About a week ago I accepted a LinkedIn connection request. As is my practice, I responded by thanking them for the connection to open the door to conversation.
Today, I shut that door. Locked it. Deadbolts. No vacancy sign. Moved without a forwarding address.
Every once in a while I will have a new connection respond to my door opening with a sales spiel. Ugh. Although slightly perturbing, I usually just delete it and move on.
The sales spiel is immediately discoverable because it starts with “Hi Lisa K.”
I do not go by Lisa K. I use the “K” professionally to delineate myself. Lisa McDonald is a more common name than one might think. My middle name is Kaye. The only person who ever called me Lisa Kaye is my dad. To get my attention – which it did.
Often starting your message with ‘Lisa K’ shows a formatted list that imports names.
If it is a persona message, I get it, you don’t know me. You probably don’t know about the “K” thing. It is forgivable. In this case, I gently guide my conversation partner by signing off any future messages with simply “Lisa”.
Barraging someone you just connected with to sell them is a big no-no in networking. LinkedIn is networking. The foundation of networking is relationships. To build a solid business relationship it takes three aspects:
– Cultivate interest
– Motivation to help each other
– Establishing trust and credibility
These three things take time. Appropriate time is not five minutes or a day after I accepted your connection request.
For Mr. Happy, I deleted his first salely message and moved on. Then a few days later, I got another “Hi Lisa K.!”
Now, I’ve gone from perturbed to annoyed. Yes sir, I saw your first message and no, I was not interested. Go away.
Today I moved from annoyed to “oh for crying out loud”. There was no cultivating of interest. I have no desire for you to help me. Your credibility is completely shot. Not only are you spamming, you did not read my profile.
You see what this gentleman was selling was branding. More specifically LinkedIn branding. He was promising he could take my lackluster profile and make me a social media sensation. Hey, guess what I do? That’s right – branding. Guess where I focus – right again – LinkedIn among other places! Go figure!
So in the spirit of the holidays, this ‘branding genius’ (his sentiment, not mine) went to my naughty list. Marketing yourself to a colleague using an outside our industry message is not genius-like behavior.
Let us learn from Mr. Happy. Your network is a sacred thing; you should treat it as such. Nurture it, care for it, protect it, give to it and it will flourish like flowers in the Spring. Spam it and disrespect it and it will die. Think dead of winter with no sunlight. (I had to follow my flower theme) It is that simple. In the end, the quality of connections and contacts, not the quantity, will yield a beautiful garden. (I couldn’t end without another flower reference!)
A little about me: I do what I love: help leaders break out of a suffocating corporate existence and into a position and place that renews their brilliance.
As the Founder and Principle of Career Polish, Inc., a national career personal branding firm, I am an Executive Brand Strategist, Resume Writer and Career Coach. I work with individual clients, companies, leadership and teams to identify, strengthen and effectively communicate their brand, engagement, commitment and most importantly – their value – by learning and leveraging personal branding as applied to LinkedIn, resumes, networking, communication, relationship management, presence and influence.
Click here – CareerPolish.com – to find out more about how we can help you.
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