Saturday, 13 July 2013

Ethical use of Linkedin

I spend a goodly proportion of my work time within the hallowed halls of Linkedin. I find it an invaluable resource for me as a business person and from both a networking and a sales/marketing standpoint it regularly provides me with new leads, introducers and clients. It is a resource that I wholeheartedly embrace.

On Friday I had a minor spat with a person on Linkedin (as usual, no names no pack drill) who objected to receiving a brief message from me highlighting some of the services offered by my business. Although I understand his point, that the message was unsolicited ... it was. I do not think actually that the point is valid in the context of Linkedin.

The whole point of Linkedin is to network with like minded colleagues - business people who are interested in meeting (on-line) their peers and learning about what is out there in the business world, locally, nationally and across the world. However, if you are not connected to someone you cannot freely message them, so the person in question has joined (several) entrepreneurial business groups local to me, as have I. To expect no one to ever contact you on Linkedin, who have similar interests (in a business context) with any kind of sales and marketing message is frankly ludicrous and to waste the resource of having access to a unique tool like Linkedin for a business is in my opinion not ludicrous but rather naive and a little foolish.

So I think sending and receiving sales and marketing missives on Linkedin is actually part of the value of this social media website and I for one always read sales messages from contacts - I don't always buy from them obviously but I'm always extremely interested and appreciate them if only from the standpoint of understanding who they are and what they do. This means when I actually want to buy a service I always have lots of options from good Linkedin contacts and often get a brilliant deal - it's not rocket science.

Receiving a message on Linkedin is not like receiving unsolicited sales e-mails (which again I personally do always check out before deleting if the service isn't relevant to me) there is a tacit 'buy in' to the networking element of the site and as described above if you then choose not to make use of the resource actively, then more fool you.

I did apologise to this person for, as they perceived it, wasting their time and pointed out I could to a point understand their view but that mine is different and I couldn't agree with their basic premise.

If you want to connect with me on Linkedin please feel free - the link is here :

If you would like to sell me things, please have a go - the more the merrier. I might not buy from you but if I need your service I will come back to you and if your idea is clever I might include it here (happy to give anyone free advertising !!!).


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Phil Knight
Independent Healthcare Consultant

I'm a totally independent healthcare intermediary with 20 years market experience, not tied to any insurer, fully FCA regulated and part of the Premier Choice Healthcare Group. FCA Number 312878. 

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