The Customer Experience Podcast
The Customer Experience Podcast

Episode · 2 years ago

37. How NOT to Use LinkedIn Messaging for Prospecting w/ Ethan Beute


There’s something that I’m tired of. I think you're probably tired of it, too:

When you accept a LinkedIn connection request and the person immediately hits you up with an unsolicited and irrelevant sales pitch in a direct message. 

So, I decided to reach out to you, to collect your feedback on this issue.

And on this episode of The Customer Experience podcast I’m talking through what you had to say about it and what we can learn from this issue to create the best customer experiences going forward. 

The goal, of course, is to reach out, understand people, let them know that you see them, hear them and understand them, and work to create a real relationship based around a real problem in a real opportunity. The single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Learn how sales, marketing and customer success experts create internal alignment, achieved desired outcomes and exceed customer expectations in a personal and human way. This is the customer experience podcast. Here's your host, Ethan Butte. This episode is about something that I got tired of, so I went and got some feedback. I think you're probably tired of the same thing. My name is Ethan Butte and the host of the customer experience podcast and cohost of the CX series on BB growth. And here was my issue. This is a Linkedin Post that I'm going to read to you that I published and Got Sixteenzero views and counting, hundred and twenty plus comments and counting,...

...and forty plus reactions and counting. Honest question, when you accept a linkedin connection request in the person immediately hits you up with an unsolicited and irrelevant sales pitch in a direct message. What do you do? And I got a lot of an ors, again, more than a hundred and twenty comments and counting, before I share several things that I learned. Here's the set up here. I believe that customer experience is the single most important thing that you can do today working on creating and delivering a better experience for your customers. It is the differentiator of Your Business and it's comprised of every single touch point. So when you think about the sales people in your organization and some of those touches that your Bizdev people and your salespeople are making, probably and linkedin probably with connection requests, probably with direct messages, this is very often the first touch that one of your future customers is getting. It has a slightly outsized impact on the reputation of you and your company and on the expectations you're...

...setting for your customers, in your future customers, about who you are, what you're about and how you operate. And so if your sales team is doing this, I've got some bad news for you. I went in and soft scored all those comments again, a hundred and twenty plus and counting, and the number one response was I immediately disconnect from the person. I kill the connection I just accepted. That's twenty eight percent of the responses, twenty seven point six to be exact. Twenty three point seven percent of people simply ignore the message. So here we are already and more than fifty percent of the responses ignoring the message or, worse a enjoying the message and actively disconnecting from the connection they just made with you or your salesperson. Some people do choose to engage, so I scored the engagements as positive, negative or neutral. The third most popular response from people who commented on this post. Seventeen point one percent engaged in a neutral way with the message. This was a thanks, but no thanks type of thing right. Neutral it's not I want... learn more. It's not negative, which will get into shortly. It's just a neutral, courteous response, but with no real potential to move forward. Next, in fourth place, ten and a half percent of people deleted the message or archive the message. So a further step from ignoring it. And, by the way, I tend to just ignore these messages. If I rule through all of my linkedin messages, there are a bunch of these messages in there. I don't actively delete them, although these responses in the conversations on this post made me think that I should probably go that extra step of deleting them next, and this was one of the more interesting findings. People were equally likely, if they were to engage, they were equally likely to engage in a positive way and a negative way. About eight percent of people said each positive responses. Thanks for reaching out, I'd like to learn more, or thanks for reaching out. I would advise you that this maybe isn't the best approach, but I'm interested in what you're sharing, right. So some level of active engagement that would produce a conversation. But there was...

...also an equal amount of negative engagement, which is who do you think you are? Do you actually get business this way? This is an immediate turnoff. I would never do business with someone that open the conversation this way. So the caution here, of course, is that while you may get some engagement, it's more than twice as likely to be neutral as is to be positive or negative, and it's equally likely to be negative as it is positive. And then, finally, the most aggressive thing, block the person and mark the message as spam. So a few things we can learn here. First, people tend to be able to read these from a mile away. One quote from one of the comments, you can tell in the first few words, dot dot dot right. So if you're using this style of communication in your direct messages after connecting with somebody, we can all kind of see it, smell it, feel it. It's popular enough now, it's common enough now and it's in such volume that we see it right away. So even if you are a since your person, even if you do have an actual valuable message, you need to make sure it doesn't look or smell like...

...all the other messages. So take a look at the unsolicited messages you're getting and do something different. Second, these are generally not welcome. People are much more likely to ignore or disconnect from you as they are to engage with you, even in a neutral way. So this probably isn't the best way to go forward. Something that I read in a lot of the comments that they prefer that people engage with them on their posts and actually produce some level of reciprocity, a basic level of connection, before showing up in the direct message box and and communicating their especially with a direct and hardcore sales pitch. Third, you're equally likely to get a positive response as you are a negative response, and some of the negative responses were quite funny. In the kind of passive aggressive category right. Some people even offered to subscribe them to things that they didn't ask to be subscribed to by going to their profile grabbing the email address. So some of it was like super aggressive negative engagement, which...

...doesn't do anyone any good. Fourth, neutral engagement is double the rate of positive or negative kind of that. Thanks, but no thanks. And I will say fivth. Some people do read and evaluate the message. Some of these fell into that neutral category. They might actually judge this. So even if it does get ignored and they don't reply, that doesn't mean people aren't reading the message, and this shouldn't come as any surprise to anyone listening. What they're looking for is personalization. You know who I am, you know who I work for, and not just in a slug my name in kind of way. You can imagine or you actually identify it's specific problems or pain points that I might have and you have an actual solution that can specifically address these things. And the more you can communicate that in a unique way, the better off you are at getting those people who are actively ignoring the message but evaluated it prior to ignoring it to engage with you in a positive way. Sixth and finally, hear the last lesson, there's a clear escalation trend... scoring these. Some people got scored in three categories. So they say, you know, initially I'll read the message, then I will ignore it, if they persist, I will disconnect or if they persist I will mark them as spam or if they persist, I'll get very aggressive with them. So the more you persist in something that is not responded to in a favorable way, the more likely you are a to make someone angry and be get an escalated level of response, from ignore to disconnect to block. So just because other people are doing something doesn't mean you should do it. Just because a lot of people don't like it doesn't mean that it can't be done successfully. The goal, of course, is to reach out, understand people, let them know that you see them, hear them and understand them and work to create a real relationship based around a real problem in a real opportunity. I hope you found that valuable. If you want to check to post out again. My name is Ethan, but I host the customer experience podcast. We can find me on Linkedin. Etch n. Last name is beute.

I welcome that connection. Is Special if you add a personal note to it, and I look forward to any feedback you want to add on that post or on anything that I have to share their I look forward to connecting with you on Linkedin. Happy Prospecting, clear communication, human connection, higher conversion. These are just some of the benefits of adding video to the messages you're sending every day. It's easy to do with just a little guidance, so pick up the official book. Rehumanize Your Business. How personal videos accelerate sales and improve customer experience. Learn more in order today at Bombombcom Book. That's bomb bombcom book. Thanks for listening to the customer experience podcast. Remember, the single most important thing you can do today is to create and deliver a better experience for your customers. Continue Learning the latest strategies and tactics by subscribing right now in your favorite podcast player or visit Bombombcom podcast.

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