Want Your LinkedIn Messages To Stand Out From The Crowd? Stop Using These Common Phrases.
I will start this post by saying that my intention here is not to make fun of Business Development Reps on LinkedIn and their copy and paste social selling campaigns. This is not an easy job by any means and in some cases, the amount of persistence required (while annoying) should really be applauded. Instead, I want to approach this from a more productive place and point out some of the most frequently used messaging that I have seen that does little to stand out from all the rest.
As for me personally, I get targeted with DMs pretty much on an hourly basis. As a matter of fact, when my inbox doesn’t light up, I almost worry that something is wrong. Given that I have a lot of these messages at my disposal, I have spent the last few hours reviewing them and making notes. More specifically, I wanted to break down the language used within them and find the most repeated phrases that create that effect of “sameness” that I and many others deem as off-putting. It is my thought that if you can avoid sounding the same, your message is more likely to cut through the noise and reach the recipient. This will also help you to be more precise and use fewer “filler phrases” that do little to contribute to the overall message.
Here are a few of the phrases that I found to be repeated most often:
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“I came across your profile and…”
For you to be able to send a connection request, you would have had to “come across their profile” in some way. Simply stating this does very little to offer context to your intentions. If you want this connection request to come off as a happy accident, try being more specific. For example, “I saw your blog post about new tax laws in my news feed.” This now relates that to an actual scenario might have occurred that makes it seem less like a canned message and more like a casual observation.
“In these unprecedented times..”
The year 2020 is the definition of “unprecedented.” While this might have been the go-to phrase to describe an indescribable situation back in March, it has since become a turnkey way to insert empathy into a sales pitch. Now that time has passed and many have become desensitized, a better approach may be to focus more on what opportunities are being created rather than what has been taken away. I think it may be time to retire this line in favor of a more optimistic tone.
“I think there is some synergy…”
While I said that I was going to keep this productive and not “poke fun” I ask that you give me a pass on just this one. The word “synergy” is basically a meme in language form. I smirk every time I read it for reasons that even I do not understand. If you want someone to take you seriously, choose a different way to describe what you are looking for. “Mutual benefit” is a really good starting point.
“We seem to know the same people…”
Of the messages that I reviewed, almost 15% of them referenced how many mutual connections we have in common. As I see it, there are two major flaws in this strategy. The first is that I can clearly see how many mutual connections we have, so pointing this out is surely a waste of characters. Secondly, I only know a small percentage of my LinkedIn connections anyway, so the fact they’ve been requested too does little to peak my interest. In my opinion, this can be left unsaid in lieu of something far more intriguing.
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“We help businesses like yours…”
This line is actually a suitable replacement for “we seem to know the same people” as mentioned previously. The problem is not with the language but often with the context. Most frequently when a salesperson says they “help businesses like mine,” they then go on to mention something that does not apply to my business at all. If you are going to use this in your message, make sure that you’ve done your homework. If not , you risk making a bad first impression and frankly looking a little bit ignorant to the situation you claim to know so well.
“Let’s jump on a call…”
If this were a tell-all piece, I would openly admit to having used this line many times before. After all, having a phone conversation is one of the best ways to explore a potential fit between an MSP and a business and discovery meetings are ultimately what you are looking to produce. As I have matured, I have began to realize the value of people’s time and how to be respectful of it. Asking for someone to have a call with you before you know anything about them or their business is a bigger ask than you may realize. Find a way to establish more value around this “call” and present it more as an offer rather than an ask.
“Can I ask you a question?…”
Rhetorically asking someone if you can ask them a question and then asking it immediately after is actually the most wasteful use of sales messaging that I can think of. It can also set you up to be the butt of a knee-slapping “dad joke” if you aren’t careful. If you find yourself typing this line, just delete it and get down to business. Well thought out and constructed questions are the perfect one-liner to use on LinkedIn. They don’t need an opening act.