If you are active on LinkedIn you must have dealt with LinkedIn Spam.
It's become the norm to the point that it's the first thing people think about before accepting a connection request.
"Will he/she spam me or not, that is the question!"
Whether through InMail or message right after you accept the invitation connect, it's never pleasant to deal with spam.
While there are many fake accounts on LinkedIn that aim to scam people and are dedicated to send spam, to which the only response is Report/Block. There are people who send spammy messages because that's what they've learned from their company, their sales training or lack of it, or their search on the internet.
So after receiving more than my fair share of unsolicited generic sales offer about the services I so desperately will never ever need and not remotely related to anything I do. And after trying the usual:
reply with a no and leave them to go bother someone else
send them an angry email letting them know that they are misusing LinkedIn
and given that I rarely let things go, especially opportunities to help people, I decided to try something different.
I decided to reply with the following message:
While I appreciate the offer, it's not related to the work and focus of the ventures I'm involved in.
You will find it more helpful to seek first to add value to your connection and help them before you approach them with a sales offer.
All the best to you
I thought that just like the angry messages I sent earlier, I will never see a reply, but to my surprise, people started to reply with a genuine thank you and a promise that they will read the book.
Now I'm not naive, well maybe just a little, but I don't think that's enough to completely transform them, but it just might, and it feels a hell of lot better than sending angry emails.
I believe with enough of us sharing similar messages, and enough of them learning about the value of building great relationships, we can slowly but surely make the world a better place full of Go-Givers :)
So join me on my quest to turn spammy LinkedIn connections to Go-Giving relationships, by replying with a similar message with your own choice of books.
Also, I'd love to hear from you, what do you think about this approach, have you tried something else that worked better, what book or article would you suggest about the best way to build relationships on LinkedIn? Please share your views in the comments.
Keep Go-Giving ;)