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Your Name Came Up…..

by David Brock on August 23rd, 2019

Yes, I’m whining about inept, manipulative prospecting. This might also be titled, “How stupid do you think your prospects are?”

Several weeks ago, I get a LinkedIn Invitation:

Dear David, Allow me to ask to be connected with you as I remember that your name and Partners In EXCELLENCE were mentioned during a conversation at the [Organization Name] conference, last December in Berlin. This connection is a first step to explore mutual interests. Best, [Name withheld to protect the clueless]

Nice play to my ego and narcissism.

I respond:

Dear [Clueless], thanks for the note. I’m curious, what was the context in which both my name and that of my company were mentioned? Who mentioned us, I’d like to thank them. Regards, Dave

Clueless provides a response:

Hi David, Thanks for your message. Hundreds of global leaders from all industries and nations came together for that event with hundreds of topics and panel discussions. I took a lot of notes at the conference, among which was your name, but I am not really sure anymore what the exact context was. The conference presented amazing insights and given impressive examples of leadership so I felt compelled to connect with you. I hope my lack of memory doesn’t leave you disappointed. Regards, Clueless

Hmmm, I could let my ego go wild. Of course people should be talking about “ME.” But there’s a lot that doesn’t make sense:

  1. I can’t find the referenced conference anywhere. I even go to his website, they were the sponsoring organization, and there is no mention of that.
  2. If he took lots of notes and the references to me and my company were so compelling, I would think he might provide some context. For example, “In this session we were talking about this…. and you came up in this way……” So, I’m still wondering.
  3. Finally, the examples of me and my company were so impressive that he felt compelled to reach out and connect—-10 months after the conference.

Hmmm, none of this seems to ring true. It appeals to my ego, but it’s hard to believe.

Perhaps I was being unfair or too cynical. I went back to him asking a couple of questions, it turns out, he was actually Clueless. If he spent 5 minutes looking at my LinkedIn profile, he could have responded in some way. But he didn’t. He couldn’t even tell my what he was most impressed by, and why he was so interested in connecting.

This was making less and less sense. I chose to do nothing, I sat on the invitation.

Surprise, surprise. Over the next week, I get 2 more invitations from people in the organization. Each invitation said this:

Dear David, Allow me to ask to be connected with you as I remember that your name and Partners In EXCELLENCE were mentioned during a conversation at the [Organization Name] conference, last December in Berlin. This connection is a first step to explore mutual interests. Best, [Name withheld to protect the clueless]

Now I am dealing with Clueless 2 and Clueless 3, sending exactly the same invitations. Naturally, I respond with exactly the same query, I’m lazy, so I just cut and pasted from the previous query.

You know where I’m going with this. Yes, both Clueless 2 and 3, sent the exact same responses. Not similar responses, the exact same–word for word.

Here I am, 3 people, “compelled to connect,” 10 months after the compelling event happened. Each saying exactly the same thing, the most telling of which is: “This connection is the first step to exploring mutual interest.”

We know what that is code for, each of the clueless– 1, 2, 3, want to sell something to me.

These, particularly the first, approaches were somewhat intriguing. They were a little more sophisticated, they really played to my ego and narcissism. The first provoked responses from me, I was engaged, but he did nothing to build my trust. In fact everything he did, reduced my trust.

Then Clueless 2 and 3 doing the same thing….

I can’t possibly be that stupid, regardless how ego driven I am.

I continue to be amazed, why do so many feel so compelled to start a relationship with a lie? What would happen if we started with the truth, even something as simple, “I read an article of yours and would love to connect and learn more,” or “I looked at your profile and you are doing some interesting things. I particularly liked…..”

Why do people feel compelled to invent preposterous excuses and use manipulative techniques?

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