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LinkedIn Networking – How NOT To Do It

LinkedIn Networking - How NOT To Do It

As someone who is self-employed, networking is a very important part of my business. Networking allows me to development relationships that directly, and in most cases, indirectly gain new clients and continue to work on projects that I have a passion for.

Of course, I network in real life but also in the digital world via Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. Over the past few months, an interesting situation has arisen a few times from a common type of person on LinkedIn, the ‘want-it all’ networker.

I know that this term is not common. The ‘want-it all’ networker is someone that is only interested connecting with you because they want to sell you something. They are not interested in learning about yourself, your company, and how you could possibly help someone within their own network.

I recently received a connection request from someone that I didn’t recognize but within the same geographic area as myself. Upon researching their profile, I noticed their title (first red flag) and their current position description (second red flag). It was a sales person.

After accepting their connection request and trading emails, I was asked if I had the time to watch a webinar in regards to a product that my connection was selling (GPS monitoring of vehicles). They asked me some questions about my company so they could best tailor the webinar to my needs. My response back to them was that I was self-employed and GPS monitoring on my vehicle was not required but yet would like to attend the webinar to learn about the service and potentially direct them to someone in my network that would be interested.

I did not receive an reply email. The person did understand that I was not interested in the product but yet they missed the fact that my network, which is much larger than me, would probably have someone interested.

Relationships are a cornerstone of any business. If you have been following my blog, you
know that I have spoken about relationships before via my corporate sustainability series. Relationships aren’t about selling an item or service to that one person you have met, but selling it to their network, which is much larger.

I think of one thing when entering a new relationship: how can we help each other in reaching our common goal of improving our business and ourselves?

Please feel free to leave me any comments.

Kevin

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