As a general rule, I will accept a LinkedIn connection from anyone who a) has a profile photo, b) has more than a few connections and c) is connected with others in my network. It’s the same formula I offer my clients who are uncertain if they should accept a connection from someone they don’t know.
About a quarter of folks who request to connect with me, immediately send a spammy sales message. No bother. I just archive it and they go away.
Recently, though, I’ve been tested. And, I’ve found the testers to be in the same genre – financial planning. In the past month, I have received a handful of requests from financial planners. I accepted them. Then came the spammy messages. But, one guy, in particular, went too far.
I received six messages from him, alone. He begins the first message with some common ground (in this case, I went to Penn State, so he mentions that he’s a Nittany Lion fan). Then, he asked to chat. Then, a follow-up because he hasn’t heard back. Then, another follow-up because he hasn’t heard back. Then, the spammy sales message. I even removed him as a connection - and he still sent messages!
Most people would probably tell him to buzz off. But, I believe that saying anything to this guy would only further engage him. However, I would love to tell him that he is CLUELESS.
Why would this approach ever work? Does it ever work? Is that why he does it? Or, does he define insanity?
I don’t know the answer to those questions, but I do know that I would never want to do business with someone who relentlessly hounds people after joining their network. This is not the purpose of LinkedIn – or any social media platform, for that matter.
Relationships matter. Real relationships matter. Don’t force me into some courtship because I graduated from a college that you also graduated from. Don’t continue to send me messages and expect a response. Don’t be clueless. And, please, don’t be a clueless financial planner!