Dishonest Scaling

bill mccormick Aug 24, 2022
Dishonest Scaling
The moment there is suspicion about a person's motives, everything he does becomes tainted.
Mahatma Gandhi

Ok, so the title of this week’s article may be a tad of an exaggeration.  I mean I don’t think there are many people today in the modern marketplace that are outright lying and cheating.  I mean, there definitely are some, but the dishonesty I’m talking about here is more shaded and subtle. 

The shading and subtly of the practices I’ve seen recently on LinkedIn are all done in the name of scaling.  The more people we reach, the more people we impress our message on and subsequently, the more people buy our product, our software, our services.  

But at what expense???

As the quote above states, when our actions create suspicion, they taint everything we do.

Take a look at these two messages I received this week:

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Each of these are InMails I received on LinkedIn this past week.  Now, in all fairness, InMails are the ‘scaling’ feature of LinkedIn.  If you’re going to send bulk messages, InMails are the way to go.  But are they the efficient way to go??  Let’s take a look at these two examples from a standpoint of trust.  Do they establish trust or, on the contrary, cause mistrust?

Example one begins “Jackie Joy – a stellar recommendation!  For context, Jackie is another coach and trainer as Selling From The Heart and a great human being! She wrote a recommendation on my LinkedIn profile almost a year ago after taking a LinkedIn training course I conducted while with another company.  

I wasn’t sure what this person was getting at with that headline in bold seeing as they then went on to talk about help with Salesforce (which we don’t use).

So I asked…. And had to ask again.  Their response was classic (not in a good way!): 

“I just happened to notice it on your profile. How well do you know her? 

Are you interested to know more about (their company)? 😁

Let’s set up a short introductory call….”

This shows minimal effort and no attempt to do anything more than get what they wanted- a meeting! And if I took the meeting, the conclusion I can draw is that they are not going to do more than the bare minimum when it comes to providing me with service beyond whatever it takes for them to get my money.

Example two goes one step further (in the wrong direction).

This company claims that they ‘took the opportunity to discuss Selling From The Heart’.

Then they share what came up:

  1. You guys rock!  
  2. You know that 1x1 coaching programs are very effective in driving business KPIs

Their conclusion (naturally) was that we should check out their product.


Here’s the thing: if you discussed our company and all you can come up with is a generic ‘you rock’ then big whoop!  Also, your point number 2 is only there so you can draw a conclusion (erroneously) that we need your product/service.

This, in my honest opinion, is dishonest scaling.

You start out by making a generic statement to make me think that my company is special to you.  Then you make a false assumption because it fits the narrative of the outcome you’re after- a meeting that will lead to a sale.

Again, this example shows minimal effort but is also slightly dishonest.  I doubt you talked about our company or you may have made some more specific statements.


Scaling is part of modern sales and marketing outreach,  I get that.  But when are we going to learn that if we slow down and send 25 hyper focused messages with the intent to engage the recipient in a conversation rather than a sale, we’ll get better results?

Let’s take example #1- Their end goal was to sell me services helping manage a Salesforce account.  If the salesperson had visited my profile and engaged on my content they then could have sent me a connection request (referencing my content) I would have accepted.  Then they could have inquired about my CRM choices thereby qualifying me.   

In example #2 they could have looked over our company website and LinkedIn page to really learn about what we’re doing and see that we REALLY DO ROCK! And when they reach out they can reference specific events we’re hosting (like the Breakthrough Sales Leaders Retreat in October!) and start a conversation around that.  This could lead to a discussion on our coaching and training methods.


While scaling allows you to reach many more people with much less effort, you have to realize that the return you see isn’t just in the touches that lead to appointments.  For every large scale outreach you do there are three outcomes: 

  1. The positive outcome that leads to your intended result (meeting or call)
  2. A neutral outcome- unopened, went to spam
  3. A negative outcome- unsubscribe, turned off by your company or you

Here’s the key take away- if you look at outreach metrics the smallest number in the lis above is for positive outcomes.  The largest is neutral and negative.

There’s a better way beyond the few examples I laid out above and I’ll write about those next week!

Origianlly published on Bill McCormick's LinkedIn.

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