I'm a busy person and I know you are too. If you are a sales leader you need to know that your sales people are not following common courtesies on social media and are not representing you and the company well in many cases. It could cause you to lose business. Case in point:
Sellers who send the generic LinkedIn connect request and send those magic 11 words:
I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.
Here's what I think when someone does that to me:
Who: Who are you? Do I know you? How do I know you? Did we meet in person?
Why: Why would it benefit ME to connect with you? Can you add value to my work? Is there a good reason I should know you?
What: What is your motive? Are you working just to build a big network, or am I someone you are going to next try to promote something to?
Time out - You Don't Want People to Make a Living?
I am a big supporter of people making a living promoting their goods and services, but sellers are doing some really bad things. I don't know if you are aware of this and it is out of ignorance or if it is some web strategy like spam - you only expect a few out of the many you reach out to.
Do you belong to any LinkedIn groups where lots of spamming is going on? You know, the people who join a group simply to promote their latest blog posts, and who always have a link to their site to mention when they comment on anything. You are TOO promotional, seller.
In my talk yesterday at the Social Media Mastery Summit, I mentioned the FOOF factor -
Focus on Others First (F.O.O.F.)
Add value. If you want to connect with someone on LinkedIn or elsewhere, give a reason - you heard them on a video and liked _______ about their talk, which parallels the industry they are in, or they are an industry leader in your niche. If you are connected to someone mutually with them, it is really important to mention that.
If you send me a generic request with the 11 canned words from LinkedIn, I won't connect to you, and most people won't either.
The "One-Click" Connect on LinkedIn - It's Dangerous
I realize that LinkedIn has made it too easy to show people you may know and allow you a one-click to connect with them because you share a group, but I urge you NOT to be tempted and do the one-click. Do not do it. Not only can you make people like me wonder who you are, but we can also say that we don't know you, and that indicates to LinkedIn you may be bad news and with a couple of those, you'll get a warning or even get your account suspended.
That's Why I LIKE LinkedIn so Much
We all like that the percentage of spammers and self-focused sellers will get weeded out and be gone. In the meantime, don't let that reflect poorly on your company. I know I'm not the only one to stop recommending a sales tool because of the shoddy communication or lack of follow up with the representatives of their company. Also from over communication from their company.
Be a Good Citizen in Communities like LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ and Twitter
There will be a follow up session on self-focused voicemail messages and self-promotional email messages. Stay tuned. For now, focus on adding value to others as you travel the web. Build a GREAT reputation that follows wherever you go.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2012" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling.