Why LinkedIn Connection Requests Aren’t Working for Sellers

“Hold on, Molander. I request LinkedIn connections when regularly approaching buyers cold — and they accept.” But then? Usually crickets. Right?

Connection is increasingly being seen as a privilege. Social media is growing up.

Being connected on LinkedIn to people with power and authority is being seen (by those people) as uber-personal. Remember: You’re a stranger. As sellers are rushing into LinkedIn social selling, executive decision-makers are increasingly:

  • Hiding their authority by downplaying their role on LinkedIn profiles
  • Taking a defensive posture: Accepting fewer (not more) connection requests
  • Thinking twice about accepting “just any” Connection request
  • Reviewing LinkedIn profiles to see if you’re a problem-solver or an average spammer

Remember, decision-makers aren’t on LinkedIn looking to meet sellers — even those representing something vital to their success. LinkedIn is personal. Increasingly so.

Treat it that way; treat your prospects that way too. It’s the key to success in an increasingly noise-filled, impersonal world.

It’s Time to Re-think LinkedIn

Much of what I’ve presented in this article isn’t being discussed on LinkedIn. It’s a privilege to bring it to you here at Target Marketing. In parting I’ll ask you directly:

Why do you need to be connected to a prospect on LinkedIn … to start a conversation with them?

My answer is you don’t.

Being Connected on LinkedIn presents a long list of advantages you have to stay on the radar screen of your prospects and customers… and for them to stay on your radar. However, you have other, better ways to break-the-ice with prospects.

The telephone and standard email are two great ways. InMail is also an option I usually recommend as a last resort — or as a compliment to a phone/voicemail+email strategy.

It’s true in most cases: Prospects are burning-out on sellers’ using LinkedIn as an “introductory platform.” Some industries experience fatigue faster than others. How about yours?



Author: Jeff Molander

Jeff Molander is the authority on making social media sell. He co-founded what became the Google Affiliate Network and Performics Inc., where he built the sales team. Today, he is the authority on effective prospecting communications techniques as founder of Communications Edge Inc. (formerly Molander & Associates Inc.) He's been in sales for over 2 decades. He is author of the first social selling book, Off the Hook Marketing: How to Make Social Media Sell for You.Jeff is a sales communications coach and creator of the Spark Selling technique—a means to spark more conversations with customers "from cold," speeding them toward qualification.

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