Even I’m not *that* interested in Sustainability…
There are definitely three types of LinkedIn connection request. There are those who genuinely want to connect through mutual interest, there are those where hitting ‘accept’ will immediately lead to a sales pitch, and then there are the more subtle sales people who see that connection as the first stepping stone to a potential sale. The second lot make me smile sometimes as you can often see them coming, particularly those trying to sell some generic business service. But often people immediately send a sales pitch for a green product or service – often with the “your clients will benefit from this!” angle. Yeah, right, I’m going to risk years of relationship building with my precious client base to pitch something I’ve been sent on social media. Dream on.
One I received yesterday was about some kind of green fuel. Seven attachments including a movie, none of which I’ve opened yet – I’m busy trying to finish all my client commitments and get my corporation tax paid so I can wind down for Christmas. That’s my no 1 priority right now, not wading through a tonne of unsolicited material. It doesn’t matter that the material is Sustainability-related, my clients, the taxman and my family come first.
I was in a bit of a mischievous mood, so I replied to the person concerned that maybe this was a bit much stuff and they might want to reconsider their approach. I got the self-parodic reply that they didn’t have time to start conversations with the 10,000 people they were pitching this to, and that they found it odd that some people focussed on the volume of the material rather than its content. It read like a modern version of the old parable of the struggling lumberjack shouting “I don’t have time to sharpen my saw, I’m too busy sawing!”
My Green Jujitsu approach to communicating Sustainability says ‘listen to those people complaining!’ It doesn’t matter if you contact/spam 10,000 people if they all ignore you. If you find 100 people who might be interested in what you are selling and make a more subtle approach to them, identifying and trying to meet their priorities, building a conversation, then you might actually get somewhere. But the fatal mistake is to assume that they will be instantly as interested in your product/service as you are. They really aren’t.