I’m so tired of mass messages in my LinkedIn in box that attempt to win my business — especially when those messages have been hastily, ineffectively “personalized”.
This week, I received a message from a website designer. He attempted to pitch his services by “educating” me about all the things a website could do for me as a writer. The primary benefit he pushed was the ability to publish blog posts so I could showcase my writing to the world.
Wow! Really? Who knew? As a writer in 2019, it never would’ve occurred to me to blog!
What planet does this guy live on?
I already have a website. Several, actually. And I blog on all of them.
I also teach a blogging class for Gotham Writers’ Workshop in New York.
Obviously, he didn’t do his homework. Instead, he made assumptions based solely on my LinkedIn headline — and some pretty bone-headed assumptions, at that.
Actually, he missed a genuine opportunity with me. I might have been open to engaging a web designer. But this guy? No way.
First of all, he seemed lazy. Five measly minutes of research would’ve taught him enough to help him tailor his pitch to my real needs. He wasn’t willing to put in the time.
Second, I doubted his ability to make the right recommendations during the web design process. He pitched me on blogging like he was introducing me to some exciting new phenomenon. He didn’t seem too savvy.
Third, he came off as desperate. This guy wasn’t truly interested in helping me reach my goals. He was interested in collecting money — as much of it as possible, as quickly as possible. That’s why he decided to take a scattershot approach — send a canned mass message to many instead of doing targeted outreach. Why so frantic to land a client — any client? That makes me uneasy.
No Harm, No Foul, No Risk?
I guess some people see no harm in sending mass messages. They figure any uninterested recipient will just ignore and delete.
However, they are taking the risk of pissing someone off. You never know when someone might trash your name far and wide because your insincere message was the last irritating straw, or arrived on a bad day. I hope they’re prepared to pivot quickly from marketing to damage control.
Researching Targets: An Unrealistic Expectation?
Some might argue that taking the time to accurately personalize a pitch simply takes too much time — that it would take years to win a handful of clients that way. But that’s not true. It takes minutes to gather enough intelligence on a target prospect to write a message they will take more seriously (and be more likely to respond to) than a spammy mass message.
Don’t Try to Pretend You Personalized Your Pitch
If you insist on bypassing background research, at least keep your message cleanly generic. Don’t try to fake an understanding of a prospect’s needs (taking a guess based solely on a headline, for example). The recipient can almost always tell. Your phony approach can kindle disgust, make you look foolish, and possibly even insult the recipient.
I spend money, but never on products or services that are introduced through mass messaging. Do you?