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This blog features Carol Roth's tough love on business and entrepreneurship, as well as insights from Carol's community of contributors.
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A Public Response to a LinkedIn Query: How Not to Reach Out on LinkedIn

 

Dear Jay,

You noted below that you don’t usually reach out through LinkedIn with an email like the one you sent me (I have referenced the entire email below).  Well, I don’t usually respond like this either.  I would normally press the delete button immediately, but because I like to create learning opportunities, I figured I would take the opportunity to use my reply as an educational opportunity for my blog readers and hopefully for you as well.

As a noted marketing expert, I am surprised that you would reach out through LinkedIn with an overly generic email like you provided below. I got to hear some things about you, but absolutely zero about why you had reached out to me. What in my background and more importantly in my current focus areas made you think that we might have some collaboration opportunities? What research have you done into my background and where is the overlap? Who do we know in common that gave you a sense that we might have similar approaches and styles or that our business focus could be complementary?

You also refer to my “enterprise”. Which one is that, exactly? I am sure that since you don’t usually reach out this way very often, there must have been something in researching my various business endeavors that made you think that I should be one of the people that you should reach out to.

As a marketing expert with a “day rate of $50,000”, I am very surprised that you have forgotten key tenets of relationship building and marketing. Most people respond to WIIFM- “What’s in it for me?” and although you have dropped in some generic performance claims, you haven’t been specific about why I would benefit from a conversation with you. I also believe in the “know, like and trust” foundation for business, as well as giving to establish a relationship.

If you had read my background, you would know that I have completed more than $2 billion worth of capital raising, M&A and other transactions for businesses. I have a multimedia footprint that includes hosting a radio show on one of the top stations in the country (WGN) in a key time slot, an on-air contributorship with the top business cable network (CNBC) and a large online following.  Why not acknowledge which of those piqued your interest?  Or if you were just looking at my profile and thinking “hey, she seems cool”, say that- at least it comes across as authentic.

I am guessing that you didn’t read the background at all.  In fact, you are asking me to take time out of my valuable day to connect with your colleague to answer questions about myself that you could easily find out if you typed my name into Google. If you reach out to me, I expect that you have done the research on me.  Don’t make me jump through hoops if you are trying to get my attention.

I hope that in your five-figure day rate engagements, you do not encourage your clients to make initial contacts like this. While your background may be impressive, for me, creating business partnerships is also about creating and fostering great relationships- and there is nothing generic about that approach.

And as a marketer, I hope that you can also appreciate my unique approach to a response.

Best,

Carol Roth

(Email I received via LinkedIn- I have redacted some name information, phone numbers and emails out of courtesy)

Carol,

My name is Jay A[remainder redacted] and my purpose for reaching out to you today is to see if a 10 to 15 minute conversation may be appropriate.

I understand your time is valuable, as is mine, and I want to be direct if you don’t mind. I believe we may have some meaningful opportunities to work together.

My recognized ability is growing profits and market share for companies (By making what they already do perform better). I have been blessed to have successfully generated hundreds of millions of dollars in bottom-line revenue for a vast number of organizations (big and small) over the past 30 years.

I’ve done most of this on a performance, no risk, win-win approach. My partnerships frequently generate significant results in the first 120 days or less.

If we’re a match, I’m more than willing to initially invest a day of my time ($50,000 is my normal day rate), exclusive business resources, and relational capital upfront in you and your enterprise.

On a side note… I don’t usually reach out like this, and find this an interesting approach to connect. If you’re as intrigued as I am, please connect with my colleague Rob M[remainder redacted] at [redacted], or just give him a call at [redacted] to answer a few questions so I can confirm my assumptions.
Then he can schedule a time we can have a very purposeful conversation.

Until we talk, respectfully,
Jay
_____________________
Jay L. A[redacted]
Principal of [redacted]
[redacted]
[website redacted]

 

Article written by
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics. Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure. Twitter: @CarolJSRoth
8 comments
AndrewJStein
AndrewJStein

Had to be written. Fabulous tact in saying what many of us experiencing this would like to.  Lately, I forward these to CS(at)LinkedIn(dot)com, as a spam report.  They appear to have been taking them seriously. (CS is customer support at LinkedIn.)

Graham Fellows
Graham Fellows like.author.displayName 1 Like

That was very entertaining Carol...I hope that there may be a future reply.  I just wish I could see past the redaction of names, numbers and emails...Jay would get more responses to his efforts than he'd ever dreamed of - you handled that very well.

iamgodari
iamgodari

my money's in a cave in china.  i name names!

Seth Sklar
Seth Sklar like.author.displayName 1 Like

Great article Carol. If you would give him 15 minutes of your time, he wouldn't even know what to tell you and would make a bigger fool of himself. I'd like to see who's paying him $50,000 a day for his services. 

 
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