Ah, LinkedIn.  You either get it, or you really REALLY don’t get it.

Those that know how to use it effectively know that it’s a long-term play and is about building relationships.  What it is not about is directly pitching people, especially if you know nothing about them.

I present Exhibit A, the bait.

LinkedIn bait

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Hooray! He’s a real person and wants to know more about me.

I reply, touching on his comment about networking by suggesting he check out LunchClub.  It’s a pretty cool, free professional networking tool that has high caliber people. I’ve been using it for about 3 months and have enjoyed most connections.

I then point him in the direction of my bio page to address his question about learning more about myself.

LinkedIn reply

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He replies, further interested in what’s working and not working for me on LinkedIn.

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This is where things get fishy.

How many people do I reach like this manually?  I didn’t initiate the conversation. 🤔  So I do my best to assume what he’s getting at.

LinkedIn engagement

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Here it comes… the setup.  The pitch.

here it comes

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I can respect his goals, so I do us both a favor of giving a direct reply of “Zero interest.”

But we can’t stop there, can we?

Passive aggressive replies always convert a lead!

passive aggressive LinkedIn

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Before replying, I took a moment to validate my feedback.

LinkedIn connections

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132 connections.

Seems legit for a person whose product is increasing connections.

I asked if I could offer some feedback, to which he agreed.

LinkedIn feedback

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Gratefully, the criticism was warmly received, and we ended on a positive note.

happy ending

The numbers game may get you a head start, but quality and intent in your messaging, efforts, and relationships are what will build sustainability.