Grr, don’t do this on any social network.

I receive a LinkedIn friend request from Ann D. so I accept.

And a few minutes later I receive this message…
“Hi Rob, my name is Shannon, Anne D’s assistant.”

Then the message goes on and on about how great Ann is and what she’s doing and how I can be a part of it if I just sign up for some Zoom video conference.


So I respond…
“Hi Shannon, I’m sure you are good at your job, however I never make arrangements with the assistant. So have Ann reach out and I’ll consider a future meeting.”

{five minutes later the friendship was terminated as I was unfriended and blocked}

I shared that above observation on Facebook and then the comments came in..

What is wrong in having an assistant reach out to new social connections? Social media is a numbers game. People resent automation, people resent going through the assistant, so what is the right way to do lead generation from social media? Shannon in this case is doing a good job logging in as Ann D. connecting with prospects, MANUALLY reaching out to people and see if a conversation between Ann and the new contact is prudent. Ann’s time is valuable and important. This is an administrative task (or perhaps a pre-sales task) that is appropriately delegated to Shannon. I don’t see how this is inappropriate. Kindly elaborate your position. What is bothering you about this?

Me: Because the entire connection was fake – I thought I was connecting with Ann – instead her assistant was the one reaching out. Ann probably doesn’t even care who her assistant is reaching out too. Yeah like you said its a numbers game. But I like to know who those numbers are and if those numbers are real. Nor do I like being pitched right after connecting especially from an assistant.

You are not Ann’s friend. You are Ann’s food. That is how social media works, in my opinion. When you are someone’s prospect, let them feel you out, let them work on the data to determine what is the right course of action is and cooperate with the process. They have made an investment in the process to approach, identify appropriateness and communicate with the appropriate intensity. If you don’t cooperate with the process, you are agitating the assistant and not helping her cause. Her time is precious. She needs to hit her numbers. This is her livelihood. Shannon gets paid when Ann meets Rob. I think you are out of line saying this is not the right thing to do in social media. But, I now understand your point. In your mind, YOUR time is valuable and Shannon is a distraction. Ann might be interesting but you don’t want to bother with Ann’s assistant.

Me: That’s right I am agitating the assistant and do not in anyway want to help her cause. And it’s not Ann – it never was. It’s Shannon – an assistant. Which is a nobody to me and yes a complete waste of time. Now you get it.

Rob do you have an assistant?

Me: I have a team – but none of them will reach out and pretend they are me on social media or anywhere. To me that is deceptive and not in anyway building trust.

Trust begins by being REAL – not having an assistant going fishing for profiles then immediately try to move those profiles through a sales funnel. Ann might be a real person, but she definitely doesn’t care what her assistant is doing in her name or the negative impact it’s causing on those her assistant is connecting with.



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Rob is affectionately known as “Mr. Sarcasm” to his friends - to everyone else he’s a Certified Digital Marketing Strategist, a Foremost Expert On Specialized SEO, a Best Selling Author, Podcaster, Speaker and Authority Broadcaster who can help amplify YOU to your audience.

Rob has authored, coauthored or produced over 40 books covering social media, search engine optimization, podcasting, copywriting, personal injury law, weight loss, military law, life lessons, scams, sarcasm, customer service and more. His book clients include lawyers, speakers, doctors, real estate professionals and more.

Rob is also host of The E-Heroes Interview Series available on Apple, Amazon, Google Play, Stitcher, Spotify & many other podcast channels. Rob works inside corporations across the globe, helping companies generate new revenue and capture online business.

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