When I first heard about LinkedIn I can remember that LinkedIn was a social site for professionals that would help you advance your career and help with finding new job opportunities.
Personally, I enjoy using LinkedIn and I feel that LinkedIn is one of those invaluable resources for learning more about "WHO" makes what company tick when you need to do some research.
On appointments I will ask existing customers and prospects if they are using LinkedIn, if they are I will connect with them and if they tell me they are not I will then ask them if they know about LinkedIn. In most cases the DM's that I meet with are familiar with LinkedIn, however in recent months I had some DM's tell me that they have removed themselves from the service due to the fact they are being overburdened with sales people trying to connect, looking for appointments or just sending them junk. In a recent thread from one of my prospects on LinkedIn, his thread stated something to the effect "if you are connected with me and continue to annoy me with sending inmail, then I will delete you from my contact list", whew kinda cruel and I thing very small minded but he's got a point.
It seems that some DM's that are connected on LinkedIn are becoming more and more dissatisfied with the service and are opting out. Why is that? I have my own theory that there is an abundance of lazy sales people out there, and instead of doing some real prospecting like picking up the phone, sending some real mail and doing an in person visit, they are following the path of least resistance and are cyber stalking influencers and DM's. Thus, I can't put all of the blame on those lazy sales people since LinkedIn has some premium pay modules that will guarantee a response with three little asterisks next to it. Of course if you don't read the asterisk points you can get the impression that you will get a response.
If many influencers and DM's opt out, then I would ask where is the value in using LinkedIn? What most sales people don't understand about LinkedIn is that it's not about you contacting them, it's about those influencers and DM's wanted to contact YOU!
Most sales people are not aware of how to make this happen. I've been able to make this happen with use 8 different techniques that will have influencers and DM's contacting you.
I guess the next Blog I will do after the BTA Grand Slam Event (which starts today in Baltimore at 4PM) will be titled "My Top 8 To DO List Items When Using LinkedIn". It will be a Premium Blog, which the yearly subscription is only $117 per year, but if you follow the 8 points you will have influencers and DM's contact you and that's what it's all about.