How NOT to respond to a request to link

We have all done it. Sent a a request to someone who we would like to link with. My main reason is to connect with other supply chain and like minded individuals. I help announce jobs, events and information that others would find interesting. LinkedIn for me is all about soft marketing and perhaps gaining some positive exposure.

Periodically I get a request and wonder why they want to connect. We have never met or worked together. They don't belong to or work in supply chain. I go over their profile and don't see anyone I know. My willingness to link has rules. I will accept if they went to Conestoga College or have a practical and logical reason to connect.

A few months ago I got a request that had me puzzled. The following is the actual communication that took place. I haven't listed the person by name and I doubt anyone will recognize this person by the content of the exchange. None of the text has been edited except for the individual's name.

I thought to myself. I believe I communicated well. Most people find me approachable. So after this exchange I started to think that perhaps there are others out there that think that linking is just for friends or a way to expand a network without having to explain. Everyone has their own reason and filters and I do hope that if in doubt always explain why you want to connect.

This post is intended as a learning exercise so that others will know what to do in these types of situations.

On 7/30/15, 12:19 PM, RS wrote: --------------------

I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

- RS

On 7/30/15, 12:24 PM, Gerald (Jerry) Ford CSCMP, CPSM, CMC wrote:

I often accept invitations if I can see any type of connection. In this case I need a few more hints before I say yes.

On 7/30/15, 1:06 PM, RS wrote: -------------------

Well, I'm not going to beg or dig for hints as to what could possibly connect us. I generally invite people within a supply chain, logistics, aviation, warehousing, trucking, freight forwarding. Everything and anything that could be used in a daily setting of my work. If we don't have the connection you're looking for then personally we're no use to one another. Just decline me, I don't think I'll lose any sleep over it and by the sounds of it neither will you. I try not to take something such as LinkedIn too seriously as you never know who you may need to talk to sometime in life, or what field you may end up in. Hell, one day you might want to know the name of a cheap reputable trucking company and or courier and need to ship something across the world. No one predicts the future, but thanks for making my decision pretty easy.

Cheers.

On 7/30/15, 1:22 PM, Gerald (Jerry) Ford CSCMP, CPSM, CMC wrote:
I am going to decline and save this one as an example of how not to respond. Your reasons were valid but your tone left a lot to be desired.

On July 30, 2015, 5:17 PM RS Wrote

I'm honored to set an example. And I knew exactly how I was responding, I responded in a way that I felt fit for a message that's asking me for hints as to why I'm not a good fit to be a connection. Did you expect me to get on my knee's and beg you to accept the invitation after you had said you have no use for my connection? I wasn't looking for a friend, I was looking towards the future and people that are good in business that could eventually be an asset, and someone good in business would be happy to have or know people with different expertise's in different fields. Anyways, you wouldn't have had to decline because as soon as I read your message I had revoked the request.

By the way I don't believe you meant to tell me that my tone left a lot to be desired, I'm under the impression you forgot a 'not' in there.

Anyways, good talking to you. Hope it all works out for you.

RS

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