acting as A players.
Not only on LinkedIn, but on other big hiring sites like Upwork for example, I have hired people with an impressive profile and experience only to find out they can not really do the job well or do not have the business acumen nor integrity to be a professional. Worse, I have had several instances of fraud, thievery and the list goes on. So before you used LinkedIn to hire , make 100% sure you have filters, descriptions and solid references. Further, checkpoints to gauge their true nature if you do hire them.
LinkedIn Connection Type 3 - The client who will steal 100% of your time and even your money!
Just because LinkedIn is a massive B2B Sales machine, does not mean you should take on every client that comes to you (whether through a warm connection, an Inmail, a LinkedIn ad or direct outreach). LinkedIn may deliver a "lead" but you need to question whether that lead is right for you and your business. If a potential client refuses to sign a scope of work and contract do not do business with them. If a potential client continually asks for deals and discounts that means loss of profitability, do not do business with them. If a potential client wants to barter with you - run. And do not become connection type 1 for any lead. Chasing someone who only wants a deal or barter is a massive waste of your time , energy and business opportunities.