Recently I received two LinkedIn requests to connect, one from a rep at a well-known insurance company and the other from a financial planner at a well-known financial services company. In the first request the rep told me that the insurance company notified him that my construction company is eligible for a special program that grants an immediate discount.
Sounds great; the problem is I don’t own a construction company.
Twice I asked him to tell me who at the insurance company notified him. He finally responded with a “nobody notified us,” even though in his original message he was “notified by <insurance company> that my construction business qualifies for the discount.”
In the second request the financial planner told me he works with a few employees of LonniePacelli.com and would love to walk me through his investment process.
I have two employees; myself and my wife, who confirmed with me she is not sitting on a wad of cash and investing without my knowledge.
I asked him which LonniePacelli.com employees he worked with. He responded and weakly blamed it on an auto-response that he used for other clients. He did apologize for the inconvenience, but the fact that he gave a bogus excuse didn’t sway me.
I am intentionally not divulging the company names nor the individuals who sent me connection requests; there’s no need to do that. Getting these two messages caused me to think more about these types of requests and the impression it left on me. With the financial services request, the financial planner blamed it on technology and didn’t take the time to review a very short LinkedIn message before sending it off to me. With the insurance request, the rep flat-out lied to me when I pressed him for an answer.
Sloppy financial planner. Shady insurance rep. Neither worthy of my business.
One can argue that the sloppy financial planner just made an honest mistake. Maybe so. However, the financial planner was pitching me on him managing my money. Do I really want someone overseeing my nest egg who doesn’t even take the time to read a simple LinkedIn message before sending it? Sorry, but no chance. The first and lasting impression he left, even though he apologized, was one of someone who doesn’t pay attention to details. Not a good impression for a money manager to leave.
Now onto the insurance rep. After he saw I wasn’t going away he sent me a response which directly contradicted with his original message to me. So, he not only sent me a bogus first message, but when he sent me the second one, he didn’t even bother to read what he first sent me. Why in the world would I trust someone with my insurance needs who doesn’t respond, then when pressed for an answer gives me conflicting answers? Not a chance.
Neither of these individuals considered not only the negative impressions they as people left on me, but also the negative impression I now have of both companies represented. I’ll probably forget both of their names, but I won’t forget either company.
The point here is simple. Do whatever you can to make your first impression positive. If something goes awry (which occasionally it does), own up to it, apologize, and ask for a second chance to make a great impression. Humbly admitting your mistake can work to your advantage and help you get the outcome you desire. Just don’t let your lasting impression be sloppy or shady.