What I REALLY Said to
"Mr. Bad Networker"

A couple weeks ago, I wrote "Do They Really Think This is Networking?" It was prompted by a message I received on LinkedIn. The imaginary response I wrote in the post was some venting because I receive a lot of these kinds of invitations. But it was also important to make the point that we have to think about the way our invitations are perceived.

I would never actually respond that way to anyone. Of course, if "Mr. Bad Networker" read this blog, then they would probably take it personally. I'd be sorry if that was the case, because it wouldn't be intended that way. And as I told all of you in this follow-up post, I had completely forgotten the source of the email and couldn't even find the original message. Some of you are a little less tender-minded; you said to send what I wrote in the blog!

Either way, I couldn't ignore it. The message was too good a learning opportunity to pass up so I posted it. I got excellent feedback on the points I had made, including a positive comment by Bob Burg, author of Endless Referrals (I checked on Twitter, it is the Bob Burg).

Guess what... I found the original message. And, I had sent them a reply!

Want to know what I really said to Mr Bad Networker's invitation? Here it is.

Hi ****,

Thank you very much for your offer.

I guess we haven't met before? I thought we knew each other from ****.

Are you meeting a lot of people to discuss **** (I'm familiar with the company/product)?

Is LinkedIn working well for you as a marketing tool? I'm really into the Social Networking thing and always curious how other people are using it.


I think it's an good response. Not committing to anything, but not shutting the door at all. I'm asking them to engage in more dialog. I'm asking questions about our history together. And I'm providing them with a link to what we might have in common.

As far as I can tell, I did not get a response to this message. Perhaps it went awry? Or did they not get the response they wanted? I'm definitely willing to give them the benefit of the doubt ... but then there's more to this story, of course, which I may or may not reveal.

In the meantime, I'm very interested in your opinion of my original response. Was it a good way to handle this kind of request?

1 comment:

  1. Very diplomatic, Beth. You didn't spit in his eye, and you gave him more opportunity to get to know you, which is the true nature of networking.