The original headline of this post was “When to LEAVE LinkedIn”. But it sounded so dramatic I had to make it less clickbait-oriented. Glad you’re reading this now!
I’m not going anywhere. Earlier this year I actually celebrated my 13th year on LinkedIn (a LinkedIn Bar Mitzvah– could that be a first?). So chances are it’ll take some time before I really leave LinkedIn.
But I’d like to draw your attention to a simple, yet counter-intuitive idea: Often, you’ll get better results using LinkedIn – but then completing the process started on LinkedIn elsewhere.
What do I mean? Let me ask you this question:
When you see a hot prospect on LinkedIn, what should you do?
That’s what you’d better do.
We’ll return to Johnna & Carol in a minute. Let’s switch to the problem itself:
Ron, a successful Sales Manager, shared a problem at a LinkedIn Masterclass I ran for a sales team. Ron kept identifying 2nd degree contacts who were interesting leads. But asking for the introduction did not convert into introductions. He was worried his connections no longer wanted to help him!
When asked: “How did you reach out to your connection, asking for the intro?”, Ron said naturally ,“I just message my connection on LinkedIn”.
Nobody said anything for a few seconds.
Then the VP Sales’ Personal Assistant asked timidly: “Why?”
What you have to do really is to think and pick the most appropriate channel. LinkedIn is just one channel. Sometimes the best channel is LinkedIn. Often it isn’t.
Ask yourself: what’s the best way to contact your connection? If you don’t recall ever seeing a Whatsapp message from your connection, shoot an email. If you know you are going to meet your connection at an event next week, do nothing now – but add a reminder to yourself to ask about your lead when you meet.
Now let’s see the main reasons not to message people on LinkedIn, or, like the title of this piece asks, why leaving LinkedIn is actually good for you:
Not all users get LinkedIn messages in their primary Inbox, so they may miss your message altogether. Even when delivered,weeks may go by before your connection sees that message: many users signed up with an email that is no longer their primary email, and everything LinkedIn sends them goes to that email address.
“Press enter to send” is the default setting.
Yes, you read that right.
Many users only understand it too late. A reply like “Hi, Thanks for this! Yes, I’d like that! Does next Tuesday work for you? John” could mean they’ve sent 5 (read:five) annoying messages, sometimes showing up in your correspondent’s inbox 5 times, the first email being “Hi”, just because you wanted to go to a new line 🙁
You’re almost bound to take a false step.
On desktop, you only see the beginning of the message and must click through to see the whole message.
Answering is time-consuming – if it works.
If you’d like to reply via desktop to a long message, you can’t just hit “reply” as it goes to a LinkedIn black hole and not your connection’s email.
Sometimes you send a message,get a reply, reply to that reply etc – it becomes a thread.
LinkedIn threads are even more challenging to manage.
The messages simply become unreadable.
Access, Stupidity, Time and Fragmentation: those are the reasons not to use LinkedIn’s messaging.
In other words…
In short, if you don’t mind getting an answer to a non-urgent, non-important question, then LinkedIn messaging may work. But when was the last time you composed such emails?
Wondering what’s coming next? Simple: “OK, I see LinkedIn messaging isn’t good. But what should I use?”