How To Get Blacklisted from 200 Million Companies; A LinkedIn Tale of Pure Imagination


I genuinely think I am a nice guy. I try to be at least, and so when I was contacted by a Marketing "Professional" (note the quotations) who had read one of my posts and asked for a brief call I did what nice guys do, agreed to give her a few moments of my time and listen to her Elevator Pitch. She canceled 2x due to "illness", and so I sent an invite for last Friday am. I received an email, she was confused by my LinkedIn headline- was I really Psychic?- lacking a sense of humor should have tipped me off. Or maybe I am not funny, eh. When the call came my  I couldn't answer, but I called back in under 5 minutes. In the Interim, she sent an email via LinkedIn, which I did not see until after the call. If I had I would not be sitting here writing this post. In essence, she stated she takes her appointments seriously and I obviously did not - good luck trying to make my business work. Yep- she was indicating I would fail without her.

Our conversation didn't start well, off the bat she told me I knew nothing of marketing or branding. Okay. It works for me, though I'm sure I could improve. Then came her Elevator Pitch- she could take candidates I couldn't use and polish them up- teaching interview skills and increase their social media presence etc- and then my clients would hire them. I responded with a scenario- If my client needs an AutoCAD expert, I would not submit them If they did not have the skill- and this is where it went south. I was wrong, I was told, they can learn on the Job, and I had no Idea about the technology available. I was a dinosaur (a velociraptor would be my choice FYI). I simply responded that I did not agree, and I would not present my client with a candidate who did not have the skill set required. I illustrated through a second scenario; If I was working on a search for a licensed architect how could I submit someone who wasn't? Well at that point Ms. LinkedIn Expert|Branding Strategist|Career Coach|..blah blah blah told me I was rude and conversation over.

I hung up feeling like I had stepped into someone's fantasy, a world of Pure Imagination if you will. Like in Willy Wonka, I had won the Golden Ticket and Ms. Wonkavator's Pitch took me on a brief crazy ride. I might not be an expert in branding, or call myself a LinkedIn expert, but I know my clients and their needs. I do not live in a world of Pure Imagination.

I was only half surprised when I received an email a short time later from Ms. Wonkavator sent outside of LinkedIn's mail (smart, I couldn't file a complaint). I could boil it all down to "I want a golden goose Now!" but what fun would that be? I will spare the complete tirade and highlight the good stuff:

You are a very rude, cocky, ignorant, non-professional. Your results on    LinkedIn clearly show it. You don't even rank in the top 10% of professionals in your marketplace (zing!)....It's really sad because you simply didn't do your homework on me as to who I am, the results I bring to the marketplace, who I know, as well as my RESULTS! Therefore, now that you wanted to act like a JERK I will alert my network of OVER 200 million companies NOT to ever work with you.....who think's his CRAP don't stink. Your results show you clearly DON'T know what your doing! Have a great day and good luck with your business-  LinkedIn's #1 Narcissist (OK I made the name up)

I was a little shocked and a little amused- especially by the sloppy grammar and liberal use of 'I'. Sure, the bad part was that I was now blacklisted from 200 million companies! Darn. Good thing there are only about 30 million in the US, I don't work overseas. That is a much easier hurdle to get over. I imagine she is still sitting and emailing; at a 300 a day limit to 100 recipients in each email, it will take 6666 days (the extra 6 must be a cosmic anomaly), or 18 years. I sure hope she has a better method up her expert sleeve. I might not know what I am doing, but I know what I am not doing- engaging with her- I did not reply.

The moral of the story: before you decide to accept a request for a conversation, ask for that Elevator Pitch up front and avoid wasting your time and energy.  If not you might find yourself trapped in the Wonkavator going slantways, and longways, and backways away from 200 million potential clients- well at least in the world of Pure Imagination.

Have you experienced a similar scenario in a LinkedIn or another business oriented social-media platform? Love to hear your comments. 

Originally Posted on LinkedIn

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