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

(click to enlarge)

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

(click to enlarge)

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

How to NOT Build Relationships on LinkedIn

(click to enlarge)

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

(click to enlarge)

Here it comes… the setup.  The pitch.

here it comes

(click to enlarge)

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

(click to enlarge)

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

LinkedIn connections

(click to enlarge)

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

(click to enlarge)

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.