Friday, July 26, 2013

Using a LinkedIn Connection Invite to Advertise Services…Right or Wrong?

First Impressions

We make first impression all the time.  You make a first impression when you leave a voice mail for the first time, when you send a resume for the first time, when you send a LinkedIn invitation, when you meet someone in person for the first time, etc.  What kind of first impressions are you making?

A LinkedIn Connection Invitation

Recently I received a LinkedIn Connection invitation from someone I don’t know.  The fact that I don’t know the person is not a problem for me.  I accept unsolicited LinkedIn connection invitations all the time. 

The way this person introduced themselves looked like this:

Bob has indicated you are a person they've done business with at XXXXX XXXXXX LLC · Hello Jeff, We at XXXXX XXXXX can provide you a full time recruiter who would dedicatedly work on your IT or Non-IT requirements for the best fixed rates/month. We also provide them access to various Job boards. Please let me know if you are interested in utilizing our services. Thanks, Bob
Single Sale Objective

Wait, is this an invitation to join Bob’s network or is it an invitation to explore Bob’s business services?  I once learned the concept of having a “single sale objective”.  This concept has stuck with me for many years because I was guilty of presenting more than one solution to a client at one time.  I saw two different solutions that my client needed and in hindsight, made the mistake of addressing both problems simultaneously when my client only wanted one solution to one problem at that moment.  I confused and very likely annoyed my client.

Had I been focusing on addressing one problem at a time, life would have been good.  The single sale objective relates to Bob’s LinkedIn connection invitation in that I don’t know if Bob is more interested in connecting his network to my network or if Bob is more interested in selling me on a service that I don’t want. I’m confused.

Deeper Analysis

A couple of different things are in motion here.  First, Bob (name changed) is sending an unsolicited LinkedIn invitation.  On the surface, that isn’t an issue for me although I am only accepting invitations from security, risk, compliance, privacy professionals and select executives. I’ll soon hit the 30,000 connection mark and won’t be able to accept any more connections so I’m conserving my last connection spots.

The second thing happening here is that Bob is advertising a service to me that I have no interest in consuming right now.  So I ask you, the reader of the Security Recruiter Blog and likely the owner of a LinkedIn account, what would you do if someone sent you a LinkedIn connection invitation in the form of a sales advertisement?

I’m a fan of anyone who invests time to personalize their LinkedIn connection invitation but Bob’s invitation confused me.'s Security Recruiter Blog