Why Linkedin Stinks as a Prospecting Tool for Salespeople

4903261-mediumLinkedin stinks!

Let me clarify. Maybe it’s not LinkedIn that stinks, but rather it’s people who use LinkedIn that stink, especially when it comes to prospecting.

If I get one more message from somebody via LinkedIn extolling about how wonderful they are at whatever it is they do, I will do something rash.

Let’s also not forget the stupid people who think they can send out the stupid note asking me to give them a review when I barely know them.

Go ahead and throw barbs at me for being willing to connect with people who I don’t know intimately.  Sorry, but those are yesterday’s rules for LinkedIn.  Today it’s all about building a network with tools such as LinkedIn.

However, building a network does not mean you get to start out telling me how wonderful you are and how you’ve brought world peace to the 3rd world.

Excuse me for being skeptical, but I’m not buying it, and as a result I’m not buying you.

This is why I say LinkedIn stinks. It stinks because for some reason people on it believe they have a license to brag.

If you want to use LinkedIn as a prospecting tool, that’s fine but do it right.  Establish relationships, get to know people, understand who they are and what motivates them.

Maybe this is a concept foreign to the guy who sent me 6 messages last week — and I’m not kidding when I say 6 messages — all about how he was a master at his craft and knew he could help me.  And maybe it’s also foreign to the person who knows I would be “just perfect” for a job in a field I have zero interest in (uhh, I am gainfully employed currently with my own company).

I’ll end my rant now.

Did I do any good?  Who knows, but I know you can relate to it, and maybe you too will feel a little better knowing you’re not the only one getting the same stupid messages.

Copyright 2014, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Selling: Win the Sale Without Compromising on Price.

Click on the below book cover for more info on boosting your profits!

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6 thoughts on “Why Linkedin Stinks as a Prospecting Tool for Salespeople”

  1. How do people not get this, Mark? Most of the multiple approaches I get weekly are horrific… or wonderful examples of how NOT to use LinkedIn for selling or recruiting. I guess, as the old saying goes, a fool with a tool is still a fool. Let’s hope we see the tides turn over time.

  2. Nice catchy headline. It got me to read. Very few sales people want to take the time to get to know or understand the needs of their prospects and build a relationship around that. I think it’s a capacity problem. Humans have their limits. Google pointed out this before they launched Google+. According to their sociology research, humans can maintain about 150 close relationships. So when most look at LinkedIn the are overwhelmed and have no idea what to do next. So they take a “bottom up” approach, which means they offer as little context as possible until the figure out how it works. It will get better as social selling become more accepted by sales orgs.

  3. You hit the nail right on the head. I used to write back to the acquaintances who ask for a review to explain why I can’t review them, and it didn’t work. I also would politely tell headhunters I’m not interested in a new job, and that didn’t work, either. After ignoring those messages for awhile, I finally just remove them as a connection. If they don’t have common sense or courtesy, I’m not interested in introducing them to the people I know, which I believe is the main reason we connected in the first place.

  4. I couldn’t disagree with you more. LinkedIn is the BEST prospecting tool available today. By the way- you seem a little uptight. Relax. If you don’t like someone’s message either delete it or don’t read it. And don’t connect with 500+ people that you don’t know.

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