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A “Done Wrong for You” Example of Social Selling


When I’m building relationships with potential clients, LinkedIn InMail and invitations are part of my social messaging rotation. If you’re in B2B sales, you’re probably using it also. When done right, these tools are very effective for background research and opening doors for that next step in the conversation. When done wrong, it can very quickly shut down a conversation and a potential relationship.

This is a recent LinkedIn connection request I received:

Hi Amy,

You want to bring your Lotus Notes Databases to Office 365?

My company, ABC, built a no-code platform for creating Business Apps on SharePoint but didn’t forget that you need to create/update/template the entire solution.

Do you have 15 mins for me to show you how?

Sam, CEO

This message is one of those “done wrong for you” examples, never to duplicate. Here’s why:

  1. It’s clearly a templated message, that perhaps a virtual assistant copied and pasted into an invitation. When it’s coming with a C-level signature, the template effect is amplified.


  1. The strategy may have been an SEO search for “Lotus Notes,” “Office 365,” or “SharePoint” and then use the results to create this invitation. I was a Lotus Notes administrator at one point early in my career and would explain how I showed up in search results. If someone took 60 seconds to scan my LinkedIn profile, it would be obvious that I’m not a qualified connection because I’m no longer in the IT space.


  1. A reference to product comes right out of the gate. When I receive a new request, I don’t mind a sentence or two about the type of work or the industries the sender works with. But it can’t be the core of the message.


  1. The ask for a 15-minute demo. I’m not a fan of the 15-minute meeting request, because it’s tough to honor that time limit in an initial call. It can be a credibility killer. Normally a qualifying conversation or two will happen before a demo request – and maybe those conversations are in the 15-minute range. But in my experience, a good demo isn’t 15 minutes if both the seller and prospect are engaged.


What did I do with this request? I hit “Delete Conversation.” With your social selling strategies, it pays off to be selective with your prospecting efforts, investing the time to customize your messages. You’ll get further, faster, and with much more credibility.

About Amy Franko

Amy Franko is a sales leader turned entrepreneur, sales keynote speaker, and author. She’s passionate about two things professionally: sales and leadership. She works with insurance organizations and professional services firms to improve sales results and build future sales leaders. Learn more about Amy and download a chapter of The Modern Seller, a #1 Amazon new release.

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