That was my reaction the first time a professional on my LinkedIn network sent me a blatant sales pitch. There was no ambiguity. If I acted fast, the commercial messaging screamed, I would get X percent off the training programing in something I did not want to be tutored for.
Because I was stunned, I didn't respond. But now I do. I request the sender to stop the pitching.
Those LinkedIn abusers don't understand that networking is a kind of long-term business investment. No, at the get-go, we don't deliver our elevator speech, at least not in a way that contains a Call To Action. And we don't engage in any obvious forms of selling.
Had Harvard Business School professor, Ted Levitt, been alive today, he probably would have published an essay on the inherent perils of social networks like LinkedIn. In his iconic book "The Marketing Imagination," he explained Americans' peculiar attitude toward marketing. That's in the chapter "Marketing and Its Discontents."
On the one hand, America is the global capital of sophisticated marketing. On the other hand, most of us don't enjoy being the recipient of the marketing process.
Now that Microsoft is in charge of LinkedIn I hope it will leverage its resources to penalize those who attempt to exploit the relationship part of the network.