So, a nice man offered to link with me on LinkedIn. He's an accountant. Seemed a nice enough guy, relatively local, someone who might be able to use my services, someone to whom I might be able to refer people, someone who might be able to refer to me.
I accepted the connection request. And then I did what I always do under such circumstances (as some of you will know!), I pinged him a message asking what it was that had motivated him to want to connect.
He soon replied, with two key messages.
- They were able to deliver accountancy services at a lower price than my current accountant.
- They were keen that I should be aware of their specialism in the healthcare industry.
I did think about it, but then I pinged him the following:
You really do know nothing about me.
The first thing you don't know is what I pay my accountant, so how do you know you'll offer lower prices?
Why do you think that your having lots of clients in the healthcare sector would be of relevance to me? Oh, you think I'm a doctor. How silly.
The other thing you don't know about me is that I don't believe LinkedIn is a cold calling tool. You really shouldn't connect with people out of the blue and then immediately sell at them.
Still, nice knowing you!"
Maybe I was a little harsh. Maybe being a little harsh has some validity! I really feel strongly that LinkedIn is not a cold calling tool, at least not a brazenly as he was using it. I wonder how many such connection requests he pinged out that day, and every day.
I really believe in the "know like trust" sales journey and I accept that I didn't know him and now I do. However, he hasn't made me like him. And the depth of his research was such that he thinks I'm a GP. If his accountancy skills are as strong, I don't want to do business with him.
What do you think? Am I right or am I wrong? Was I harsh? Was it justified??