DON'T BE THAT GUY
Recently Chloe and I decided to put on our networking pants and start expanding our reach in Portland. I am not new to the networking game. I’ve learned how to make networking count thanks to a few different sales positions I have held in the past.
Networking is an art. Strategy is involved in making effective connections. Much like dating, there are rules attached, for example,
1. the time frame to wait until you call
2. what type of message do you write
3. what to say in your email or phone call
4. how to avoid being a typical salesperson
Being ok with rejection is the icing on the cake. Vince Vaughn best tells the story of awkward:
Portland Business Alliance holds a breakfast networking event at 7:30am once a month. Last week, we decided to go check it out. This particular morning shindig is exactly like speed dating. You are assigned a number. You then sit down at a table with your number and pitch yourself to a table of people. For me personally, networking is about hoping to meet at least one or two people, which are going to be a valuable addition to your rolodex, all while praying your elevator speech is at least entertaining and on point.
Along with loads of fun at the actual networking event, you get to court the connections you make by figuring out which people, if any, you would like to develop a relationship with. In order for a professional relationship to work, you have to like this person as an individual. Only then, can you determine if you wish to pursue a relationship on some level. Whether you decided to keep this person around as a client, COI (center of influence) or general connection you have to be able to connect intellectually and personally.
Today, I decided to take my stack of business cards gathered from the last week and add some connections on Linkedin. I did this on my iPhone app. As you may or may not know, when you add connections this way an auto message is sent, “_____ would like to add you as a connection”. This is contrary to adding from Linkedin's actual website where it forces you to write a message or state how you know this new connection.
Here is one of the responses I received back from a man, who OBVIOUSLY has not gotten the memo on how to work Linkedin, let alone form a proper message in the English language.
As far as intellect goes, you lost us at “thanx”.
I made a few quick edits on the obvious blunders….
My initial reaction to this message was nothing other than hysterical laughter, followed by a quick screen shot and a text message to Chloe instructing her to stop what she is doing if she wants a good laugh.
Who does this guy think he is? I am not going to say my profile is on point, but buddy, if you don't want to connect just don't say anything at all. Politely "ghost" my connection request and move on with your day. Apparently he never learned if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.
I didn’t want to be as rude as he was to me, but I am sorry no one that uses “Thanx” in their condescending message deserves any other response.
Moral of this very real story:
Assumptions are not based on fact. Logically, when you make assumptions about individuals you are acting off of your own insecurities.