business is personalBusiness is personal – which was the original premise of LinkedIn.

When LinkedIn first came to be it was a platform to list and stay connected with the businesspeople you know, like and trust. If someone else you knew wanted to meet someone on your list, they could reach out to you to request a warm introduction. A lovely, civil and genuine way to build relationships.

Sadly, and occasionally to an annoying degree, LinkedIn has become a place where relentless sellers try to automate relationship-building.

True story

A post about my book appeared on LinkedIn. People could read it, like it, comment on it, follow a link or ignore it entirely.

Almost immediately scads of people who sell services to coaches began reaching out to connect. Supposedly to learn more about my business and help me reach my goals. But 99.9% of the time the true reason for reaching out was, “You’re in my target market and I want you to buy from me.”

Just for fun, I accepted one connection invitation and replied that based on his target market, his clients may indeed have a need for my skills, so perhaps he could help me.  I agreed we should set up the call he requested. I even offered some days and times that would work.

Never heard from him again.

Some LinkedIn people drop the pretense and dive right into the sales process. I still don’t connect or buy but I have a bit more respect for their honesty.

Automated systems can work. For every 1000 people contacted some respond and perhaps one turns into a sale. Cha-ching. But one sale resulting from annoying hundreds isn’t enough to make it worth it for me.

Business is personal

Automation has its place. My newsletter sent to subscribers is automated. But the conversations that follow aren’t. CRMs are built to automate reminders to reach out, but from there it’s personal. Human to human.

For me business is personal. Building and nurturing relationships takes time. A bot or an automated system just can’t replicate the connection built when people invest their own time and energy.

 

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