Updated Jan 2022

So, I’m at a conference and someone says, “I hear you know something about websites and I’m having a problem with mine.”  I realise we’ve both left the same workshop and while I’d been singled out by the presenter as a Facebook expert, there hadn’t been any mention of websites.  Having said that, as I’ve collaborated on projects with website designers and also being polite, I thought I could point her in the direction of someone who could help.

Hosting and WordPress

As the woman talked, I gathered she was confused about her hosting supplier or more specifically the service they offered. She complained the website hosting company wouldn’t help with editing the content on her site including correcting spelling errors.  After suggesting she speak with her website developer about it, I then asked if she had a WordPress site.  However, the name WordPress didn’t mean anything to her and on probing a little more I learned her website was over 3 years old.

I then explained why I’d asked the question, sharing with her how WordPress sites are in vogue now as they’re much easier to manage and update for those with no coding background. I mentioned I knew of a company she could talk with if she was considering a new website.


The LinkedIn Connect Invite

She then asked if I was on LinkedIn, and when I responded “yes” she offered me her card suggesting we connect.  As I needed to head off to listen to the next speaker, I let her know I’d do that.

The next day I duly sent off a connect invite with a short message saying how nice it had been to talk and if she wanted the name of the company who could provide her with a WordPress site, to let me know and I’d send it on.


I’ve Been Spammed!

Now what I didn’t expect was the reply. A long one.  Many paragraphs long, outlining her services, how she could help me and my business.  I also read how she’d taken a look at my LinkedIn profile and would send me on a separate email with details on how it could be improved. My response? I ‘felt’ like I’d been spammed.

I then read the follow up email and yes it was a long one which started by suggesting edits I could use in my LinkedIn profile. There were details about the coaching services I could avail of – anything from business to relationships.  On top of that, I was told my website should be mobile responsive (which was true of the website I had at that time) she offered to help by giving me a name of a contact of hers. By then, I’m pretty sure I was unconsciously grinding my teeth.


The Hard Sell

Now the fact that I trained salespeople on how to use LinkedIn, that I am a coach, that I write content and it was all there in my own LinkedIn profile is really neither here nor there.  What is, is that the women I’d spoken with became so focused on pursuing a sale she went into hyper hard-sell mode with the wrong audience.

That kind of hard-sell spammy sales pitch does not work on LinkedIn.  For that matter, it doesn’t work offline either.  Any salesperson worth their salt will know this.  A good salesperson will source out their ‘ideal’ client then spend time nurturing and developing the lead regardless of whether it is offline or online.


The Outcome

So, here’s how it panned it. I did not accept the request (also in that email) to meet up the following week to discuss the services that would change me and my business for the better.  In fact, I didn’t even respond to decline the offer. That my friends, is the kind of response (or non-response) to expect when you spam someone you’ve just met at a networking event or conference.

The bottom line is, not knowing how to connect and nurture prospects online impacts your credibility, your personal brand, plus the company you represent.


Related: How to Grow an Online Personal Brand


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