An OKR of mine for 2022 is to leverage LinkedIn as a platform for lead generation. Actions I’m taking include regular engagement – comments, connections, posts. Showing up and being seen.
It’s been a positive experience. But there is one negative side effect that has been, quite frankly, annoying.
I’ve been hit up more and more often with sales call requests.
I respect that we all are on the platform for business and/or employment reasons.
It’s how the requests come in that is annoying to me.
A serve-and-volley approach of someone reaching out with a connection request followed by the ask for the sales call. Sometimes obvious. Sometimes unclear or disguised as networking.
This week, I took a breath. Then related it to two big personal growth lessons I’ve learnt the last few years.
I’ve learnt that negative emotions can be an indicator that there is something to do. Negative emotions like fear and anger. And anger’s smaller cousins – annoyance and irritation. These are warnings and alerts to reflect on what action is required.
Another big lesson is about personal boundaries. I’ve learnt to focus on what boundaries do I need to hold in a situation. When I used to dwell on feeling powerless when people crossed them. I can’t believe it’s taken me a lifetime to learn this simple reframe.
So, how does this impact this scenario?
It’s just the way these people are doing it is not my style.
I’m much more upfront and direct. I prefer to message people, have the call, and then possibly connect after on LinkedIn. I’m fearful it will be less effective. But I need to develop a sales process that works for me, as well as works.
Also, I consider LinkedIn connections to be about networking. That was the original intent of the platform, and it’s still true for me.
That’s my boundary. So, I have a new rule of engagement.
I’m only going to accept connection requests from people that I want to network with.
People who are peers or connected to other close connections. People with a clear ask. And yes, people who fit my ideal customer personal. Customers are a big part of your network!
If after connecting they ask for a sales call. Instead of being irritated, I’m going to politely say no and then ask for a networking call instead.
I tried this out this past week. The person didn’t take up the alternative. They apologized for asking for the sales call and said to think of them if I need their services in the future.
It was a much more positive engagement. No irritation felt on my part!
What gets under your skin? What is that telling you?
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