If you are genuinely interested in firming up your connections, act like it
This message popped into my computer the other day: "We are connected on LinkedIn for a
while now, and I'm looking to expand my referral network. That means, to better know my connections and what they do."
Once you've learned about
OK, that's cool.
"This is not a sales pitch email, rather a genuine interest to learn about you and your business (if you have one...sorry for the boilerplate message)."
IF I HAVE ONE? It's right at the top of my profile: "CEO at Business Communications Group LLC."
Not only was my LinkedIn buddy too lazy to read the information I already had provided, she had the gall to point out that her email was a "boilerplate message." Now that she's proved herself to be both lazy and offensive, she expects me to take time out of my day to educate her.
"Let's have a conversation (via email/phone call) and really connect, so we can start referring business to each other," she concluded.
No, let's not.
PUT THE "WORK" IN "NETWORK"
Social media sites are fantastic tools for marketing a business. What some people forget is that these tools are not a substitute for work, they just make the work easier to perform. If you want to make a personal connection, you still need to invest some time learning about the other person first. We've made it super easy by posting profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook and other sites.
Once you've learned about a person or business, you need to think about how you can offer something useful in return for what you want to get from them. This isn't a cocktail party where you walk up to some random stranger and say, "tell me about yourself."
When I get an email like this one -- from a marketing coordinator, no less -- it makes me wonder why I connected with her on LinkedIn in the first place. So I went over my contact list. She doesn't appear on it. In fact, I can't find her on LinkedIn at all. Posers, fools, and lame-os!