Here’s an example of why you need to change how you’re doing cold DM pitches

So I was minding my own business, spending a little time on LinkedIn when yet another unsolicited DM lands in my inbox telling how this person helps people like me find more leads. Keep in mind this is the first message I’ve ever gotten from this person…

This was the note on the connection request:

I would love to connect with you as I absolutely resonate with what you are doing, using your expertise to benefit others! 💯 Since we’re both in the same space, can I ask you a really quick question?

Maybe saying the DM was unsolicited isn’t fair because I did respond saying I was intrigued by this note. What I didn’t share is the reason I was intrigued was because of how the use of the 100 emoji combined with the person’s image in the profile picture was not what I was expecting. (If you’ve ever seen Martha Stewart and Snoop together, this is the vibe I was getting.)

And so it began.

Glad to be connected and that you’re intrigued! I’d definitely want to hear more about what you’re doing with your career coaching practice for fellow CPAs as well. Such an interesting space for sure. 🙂 Love that you’re in such an established international company like PwC too! I am reaching out because I help coaches and consultants like you who are looking to make the most out of their biz, no matter what stage you’re in right now! 💰 I actually took a look at what you have going on in your profile and I am confident that we could help widen your reach so that you could earn and SERVE more and more clients. Is growing your business by bringing in more clients interesting to you?

That seems like a lot of text for what was described as a really quick question. I get it — people are out here on their hustle. Fine. (Side note: this message at least showed that she at least took a quick glance at my profile, which most people don’t take time to do. So bonus points for that.)

For me, though, I’ve been trying to be better about ignoring and blocking when this happens, but this was not one of those times.

To cut through all the nonsense, I send a reply:

I’m interested in working with affiliates who are paid on conversions instead of another business wanting to get paid on leads. Let me know if that’s something you’re interested in.

I figured this was a quick way to see if this was nonsense or not.

Eric, thanks for your response. There are too many variables to the pay for conversion model that doesn’t make it practical for us. And we invest too many hours and resources to make a good lead generation funnel successful. I wish you success in finding a resource that will work this way. Happy Valentine’s Day

This made me scratch my head a bit because somehow it’s practical to think that someone (me) not actively looking for whatever it is she does would blindly trust some random who messaged them on LinkedIn.

For what it’s worth, the problem I have with this lead gen model is I have multiple people literally every day claiming this is their sweet spot (after pitching me with little info on what I do), with none so confident they put their $ at risk for their work. For example, with my career coaching clients I also invest many hours but if they don’t land a job in 60 days after working our plan, I’m happy to refund them no questions asked. As a marketer, I’m sure you understand risk reversal — and for all the people who send unsolicited pitches, they never seem to address this risk factor. It’s actually quite odd to me.
This type of guarantee/ model may not be practical for you, but doing something different would help you stand out from the crowd.
I don’t get into all this detail usually but I appreciated what felt like an authentic response from you, so I hope this additional background is helpful.

I think I hit a nerve because this is what I got back:

We stand behind our services and don’t drop clients because they’re time is up. We work very hard to help our clients achieve success. We stand above the crowd by not giving up, or in. We stand above the crowd by being providing a female voice and sense of collaboration with our clients, unlike most of the digital marketers who promise the world but it has to happen within 1 model or 1 timeframe (we do neither). Thanks for your suggestion. I really do wish you much success in finding a resource that works for you.

One thing that irks me most about this exchange is the lines about me finding a resource that works for me. She sought me out and pitched me? I wasn’t looking for a resource at all.

The other thing that I think she totally missed is that if those were her differentiators, she should’ve jumped in with that before I lumped her in with the rest of the sheep on LinkedIn. I don’t feel like they addressed risk reversal at all but it definitely could’ve made her stand out some.

Telling me about all the ways they stand out after they’ve secured a client doesn’t do anything for winning the work. Some might describe that as “hustling backwards.” This directly relates to one of the things I’ve had drilled into my head over the last three years as I’ve tried to make the move toward partner — there’s a big difference between sales and delivery.

In any case, if you want to learn how to get positive responses when you're sliding into the DMs, go here: