This morning as I was managing my client’s LinkedIn account he received a response to a message from a very high level, recognizable business leader. This business leader may become a high-level referral, a direct client or someone my client stays in touch with for future business.

We don’t know at this point and that is the point. Connecting on LinkedIn is the beginning of the engagement not a sales pitch.

Too many B2B so called professionals piss people off by jumping right into sales process before the intended connection even KNOWS them.

Lois Creamer Book More Business and hundreds of others agree that being “pitched” on LinkedIn is a BIG turn off. Lois is naturally a very polite woman so her post (republished with her permission) is worded much more kindly than I would say it.

Pet peeve. Not a fan of agreeing to connect on LinkedIn and then getting a message trying to sell me something. Also, got a message today from someone who I agreed to connect with saying she’d like to talk to see what I do and if “there’s synergy between our businesses.” There isn’t. Buh-bye “

Lois received 180 likes and 141 comments agreeing with her and relating their connection horror stories. That should tell you that pitching on LinkedIn is not only ineffective, it pisses people off.

Here’s an example of a “pitch” connect request I received.

Hi Marilyn

Quick question, have you considered creating an online course out of what you are currently doing with your clients?

I’d love to take 10 minutes to explore that with you…would that be worth a quick conversation? 

Here’s my team’s calendar:

This particular message struck a cord because I actually plan to convert my out-of-print book into an online course. However, this particular person would be the last vendor I’d ever consider. He’s already told me he know nothing about marketing with his “I would love” pitch. The nerve of having me go to his calendar before I even checked him out – how

You get them, I get them and we get pissed. Any possible business relationship had been blown it before you even begin. 

This one made me laugh. I use it in my LinkedIn Training, to illustrate what NOT to do.

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Best Practices – Making a Connect Request

  • Build your online relationship before there’s a leap to the sales process. The buyer’s journey begins with getting to KNOW you. They may even get to LIKE you when you provide up-front value solving their problems.
  • Make it personal means never sending auto-message that LinkedIn pops up. You have to do an extra click to send a personal message but so what – take the time to click
  • Avoid words like “I’d love” or “I think” in connect requests. Nobody cares about what you need or want. They care about their business problems and how you can solve them.
  • Pick some tidbit from their profile. An example might be something like this. I lived in Chicago at one time. When connecting with Chicago area people, I’ll reference those miserable winter temps but, only in the winter.
  • Make it authentic. I have great respect for sales people so my messaging references the art and skill of sales.
  • Validate who they are and what they do. People appreciate being acknowledged.

There’s an art to LinkedIn messaging that’s non-intrusive and engaging all at the same time. 

If you want to learn more about how to message effectively , please e-mail with the word “YES.

I will send you my e-book, LinkedIn Tips & Scripts – no hassles, no hooks – want to have a conversations about using LinkedIn to Prospect for