I’ve never wanted to follow through with a cold pitch I got on LinkedIn because the person who contacted me was probably just looking for something easy, not really serious about buying what they were asking.

But many sales reps are still following this path. That is why we all should know how to stop solicitors.

When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough motivation for them. For my new hires, however, it was necessary to constantly test the structure of base pay plus commission in order to find what is most motivating for each individual person on staff.”

The results of my experiment showed that 70% of people who did LinkedIn Pitch did so after their first message.


Knowing the difference: a solicitor vs a salesperson

I was curious to see how that experiment would play out with new criteria on what success looked like for a salesperson.

Quantifying this was simple.

  • Was I pitched?
  • Did the pitch talk about your company?

If the person was a solicitor, then they would have said yes to those questions.

Out of the 104 solicitations, all used “I, we, our” in their message. 75% of respondents replied with an initial response.

how to stop solicitors

 

The second experiment was very similar to the first, and it showed that there is a correlation between gender and performance.

These people just want money. They will ask you for help and then move on to the next person.

When I get to a room with 100 people, usually at least three of them will buy from me.

How do you feel after this interaction?

Sales can be all about how you make a customer feel. A lot of the time, people don’t remember what was said but they always remember how it made them feel.

Some people can sell, but not everyone.

However, it can be difficult to make sure your whole team is focused on the message. It’s important they are looking for problems rather than spraying and praying.

As sales professionals, we must all take responsibility for not letting vendors and solicitors infiltrate our industry. Sales takes a lot of planning and knowledge about different industries; it’s on us to make sure we don’t let these people steal what is rightfully ours.

How to notice a solicitation and how to stop solicitors

The first contact from a solicitor comes in the form of a cold call or email. They don’t care about who you are, and they’re casting as wide a net as possible to catch whatever happens to be there.

The solicitor doesn’t mention any problems but rather talks about all of the things you can offer them.

This is usually followed by a lot of empty promises that are made without any evidence or understanding of how they will be carried out.

  • The message they’re sending is all about them. They talk about how great it is to work at ABC company and do XYZ, but there’s no value-added for the prospect.
  • The metrics this company is using are either dishonest or they have a high churn rate. This person said that on average, 20% of all leads contact per day convert into sales.

How to stand out as a salesperson

You can’t just jump in with a sales pitch the first time you contact someone. One of the most important things to remember is not making assumptions about their business, but rather asking questions.

Good questions are open-ended. You have to know what you’re talking about, so ask your prospect good questions that will help the business see how it can best use your services. Yes, this is also a great way on how to stop solicitors.

Salespeople would specifically speak to a problem with the prospect on the phone and find an agreement about that issue. The reason they called was usually because of finding a specific problem, identifying it as such, and then agreeing on that particular one.

  • When talking to prospects, the message should be all about how they can benefit from your product or service. The initial outreach is an opportunity for you to show empathy and understanding by adding value. This could mean including a video, case study, article relevant to them or some company-branded swag as a thank-you.
  • The message is personal and natural, not rushed or templated. It doesn’t come across as insincere.

Signs of a “pitchy” message

If you receive any messages with these words in them, it might be a solicitor trying to sell something:

  • There are some questions that just seem rhetorical, like “Would you like to increase your revenue?” or “How would you like to triple the amount of leads you’re currently getting?”
  • When someone contacts me, it’s usually not for a good reason. They just want to sell their company and won’t have an educated discussion about what problems I may be solving.
  • A sales process is an important aspect of any deal. You must be well aware on how to stop solicitors. Ensuring you’re talking to the right people before signing a contract with them, and making sure they are good fit for your company as well.

How to stop Solicitors: Solicitation rejection response template

I asked my network what they do when they receive a solicitation and also how to stop solicitors. I received over 260 responses, with some common keywords being that the response should be:

  • Kind, but firm
  • Explain that LinkedIn is not designed for direct sales approaches.
  • Just stop connecting the two things.

Hey [Name],

Thank you for your offer, but I don’t need any help right now. Feel free to contact me again in the future if something changes.

If you’re just trying to send me a solicitation, I won’t respond. My goal on LinkedIn is to build connections with people looking for networking opportunities and value added from their network.

Let me know if you want to move forward.

Best,

[Your Name]

If someone doesn’t respond to your follow-up, you should unfollow them and remove the connection. If they do respond, it is up to you how much further contact you want.

How true sales professionals should do LinkedIn Pitch

If you can’t use LinkedIn to find candidates, what is it good for?

The best salespeople focus on two core principles:

  • What can this person offer to them?
  • Am I saying this to a potential customer?

One reason why salespeople are so successful is because people buy from other people. People work with other people, even in B2B sales.

It’s no longer enough to treat business as just a transaction. Business is personal and should be treated that way.

Put your prospects first, regardless if they are a CEO or just a sales rep. Everyone has someone above them.

You should train your team to talk with prospects like they would speak during a dinner party.

I never ask questions all the time, I’ll answer them sometimes. But if you do this on a date or with friends, it will make your friend feel better and more relaxed.

It’s simple to take out the solicitation and marketing in your sales process. Your team will be able to develop relationships with people, which is what leads them into closing deals.


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Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following: 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
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Editors Note:

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
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