Have you ever tried prospect hunting on LinkedIn? Or ever bought a course that claims to make it easy?
I have. Lots of them. I know from experience that 99% are useless, but every now and again a good one shows up.
But today’s post is NOT about great LinkedIn courses, it’s about how NOT to prospect on LinkedIn.
On the attached screenshot of my LinkedIn inbox you can see an example of how NOT to prospect.
I’ve blanked out the sender’s name because I don’t want to embarrass anyone, but the important point to note is that this person says they can make anyone a BEST SELLING AUTHOR – GUARANTEED.
Really? Of course. It’s easy to do if you have a LOT of money. People do it all the time. For example, they organise groups of people to buy bucket loads of their books from book shops known to be used to rate book sales for publications such as the New York Times (get that right, and you can go straight to the top of the NYT Best Sellers list – GUARANTEED).
I’m not saying or implying any of that about our prospector, I’m sure it’s all perfectly legitimate (I have no idea who they are, and this is not about them).
NOTE: There’s a great story on fixing the charts here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/booksblog/2020/jul/20/an-author-bought-his-own-book-to-get-higher-on-bestseller-lists-is-that-fair
So what’s wrong with this prospector’s copy (and why didn’t it wind up in my own best sellers list?).
Before I get to that, I need to explain a couple of things that were JUST RIGHT:
First: the timing is PERFECT. I’m just about to release a new book.
Second: who wouldn’t want to make their ‘just about to be published’ book a GUARANTEED BEST SELLER?
So here’s the BIG FAIL: who’s going to respond to someone who hasn’t spent a single second checking out who they’re pitching to? Why get the prospect research right, then fail to create the right message?
All the author had to do was look me up, and the BIG IDEA would have been revealed on the spot.
Armed with that, an offer could have been created that DEMANDED I respond immediately.
This was a real missed opportunity from someone who’s just following the time proven way to miss all the shots they take using the ‘spray and pray’ method (aka the ‘spray and pay’ method if using PPC).
Not only does it annoy prospects, it makes them unlikely to want to deal with these people again (I’ve just removed this person from my network because I don’t want to work with people who can’t be bothered to check me out before contacting me).
PS. This probably comes across as a rant, but it’s a seriously good marketing lesson about prospecting the right way. Know who you’re talking to and why you want to connect with them BEFORE you do so, and you will always get better responses – and that is GUARANTEED (when people see you caring about them, they find it hard not to care back).