Are you cold calling on social media?

Please don’t invite me to connect on LinkedIn if you really just want to sell me something. Social media is a great tool for researching prospects and Referral Sources, and for sharing interesting, relevant information. But it is not the place for a sales pitch.

Stop Cold Calling on LinkedIn

I was quick to ignore this invitation:

We haven’t spoken before, but as a member of (Whatever?) group, I’ve just read your profile with interest and I was wondering if you could add me to your professional network on LinkedIn.

I also want to offer you my free (Fill in the blank) resources. If you are interested in (1) List Building / Email Marketing, (2) Online Traffic / Lead Generation and (3) Make Money Online, get my resources (PDF reports and videos) for FREE!

Here is the download link…

This message is the social media equivalent of a cold call—which is any attempt to contact someone who doesn’t know you and doesn’t expect to hear from you. And the cold calling success rate is dismal.

Referrals Seal the Deal

If this person had read my profile, she would know I don’t buy lists and that I do my own lead generation through referral-based selling.

Referral selling statistics show that it trumps any other business-development method, converting prospects into clients more than 50 percent of the time. Why? Because people still buy from people they know, like, and trust—and the sales reps those people refer.

Think Conversations, Not Conversions

I love meeting new people. That’s why I’m in sales. So I’d be happy to connect with you on LinkedIn. Just tell me about yourself and why you’d like to connect. Start a conversation with me, but don’t try to sell to me.

Remember, the purpose of LinkedIn is to facilitate conversations, not transactions.

Ralf VonSosen, LinkedIn’s head of marketing and sales solutions, agrees. To hear his point of view, check out my free webinar: “6 Ways LinkedIn Can Help Generate Referral Sales.”