What a Terrible Interaction on LinkedIn Taught Me About Sales
What started off as someone asking to be on my podcast took a sudden and weird turn.
I have a podcast and write frequently on a platform called Medium. I’m incredibly vocal about both on all of my social media accounts. As creatives, we need to tell why our work matters.
When you’re a podcaster, people message you asking for help marketing and selling their services (regardless of your content). I typically ignore these messages. Most of the time, these aren’t people I’d normally want to interview or whose products don’t appeal to my audience.
I take pride in bringing value to my audience. I want my audience to walk away satisfied, finding my podcast entertaining and informative.
Most of the people that cold email me don’t provide value to my audience, but then I got a direct message that seemed different.
Call me when you get 1,000
The person who messaged me (whom I shall leave nameless) claimed to be a leadership expert that works with people and organizations to help them avoid disasters.
As someone who loves to talk about leadership and engage with my audience on the topic, I was instantly intrigued. This conversation had the potential to benefit my audience.
Unfortunately, this person messaged me around the holidays and I was “out of the office” and resting during the holiday season.
Once I was back to working on my podcast, I responded that I would love to have them on the show. I believed my audience would benefit from what they had to say. Then they asked a question that changed the entire conversation.
How many listeners per episode do you get?
I responded honestly. My podcast only had 23 episodes at the time. (I’m someone who’s still learning and building an audience.) My stats varied from 50 to 100 listens per episode.
Gotcha. My minimum is 1K, call me when you get to that.
Do your research before asking
Here’s my problem with this interaction. They contacted me for a chance to be on my podcast and market their book, and then when my numbers weren’t what they expected, they scoffed at my offer.
Here’s the deal, they could have easily ruled me out. A quick internet search reveals I only have 226 connections on LinkedIn and 640 Instagram followers, not 1,000.
In fact, I was very honest about hitting my first 1,000 downloads in a LinkedIn post.
If you’re looking to make an actual sale start with researching the person you’re asking.
Arrogant people always lose
At the end of the day, if you’re more concerned with what you can gain from others, and not what you can offer them, then you’re going to lose. Gary Vee has a great philosophy centered around this.
Gary Vee advises that we should bring people value. When we ask someone for a service or a sale, we need to make sure we’re providing them value as well. Too many people are looking for what you can do for them and not the other way around.
If I had reached out to this person and asked them to be on my podcast this would be an entirely different story. However, they reached out to me. They asked me to bring value to them and then spat in the face of the opportunity they asked for.
Bring value and be humble
This experience has been a reminder to bring value and remain humble. Without value, you’re more white noise in the noise-filled void that is social media. Countless people are trying to get the attention of everyone. Those who stand out from the crowd are the ones who bring the most value.
Just because you’re the best or have a best-selling book doesn’t mean that the person you’re trying to sale cares about that. If they don’t like your message or attitude they’ll walk away and most likely will not work with you in the future. Remain humble.
When this person responded in the way they did, my rebuttal was:
Lol, you reached out to me first, bro. Not the kind of person I’m looking to work with. See ya.
I know, not very professional. However, as a creative, I have a choice in the people I work with. And I choose to work with people who are kind, have tact, and ask without expectation. I also choose to be someone who seeks to do the same — bring value and stay humble throughout the process.