Why Do You Stick Your Tongue Down My Throat?

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Why Do You Stick Your Tongue Down My Throat?


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September 20, 2015

I recently attended a conference and was able to hear Josh Brogan speak about social media. The entire speech was entertaining, but one statement he made during the speech stuck out to me when he discussed the new world of Linked In. He shared a comment something to the effect of I accept you as a connection and you stick your tongue down my throat.

I laughed at first, but then I thought to myself, "What in the world has happened with some basic etiquette?" Since I have roughly 5,000 followers myself, people ask to get connected to me all of the time.
Here's a recent scenario of what happened, and then I'll share my three very simple tips for LinkedIn etiquette because apparently companies aren't training their sales people anything except to be robots and just keep clicking the send button.

An individual on LinkedIn asked to be connected with me. I chose to accept the connection (as I'm asked many times per day), and here is what I got no sooner than 15 seconds after I said YES to the connection.

Hi Ted,
Thanks for the add! I hope we can be good resources to each other down the road!
Not to jump the gun but could you point me in the right direction of who would manage the HR/payroll/benefits for oXYGen Financial?
Thanks in advance!

Aaarrrgghhh! Why is it when I say sure I'll be connected, you immediately want to stick your tongue down my throat?" You wouldn't walk into a networking function and ask someone their name, hand them a business card, and then ask for the business after you slam down two pigs in a blanket, would you? So, here are three very simple things I would recommend to those as far as building your business in LinkedIn. For those of you who thing 'cold calling' on LinkedIn is the way to go, good luck with your online reputation.

  1. Build A Relationship- All business is done by building relationships. Nobody would ever in real life would be as forward as they are on the internet because people like to hide behind their computer. Once you get connected to somebody, you might want to consider commenting on their posts, liking the news feeds that they share, or even doing some research on what they do for a business or them personally. What's funny, is that I own a benefits company and the person who connected with me for sure didn't even take the time to review my website. People who sell SEO and IT services seem to be the ones who hit me up the most today.
  2. Get Them To Get To Know You Better- Most people don't do business with companies, they do business with people. People that they like and they trust. So, you need to make sure you spend some time getting the prospects to like you and trust you. This may be some reverse engineering by sharing your background personally, giving them insightful news articles about how your product or service can help them, or offering free white papers/e-books that can better their lives. If you create value, then more people you connect with are likely to give you an opportunity to discuss further.
  3. Take It Slow- It's true that part of sales (I've been in it for almost 25 years) is a numbers game. You need to get at bats. However, if you act too fast with too many people you could really damage your online reputation. More and more, consumers (especially in the X and Y generations) like to filter out their own research and are turned off by the hard pressing cold call approach. If you handle relationships in the right fashion, you could exponentially explode your business by getting more recommendations, more introductions, more group invitations, and more followers because of your overall professionalism.

Maybe Miley Cyrus can make a career out of sticking her tongue out on shows like the MTV awards, but it just isn't prudent to stick your tongue down someone's throat on LinkedIn after they stick out their hand for a handshake. It never was proper sales etiquette and never will be. Thoughts?

Written by: Ted Jenkin
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