A Popular (yet Ineffective) LinkedIn Tactic

Considering investing in LinkedIn automation software? Already using automated tactics? Beware: Automation is not helping social sellers start conversations. Don’t let your hopes or a LinkedIn “expert” (charlatan) tell you otherwise. This isn’t my opinion. I speak from experience — and that of my customers.

Quick Reasons to not Use LinkedIn Automation

Once you start down the automation path you are moving into marketing speak — and away from sales. Move toward writing for many people, instead of just for one, and everyone is going to see through your effort. Trust me!

What’s the first place most sellers turn to when starting to write cold emails? Marketing literature. Don’t do it!

Beyond encouraging yourself to write like a spammy mass marketer, LinkedIn:

  • Is suing parties involved in most automation tools (say goodbye to your investment);
  • Can prosecute you, too;
  • Often freezes and/or terminates user accounts for violations.

“But Jeff … these software tools have been at this for a while. They know how to skirt the rules. These automation tools view X number of profiles a day. They know how to ride the threshold, and push the envelope without getting in trouble.”

Mr. Johnston says it best:

“They are (or at least were) too structured for my liking. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist at LinkedIn to figure out what is going on when someone sets up a search and looks at 500 profiles at exactly 18 second intervals.”

He also warns:

  • LinkedIn is the sole arbiter of whether you broke the rules or not;
  • As well as to how they are going to punish you for doing so and;
  • As two people join LinkedIn every second, it will take them one half of a second to replace you!

Conning Your Customers

A lot of us want to start a relationship with a connection without having to go to the trouble of knowing something about them.

People are lazy. I get it. But robotic nonsense? Too many smart people are falling for this dangerous gimmick.

In a recent post on LinkedIn, Bruce says:

“Doesn’t anyone find it ironic when these [automation] companies say: ‘We will automatically look at 500 profiles, scrape the data from the profiles, then automatically accept invitations to connect sent your way, and send the new connection a welcome message. It’s the ultimate in social selling!

… Wait a second, where was the social part? How social is it when you are starting off your relationship with someone by conning them?”

Bruce raises the real question here.

Do This Instead

Buckle-down. Get serious. Stop trying to start one-on-one conversations using mass marketing approaches that you know aren’t going to work!

In 2007 it took an average of 3.7 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. Today it takes 8 attempts (Source: TeleNet and Ovation Sales Group).

Ok. I got it. This is not easy. I’m in sales too, after all!

And yes … you should be calling, emailing, InMailing.

But how you write matters, now more than ever before.


Because buyers are inundated with noise. Think about it. All these people pushing, pushing, pushing you.

This is why you value what you ask for — more than what’s offered to you. Right?

This is why you value what you conclude for yourself — more than what you’re told. Right?

So how do you get people to ask for help?

How do you get people to figure things out on their own (as well as trust you as their guide)?

Is the answer LinkedIn automation? Nope: An effective communications technique.

Automation is the first step in the wrong direction — away from personalization, toward mass.

Want to be successful at starting more conversations this year? Invest in becoming good at provoking prospects. Beyond that, start:

  • Attracting customers to the idea of talking to you about their nagging fear, exciting goal or ambition.
  • Once in conversation, helping customers discover on their own what they want, and when and why.

Sounds obvious. But are you doing it?

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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