This post is about how not to commence engagement on LinkedIn, an example of someone making connecting difficult, and how not to turn an online conversation into a real one.
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I was recently engaged on LinkedIn by a gentleman I’d never heard of. He wanted to speak to me, because he felt he had something of interest, that I should know about. I assumed he had read my profile, noted my interests and had something he didn’t want me to miss. I was wondering what it was.
The messages had been sent via LinkedIn so I politely replied and asked what benefit he thought the information would provide me with. I did this because it’s important to manage time effectively. Benefits of services that are lower down my priority list than those I’m working on, can wait.
The next message I received was virtually a repeat of the first one, saying that I should be interested and when could I speak. I was already feeling that this may be a waste of time, so I sent a reworded version of my original message, asking what the benefit to me might actually be, or if there was any form of help they were looking for.
When Under Attack – Fall Back
I then received a message stating that my business costs would be reduced and it would be of huge benefit to me and everyone I knew. I replied that my clients who had wanted their costs reduced had already done so, and it was not something I needed to do, at this time, but I politely thanked the gentleman anyway. I then received a rather odd message stating that he could see absolutely no reason why I shouldn’t take his call or give him 10 minutes to help with his marketing – it would have taken longer than that. So I sent a link to an event to help him with his marketing.
He then pointed out that I must have seen him present his service at an event I attended recently, so I probably had dillusions of grandeur for not affording him the time he wanted. Worse still, ultimately, I was being obtuse by not giving him 10 minutes of my time. Ouch. I have resolved to make minutes count by entering discussions with those who are recommended by my network. These recommendations can be personal, or present on a LinkedIn profile. I know both of these types of recommendation are very, very real, and I value them highly.
One thing the gentleman could have found out before he started the engagement was that I wasn’t present at his seminar, because another seminar that was on at the same time, was the reason that I signed up for the event.
I could have started a lenghty explanation, yet experience dictates that when under attack you should fall back – when it makes sense for me. So I decided not to reply, because I cannot see a time when we will be able to help each other. If I had replied I think the gentleman would have kept going, hoping to wear me down.
I felt a chat about his marketing was a trojan horse. Either way, hostilities have ended, I have the same number of connections, and this article will now help others who are thinking about how to start engaging with people online.
Wrap Up: Its hard to say who insulted who first. We are not connected, and it is staying that way. We don’t have to connect to everyone that asks, so make it easy for people to understand why and don’t get hurt if someone politely declines. There really are more fish in the LinkedIn sea.
Top Tip: Take a quick peek at the blog we shared in our last newsletter. It highlights how people can get upset or threatened, leading to feelings of harassment or bullying.