Use LinkedIn The Way It Was Intended

network
LinkedIn is NOT a Dating Service
Working hard today? Sitting around the house or office, trolling the LinkedIn listings, executing some advanced search that you or your company paid LinkedIn for?   Checking out people on the “People You May Know” screen?  Somehow, my profile pops up. BAM.  You’re a winner!  Now do the real hard work of clicking that “Connect” button.
You don’t even take the time to add a personalized note (yes, you can do that!).  You did your job for the day and are probably tossing back a brew or sipping a fine glass of wine.   I mean, wow, you just snagged an invite to a real CIO!
I’m working hard too.  I’m dealing with delivering value to customers.  I’m fighting the daily battle of high uptime, low cost, unclear requirements, demands to deliver.  I’m working my tail off.   Instead of a brew or a glass of wine, what I got to end my day was a LinkedIn Connection Request from someone I don’t know (that’s YOU!).  Cheap date.  Go away.  I click the “x”, not the check mark.  You’re done.
See, I’m an old fashioned guy.  Being “in my network” means, well, you’re “in my NETWORK”.  I know you.  Knowing you means that I have met you in person or had a business relationship with you of some kind.  Sometimes I’ll accept a request from a friend of a friend when my friend has vouched for you already.  But, for over 90% of the people on my LinkedIn, I have met you, know you, and could introduce you to someone else in a meaningful way.  That’s what being in my network means.  I don’t collect Connections. I build them through networking, meeting people, doing business, and sharing common interests.  Don’t you want to be in THAT group, and not just some cheap drive-by Connection Request?

I have an idea.  A novel concept but please follow along.   How about you use that LinkedIn tool as it was intended to be used.   Find someone that knows me that knows you.  Someone who can vouch for you.  And then ask them to INTRODUCE us!  There are, after all, over 500 people in my network and if one of them recommends you, I’m bound to engage in a discussion with you.After that, you just might end up “in my network”, which means I’d know you, do business with you, I’d vouch for you.  After all, that’s what you want, isn’t it?  Not a cheap date, but a meaningful business relationship that meets both of our needs. Right?

Happy Dating (not)
Mr. CIO On Point
Mr. CIO OnPoint currently serves as a CIO in the technology industry.   OnPoint comes from a long IT background, starting in end-user support and advancing through infrastructure, application, and consulting roles to CIO and cross-functional executive leadership.  OnPoint has served in companies of all sizes in a range of industries.  OnPoint is active in IT industry organizations, contributing thought leadership in the IT profession, advising emerging companies, and offering his expertise to support emerging IT leaders and youth pursuing careers in IT.  After being frustrated for years with ineffective sales approaches, OnPoint contributes case studies here to help salespeople be more effective at approaching CIO’s in a way that allows them to make their value proposition clear and start  meaningful mutually-beneficial relationships.    He also provides examples of what not to do.   Unfortunately these examples happen way too often.
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