I had the pleasure of speaking live, IN-PERSON this past weekend at a convention in Fort Worth. It’s hard to even put into the words the joy, fun, energy, and impact we all felt from being TOGETHER!
While I LOVED leading a full-day Saturday sales management workshop for executives and sales leaders (and speaking of Texas and increasing sales management effectiveness, check out this amazing sales leadership event we are hosting at the Four Seasons Resort and Golf Club in Dallas on August 31 and September 1), I might have had even more fun leading a session titled “Getting the Meeting” on Sunday.
I am continually amused how much bad press that “prospecting” gets, particularly on LinkedIn. It’s obviously still trendy to bash traditional prospecting as old school and ineffective. Yet, every time I teach prospecting and using the phone to secure meetings with target prospects, everyone is all ears. Salespeople are engaged. They are asking questions. Sharing best practices. Taking pictures of my slides. Asking me to repeat certain phrases. And that’s because, as I wrote in Sales Truth, PROSPECTING IS NOT OPTIONAL if you are committed to CREATING new sales opportunities and taking responsibility for keeping the top of your sales funnel full.
So, coming off the high from speaking at this convention for two days, I returned to find my LinkedIn message box overflowing as usual. But there was one message (with an invite to connect) that was so egregious, I couldn’t stop myself from responding.
Enjoy this exchange below because it is as good as it gets. The perfect example of the absolute worst sales (marketing?) behavior you ever will see. And the irony of receiving the even more egregious auto-reply to my first reply only makes my point even stronger!
Hey Mike, Looks like you’re doing a great job at The New Business Sales Coach, LLC, congrats! As a senior executive myself, I am looking to connect with pioneers in the Management Consulting space, thus decided to invite you to my network.
Let’s get connected
Anna [last name redacted]
Mike Weinberg sent the following message at 11:56 AM
did you write that awkward note yourself or did you actually pay a service to use the word "thus" in your generic note that screams you're looking to spam people?
Anna [last name redacted] sent the following message at 11:26 PM
Hi Mike, I am excited to share something that might be super valuable for your team.
We’ve recently launched an advanced LinkedIn automation platform that allows businesses generate leads and do LinkedIn prospecting on complete autopilot - [link redacted]
Imagine sending automated connection requests (with a highly personalized note) to your target audience, then delivering a message once your connection request is accepted, warming your prospects up by endorsing their skills, liking a post or following their profile on LinkedIn, then sending a follow up in a few days, and shooting another follow up if there is no response - all fully automated.
[Message continues with a big pitch for this automation platform and includes links to their site]
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Sales Jury: I. Rest. My. Case. All of this #garbage #spam #automatedjunk is #notselling
And to the nouveau sales experts making fun of salespeople who pick up the phone, contextualize their approach, and who are authentic, human, empathetic and focused on finding a fit and delivering value, shame on you. Shame on you not just for your bad advice but also for deploying such bad tactics – and for ruining what could/should be great platforms (liked LinkedIn) with all of your tools, tricks and automated garbage.
SALES LEADERS: come spend a full-day (or two if you like golf) with me in Dallas to SUPERCHARGE YOUR SALES LEADERSHIP. Premium venue. Packed agenda. Powerful interaction. Proven concepts.