Below is an exchange of messages on LinkedIn.

I’ve changed her name to just intials and removed the name of the company, but it was a PLC.

From: LZ
Join my network on LinkedIn
LZ has indicated you are a person they’ve done business with at XYZ Plc
Hi Duane,

I’d like to have a chat with you about how we can collaborate together in the Financial sector.

Kind regards,
L

I usually ignore connection requests from people I don’t know on LinkedIn (here’s why).
But I thought I’d have a conversation. They are apparently a PLC so there could be something in it.

From: Duane Jackaon
Re: Join my network on LinkedIn
Hi L,

Thanks for your message. Feel free to email me directly – duane@kashflow.com or contact me in the office on 020 7403 0101

Regards

Duane

And back comes the response

From: LZ
Collaboration
Hi Duane,

Before we meet up for a chat or talk on the phone I’d like to propose how I think we can work together in a mutually beneficial way. We are a Cloud computing provider who are shifting focus to work primarily within the financial sector and I believe you may be able to provide insight into this industry.

If you think this could be a valuable proposition lets arrange a time to meet or talk on the phone.

Kind regards,

L

I then get the same message again, but this time starting with “Hi Chris”.
That should have raised a red flag in my mind really.

Cutting through the corporate speak, my ego honed in on my apparent “valuable insight”.
I often spend time talking to analysts and others interested in SaaS.
Another call wont hurt, but it does feel like she’s trying to ‘qualify’ me. Let’s check…

From: Duane Jackson
Re: Collaboration
Hi L,

We’re a cloud accounting system for very small businesses. Currently the largest in the UK with ~10,000 customers.

So I have some insight in to that specific area. I’m more than happy to have a chat on the phone if you wanted to pick my brains on any of it, although I’m not sure how that’s a “propostion” or what the “mutual” aspect of it is!

Regards

Duane

My name is almost right this time…

From: LZ
Re: Collaboration
Hi Duance,

We specialise in the infrastructure side of things. The partnership aspect would occur if there were any customers of yours, who require virtual servers on our Enterprise Platform. We could then potentially help grow your market within this sector.

Let me know if you’d like to meet up to discuss.

Kind regards,

L

Ah, so it’s a sales person wasting my time? I don’t mind a chinwag about the industry if the other person is genuinely interested, but not if their only real interest is to pitch their wares to me.

From: Duane Jackson
Re: Collaboration
Thanks for the clarification.So it isn’t insight in to the industry you’re after then – it’s sales leads?

From: LZ
Re: Collaboration
Hi Duane,
Not at all. We need insight into the industry. Perhaps it would be easier for us to meet up for lunch to discuss?
Do you have any time available next week.
Kind regards,
L

So maybe I’ve got her wrong then?
Although I’d rather not spend a “lunch” on this. Lunch is a sandwich at my desk for me.

Before I have a chance to reply (a busy couple of days!) I then get this message

From: LZ
Re: Collaboration
Hi Duane,

We work on a referral basis, so if any of your 10,000 customers required our services you could make 10-25% profit on any deal we make.

Kind regards,

L

Annoying? Yes.
Funny? I guess you had to be there when that last message came in, but it made me laugh at how incompetent some people are.

I guess some sales people think they’ve come up with a ‘clever’ way to engage with prospects.

It’s one thing to not be totally blunt about what you’re after.

But to blatantly mislead just makes you look bad, and once you’re ‘found out’ then people are not going to want to do business with you.

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