In this short sales tips video, we talk about one of our tips for what NOT to do when you are prospecting for leads on LinkedIn.

This video is part of a longer sales training webinar that we hosted on How to Effectively Use LinkedIn as a Sales Prospecting Tool.


The Instant Pitch

One thing that I have observed as a LinkedIn user is that people will invite me to connect and then immediately after I accept the connection invite, they will send me a message through LinkedIn with a fairly direct product pitch.

Here is an example of a cold email that I often receive.

Thanks for connecting. A lot of new things are going on with my company and I would like to share them with you in the near future.

We help business owners acquire financial freedom in their business through coaching, training and personal development. I welcome the opportunity to work with you.

One of the things that I feel is wrong with this approach is that when someone connects with you on LinkedIn, I see it as more of an invitation to connect networks and collaborate in some way or another. That could be as minimal as seeing each other’s posts or could be something more meaningful, like actually talking and sharing ideas.

But one thing that I don’t see as a proper reason to connect on LinkedIn is so that you can then have an opportunity to directly sell your product to me. I think it is OK to prospect on LinkedIn to people who are not your connections or even end up doing business with someone who is a connection but to establish a connection for the sole purpose of getting someone’s contact info and being able to sell to them, is rude in my opinion and I think that can negatively impact the relationships that you are trying to create.


Delay Your Email Message

If you agree with that logic, there are a couple of small changes that you can make to minimize or avoid this rude impression. First, if you insist on sending an email that is a direct product pitch, try to add some time between the time that the connection accepts your invite and when you send your email.

Wait a week or two, and then go back and email the contact. They may either have forgotten to accept your invite or it may appear that you had an afterthought of sending them an email to sell to them.


Send an Email that Is Not a Direct Pitch

Another option for you is to send an email that is less “pitchy” and one that is more broad, inviting them to have a conversation. You come at it from an angle of wanting to learn more about them or their business, and you could share some of the ways that you help others.