Connecting with Little Known Facts

This week I am attending a networking event and the organizer shared little known facts about himself with the group.

The advantage of sharing little known facts is that connecting with others becomes easier. Little known facts become great conversation starters because where there is overlap or interest, people open up and share more about themselves.

Try it with your group and see how quickly people connect and interact with very little facilitation.

Here’s the list of little known facts I shared with the group:

  1. One of my passions is ballroom dancing. I have been dancing for 11 years and help run the Rochester Ballroom meet-up group.
  2. My new hobby – photography. There is so much to learn. I’ll be leaving at 6:35 to go to a meeting – so catch me early!
  3. I am a techie gadget girl and geek.
  4. I am a WOW girl. Hint – see #3.
  5. I used to be a gypsy. I have moved 19 times (different cities/states/countries) in my life, 14 times during my corporate climbing career. I have been in Rochester for 12 years.
  6. On one business trip, I traveled around the world (full circle).
  7. I promote genetic testing – it has impacted our family positively. Eighteen months ago, my brother was diagnosed with inoperable pancreatic cancer and was told to make out his will. Six weeks after his operation in September, he is cancer free and rides his bike 50 miles a day. All because of a little gene.
  8. I have been a vegetarian since 17, adding fish at 25.
  9. Beer does not agree with me.
  10. I use LinkedIn is a professional network with people that I know personally. If you want to connect, then let’s meet and get to know one another beyond a networking event.
  11. I have been responsible for world-wide Human Resources operations and integrated acquisitions in Europe and Asia.
  12. My career coaching practice is global – my furthest client – Dubai.
  13. I love to work with teams – especially leadership and sales teams. I have delivered programs world-wide as a consultant.
  14. Most of my corporate clients are outside of Rochester. I am not surprised.
  15. My brother has traced our family history back to 1674.
  16. I have never been married; have no kids except for my two dogs. Perhaps #5 has something to do with it.
  17. If I had another career, it would be doing something with the internet. I build my websites and dabble in it more than I should.
  18. I am a reality show junkie.
  19. I am a great cook.
  20. I started a Mah Jongg group and teach new players. Anyone interested?
  21. Helping people identify what’s getting in the way of them being successful and overcoming it is my passion.
  22. I offer free advice at Elephants at Work.
  23. This summer, I became an author – publishing two career management books: What to Do After Being Fired and The Secrets to Successful Job On-Boarding.
  24. I dislike politics.
  25. If you want an idea person or out of the box thinker – that’s me.

 How we can help one another –

  1. I am always on the hunt for new topics to write about with #22. If you have a career story success or an easy problem that I can write about, let’s have a conversation – perhaps I can help you.
  2. Personal introductions to people looking for executive or career coaches.
  3. Referrals into companies developing leadership, communication and team skills or investing in job on-boarding programs to address retention.

What little known fact you shared surprised you when connecting with others because it was a conversation hit?

Networking Introductions: How To Increase Your Success Rate

You are meeting with a networking contact and the subject of introductions or referrals comes up. Your goal is to get introduced to new networking contacts to expand your reach. The larger your network, you increase your opportunity to meet someone who can help you find your next job or put you in contact with your next client.

When you ask someone for introductions to their network, the introduction dance begins. Let’s say you experience someone being less forthcoming with information about a contact. It might be for good reason – they may be protecting their contacts from being overloaded with requests.

Networking screening typically occurs when a few people are the “go to” people on networking lists. Networking takes time and overwhelms someone in high demand quickly. Consequently, some contacts limit how many people they are willing to meet and ask their go-between to screen for them.

Let’s say your networking contact suggests several people. How do you handle the conversation? How confident are you that they will follow through with the introductions?

Think about how successful you are with connecting with their contacts. I will bet you have mixed results – depending on what approach they take with the introduction process.

Five Ways Networkers Make Introductions

Think about different approaches to make introductions:

  1. They offer to send their referral a note and let the other person contact you if they want to. This is a no-win situation because the request may or may not be forwarded and it is dependent on someone who doesn’t even know you to contact you.
  2. You don’t get any referral contact information and the person offers to contact their referral for you. If they hear anything, they will let you know. There is a strong chance your networking contact will not do anything – not because they are mean-spirited, they probably forgot to do it. Don’t count on hearing anything unless you follow-up.
  3. You receive a list of names – with varying degrees of information: phone, email address or a suggestion to contact them through LinkedIn. It’s up to you to make the “cold” call introduction.
  4. The person suggests sending a LinkedIn invite through them so that they can attach a note of introduction. This approach requires you to take initiative and the other person can endorse the referral.
  5. They offer to make a phone call their contact to discuss why meeting with you is a good idea. This is a “warm” introduction. While you don’t have the benefit of knowing what was said, a personal recommendation goes a long way to getting a meeting with someone new.
  6. The person offers to do a “warm” introduction, which means they send you and the other person a letter of introduction via email – with each other’s email addresses shared. This approach takes the most time and usually is done when there is a strong desire to make networking connections.

How to Increase Your Introduction Success Rate

Your goal is to step the person’s involvement in the introduction process – and make it visible to you.  In the first two situations, the likelihood you will hear something back is rare. You have no involvement and are basically a bystander in the process.

In situations three and four, the responsibility is on you to make the move. You have information and the other person is minimally involved.

In the final two situations, your contact is directly involved making introductions on your behalf.  While the phone call is not visible to you, if your contact makes the call, it makes an impression. The last situation is ideal; you know what was said and have information to follow-up directly.

How do you get someone to be more active in helping you connect with people? I’ll cover that topic next time.

The Five Fatal Flaws of Networkers

How many times have you been asked to a network meeting and afterwards felt like it was a waste of your time? Can you pinpoint the fatal flaws or what went wrong with the networking meeting? Let’s explore what those networking fatal flaws are and what you can do about avoiding them in the future.

Take a moment and think about the last meeting you had that left you dis-satisfied. See if your fatal flaw is included below, if not, share your observations below in the comment section.

Networking Fatal Flaw #1: It is all about you

That’s right, when the networking meeting is all about you, the other person shuts down. The purpose of networking is to establish a common interest in each other’s activities and interests for a mutual benefit.

Usually when someone talks only about themselves, it is because they are ill prepared for the meeting or they are narcissistic.

Networking Fatal Flaw #2: Lack of preparation

When you ask someone to meet with you, they are taking time out of their schedule to make time for you. To make the meeting more productive for both parties, do the following:

  1. Set a focus for the meeting. Why are you meeting? To say you are networking is not enough. Be clear about what you would like to get out of the meeting. Can they help you connect to people you would like to know? Do you hope to learn about new job opportunities? Are you exploring a new career and they can give you some insight into the skills or experience required? Define the purpose so the other person knows how to help you.
  2. Learn about the person before you meet them. What do they do? Visit their website to learn about their business or read their profile background on LinkedIn. Figure out what you can do to help them before you meet them. Do some of your contacts need their services? Offer to make a warm introduction by email or with a phone call. Ask them what you can do to help them, preferably at the beginning at the meeting.

When you fail to establish a mutually beneficial foundation, it is easy to make the mistake of the next networking fatal flaw.

Networking Fatal Flaw #3: Expecting free advice from a new contact

If you think that a networking meeting gives you the right to get information, referrals or advice from the other person, you are wrong. It is especially important to know if the free advice is what the other person does for a living. Don’t put them on the spot and ask them to do something for free that affects their livelihood.

The offer of advice is a gift and is earned through mutual respect – don’t be afraid to earn it.

Networking Fatal Flaw #4: The more contacts the better

For some dumb reason, networkers measure their success through the number of contacts they have in their database or on LinkedIn. Focus on developing mutual beneficial connections because those are the ones that know you and refer your name when the opportunity arises.

The rest of your connections that only know your name will never make a referral.

Networking Fatal Flaw #5: No follow-up

A network you never communicate to dies. If your network lays dormant, don’t expect them to jump up and help you when need it. Just because you got that job or moved or are paying attention to new customers, doesn’t mean you can ignore who helped you get there – because if you do, they will turn their back on you when you come back without regret.

Nurture your network.

Do you have a Favorite Fatal Networking Flaw?

Was there something that you could have done to make the networking meeting better? Did you recently meet someone who turned you off with their approach? I would love to hear about it…write your comment below.

Networking is not a Deal Breaker for Introverts

Networking can be painful for both introverts and extraverts. Yes, both. For some reason, introverts believe that they are the only ones who are uncomfortable in networking situations. What you may not realize is that extraverts may be just doing a better job of covering up their anxiety.

Here’s why.

The terms introvert and extravert (note: it is not extrovert) come from the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). The definition of introvert and extravert is probably different from what you think because it has to do with where you get your energy – not at how socially astute you are.

Extraverts have a preference for drawing energy from the outside world of people, activities and things. If you are an extravert, here are some of the things you might do: being talkative, getting involved with people, and acting on something before thinking about it or thriving on social interactions.

As an introvert, your preference is to draw energy from your internal world of ideas, emotions and impressions. Introverts prefer reflection, working with ideas, thinking before you do something and gravitating toward one-on-one private discussions.

Neither of these preferences present deal breakers for networking, it is simply a matter of creating the right type of environment for you to be comfortable in socially.

Introverts will often tell me that they will not go to a networking event because there are too many people. That may be true; however, even extraverts may become overwhelmed walking into a large convention with thousands of people.

Here is the deal breaker: Social skills

If you have poor social skills it won’t matter if you are an introvert or extravert. Social skills provide the framework for making your preferences work in social situations.

Is it possible that extraverts have better social skills? Possibly – but only because they are more likely to put themselves into situations where they can experience and learn about social skills. Extraverts are not naturally gifted in the social skills arena; they simply become more competent through experience.

Introverts who develop competency in social skills are better able to bridge the gap between their preferences and networking. Let’s take this example of where an introvert finds a way to successfully network.

As an introvert, it is easy to become overwhelmed at a large networking event. A good social skills technique is to break networking down into small, more manageable steps such as:

  • Walk in with a partner if you are petrified going to an event alone. The buddy system is a viable way to feel more confident.
  • Instead of tackling the whole room, find a corner and talk with someone else who is alone.  Once you gain your confidence, you can move onto another individual or small group.
  • Set realistic goals for how many people you want to meet. For the introvert, it might mean meeting one or two people and getting to know them well.

Once you have accomplished your goal, it is OK to leave the networking event.

There is a lot of pressure “to work the room”, but that would be too stressful. Always leave a networking event when you are feeling good about yourself. Who wants to return to something painful?

Some of the steps I shared with you in this example may still make you feel anxious. If so, break the steps down even further. Once you master a step move on to the next one.

A guide to effective networking

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing and sharing a basic guide on Effective Networking that was developed by Steve Royal of Royal Associates.

His company provides a unique problem-solving process called “Prioritized Problem Resolution (PPR).”  As experts in problem solving, the organization provides the process to the people who are experts in what they do. Together, problems are resolved in a way that they will never occur again – maybe we will see evidence of it in his guide!

Steve, why did you develop the Effective Networking Guide?

Having attended numerous networking events without much success in generating leads for my business, I used several ideas learned in a training course I attended in “non-traditional” sales techniques. I applied these techniques in the development of basic networking techniques.

The networking process which resulted is designed to be used if a person is truly serious about generating leads by networking with a group of people who he or she has never met. This process virtually guarantees success in providing appointments or other follow-up because the consultant (or anyone else) can help solve the prospect’s most serious problem.

What other kinds of situations can someone use this approach in?

This networking process can be modified to fit any situation if a desired outcome is specified ahead of time. The questions can be changed to lead the other person to express his or her need or want, after which the consultant can indicate that they will be able to help in attaining that result.

If someone just wants to chat with me what do I do?

If someone doesn’t want to give you an appointment, that’s fine. There are other acceptable options, such as setting a time to call or to ask the person what they think should happen next to resolve their problem. Or, you can excuse yourself and move on to the next prospect.

What do I do if someone just doesn’t want to give me an appointment?

If someone is very reluctant to give you an appointment, you can just tell the person that this is OK. You can also ask them when would be a good time to call, or ask them if they think it’s worth getting together with you at all. If not, excuse yourself and move on. You can also indicate that you’re glad it’s their problem and not yours, and wish them luck.

How can I move on gracefully to the next person?

Exiting a conversation gracefully is an easy three step process.

  1. Start with, “Thanks for talking with me.”
  2. Provide an urgent transition, such as, “I’ve got a call to make,” I am supposed to meet my wife,” “I’ve got an appointment,” etc.
  3. Suggest something as a follow up, such as, “Here’s my card, call me,” or, “If I run across anyone who needs the kind of services you offer, I’ll refer them to you,” or “I’ll catch you at the next networking event where we meet,” etc.

How many appointments should I get at an event? Do I go after quantity or quality?

If you have followed the networking process carefully and successfully, you will have found where the prospect’s real issues are, especially the one causing the most pain. If your business can truly help in relieving that pain and the prospect asks you to help them, go for it. That is a quality lead. Close on just a few of those and you’ll have plenty of work.

You could go on many appointments, but if none of them lead to work for you, it’s likely you haven’t perfected the networking process yet. The best thing to do is to keep networking and keep practicing until you improve the quality of your appointments.

Steve has generously agreed to share his effective networking process with us here today.

Effective Networking – A Basic Guide

©Steve Royal – Royal Associates 2011

The Scenario:

You are at a networking function with a large group of people, most of whom you have never met.

Your goals are:

  1. To make as many appointments with prospective clients as possible or
  2. To make an appointment to call them or
  3. To identify the best possible way to contact them later.

The Reason to Attend a Networking Event:

People at this networking event are there for one reason—to meet other people and develop relationships that might lead to solving their problems.

Who Are All These People?

The people attending this event are all different. While many of them may all have the same objective, very few have the networking skills that you do.

Skills, What Skills?

You will know exactly what you are going to say when you meet somebody new.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

The only goal is to strive to set up an appointment—no more than that.

  • DO NOT get into the details of your business!!! You will tell them what you do at the appointment.
  • Find out what they need. Keep asking until you find some real PAIN.
  • Prospects buy based on their emotions; then they justify it later.
  • Your product knowledge is worthless if it doesn’t solve the prospect’s problem.
  • Your presentation comes at the next interaction with the client, NOT at this networking event.

BASIC INTERACTION PROCESS

  1. Create Bonding and Rapport
  2. Find their PAIN
  3. Offer to Help
  4. Make an appointment

EXAMPLE (for a gathering of college students)

Your goal: To be in total control of the conversation at all times!

So, What Am I Going to Say?

Limit the small talk—it takes too much time and is not productive.

Create Bonding and Rapport

You: “Hi, how are you this morning/afternoon/evening?”

Prospect: “Fine, how about you?”

You: “I’m doing fine, also. What brings you to this gathering?”

Prospect: “I came for the presentation; I’m looking for learn something; to meet people; (or whatever).”

You: “Really, how interesting. Tell me, what are your specific interests at this meeting?”

Prospect: “I‘m interested in the (whatever) subject (+ blah, blah).

Find the Pain

You: “Very good! The fact that you’re here must mean that you’re looking for something. What is your biggest problem right now?

Prospect: “I need more sales, better marketing, (or whatever they say).

You: “Let me ask you a question, “What would you say if I told you that I am in a business that might be able to help you solve your problem?

Prospect (hopefully!): “Gee, I might be interested.”

You: “Tell me a more about your problem. (Wait for the answer). Then ask, “What have you done to deal with this problem so far?”

Prospect: “Nothing;” or I’m thinking about it,” or I don’t know what to do.”

You: “So it sounds like you could use some help?”

Prospect: “Absolutely,” or, “It might help,” or “Maybe”.

You: “So, you’d really like to solve this problem, RIGHT?”

Prospect: “Yes, I sure would.”

Offer to Help

You: “You know, I really think that I might be able to help you solve your problem. What do you think about that?”

Prospect: “That would be great. And just how could you do that?”

You: “Well, let’s just say that I have helped people with problems like yours in the past. This is probably the wrong place to discuss how I could help you, though. It might make sense for us to get together later to talk about it—what do you think?”

Prospect: “Why don’t you tell me what you do?”

Make an Appointment

You: “I could spend hours telling you what I do, but I think that your time would be better spent if I made sure that what I told you would be related to your needs.” How about if we get together later this week (or next week) to discuss how my company can help you solve your problem?

Prospect: “OK.”

Do this NOW

  • Make an appointment immediately (preferable) or
  • Make an appointment to call the prospect to set up an appointment or
  • Get his/her business card and ask what the best way would be for you to set up an appointment.

Follow up, follow up and follow up!

Steve and I will also be using the process at an upcoming Networking Program with the Rochester Professional Consultants Network on May 13, 2011. Join us – for more details and to sign up go to the RPCN website.

Job Networking: Strategy successes and possible pitfalls

Today, I have the pleasure of interviewing one of the top networkers who is also known as Sir LinkedAlot – Greg Taylor, a Career Coach and Managing Partner of Excelsior Search Partners.

One of the programs Greg founded and ran from 2002-2004 is a networking group called The August Group which helps people who are navigating the murky waters of unemployment. I asked him about some of the take aways from working with people who are unemployed and are looking for a job.

What is the number one hurdle or question you hear from someone who loses their job?

I suppose the most common concern people have is their acknowledged ignorance of where to begin and what is required in 2011. This is typically the plight of those 50 and over, a large sector of the displaced workforce. People over 40 experience the same confusion/apprehension.

What has been the shortest and longest time for someone to be ready to look for a job?

It varies wildly. Many take months to get ready to look. The shorter their UI benefits, the quicker they’re ready. Ninety nine (99) weeks of benefits permits many to feel they can get by “til things get better” if their spouse works. Some never really start feeling old and out of it, victims. It’s unusual but happens regularly that some are ready in hours. Typically those are people who’ve been through unemployment recently in the past 5 years.

What impact does starting a job search too early create for someone who is still angry at their previous employer?

You can’t start searching too early. The results don’t happen that quickly for most. Waiting until the anger dissipates permits the development of extraordinary procrastination skills.

Angry people don’t search quickly. It’s more important for them to vent. The more they practice, the better they get at venting.

I do think more people feel less anger with their employers today since downsizing is more common, less personal than the earlier layoffs felt to those in earlier rounds. The danger is obvious. The angry person expressing their anger with prospective employers to seek sympathy will get quiet rejection in return and no feedback.

What key factors play a part in someone moving into the “productive” stage?

People move forward and become productive when they begin to listen, learn and try new approaches to their future. The job loss is less personal in 2011 after so many have been downsized in prior years and simply the way of the world.

Attitude is king/queen. Becoming focused and targeting industries, employers and roles makes one more productive. Too many believe that being open to a wider spectrum of opportunities, a willingness to do most anything, anywhere for anyone is debilitating not enabling.

People get hired for what they have done and their ability to overcome challenges and obstacles. What matters most is the last five years achievement – anything before that is rather inconsequential and now irrelevant.

What are the top five blunders or missteps people make when participating in a job networking group?

  1. Focusing on job search networking groups is limiting. Many go to those groups for support and to learn to network. The best job-seeking networkers are not in job-seeking networking groups. They engage in other networking opportunities available in the community. Joining a job-seeking group is right for some, but done alone is not the solution. Engaging in multiple groups and community events is key.
  2. Forget your elevator speech. Be conversational, not a spewing robot. Conversations should be back and forth, with listening and learning. Be an active listener first. Share your sound bytes interspersed in your conversation.
  3. Don’t assume a victim’s role where the world owes you. Being a victim is a turn-off and ignores your value. Understand that people want to associate with those who can solve problems and get things done. You are looking find a place that has problems needing to be solved. Listen to discern where others have problems. Ask questions. Listen. Offer ideas and introductions where appropriate. Demonstrate your value. You did not lose your value when you lost your job and paycheck.
  4. Have realistic expectations. Your job search is not important to others looking for work. The average job-seeker is self-centered. Don’t expect the help of others until you’ve offered assistance to them. Assistance might come from sharing an idea, a reference, a job lead, a website or article you’ve found helpful, another group or event that might be of interest.
  5. When grumpy and angry, be quiet in public. Vent privately. You will have bad days. Share your angst with those you are close to who share their anger and dismay with you. Publicly you can never be seen as a person with a negative attitude.

What are the top five things someone can do to get the most out of a job networking group?

  1. Job Networking groups are limiting. Join groups that network well and go with something to offer others personally, not to get job leads. Job seekers are perceived as needy leeches with self-interest and nothing to offer.
  2. Think about the needs of others first. Listen. Discover how you can help them before requesting their help.
  3. Follow-up on EVERY lead received AND GIVEN. Keep all parties involved updated on the progress of connections in progress or stalled.
  4. Say “thank you”  often.
  5. Stay connected when employed again. Attend events, call people who were helpful, offer assistance, share job leads, send an email and remain engaged with your network.

Part 2: Examples of how to and how not to grow your professional network

The way you approach someone on LinkedIn can mean the difference between making a connection and possibly getting an “I Don’t Know this user” (IDK) strike against you. Trust me; you do not want the latter. Patrick tells you why better than I can.

I have only given out one (IDK) since being on the site for over four years. See if you can figure out who it might have been – their response to me is included in the examples.

In “Part 1: Does your networking approach give you the best pay back”, there were two descriptions of networkers and you probably guessed which one describes my approach on LinkedIn.

As you may have surmised in Part 1, it is acceptable to develop a strategy that says you want to connect with people in different ways on various mediums.

There is an individual responsibility to let people know how you would like to approach these different networks – it might be in writing in your profile or it may be how you define who can connect with you under certain circumstances.

There is an option to refine your contact settings in your profile to let people know if you are interested in:

  • Career opportunities
  • Consulting offers
  • New ventures
  • Job Inquiries
  • Expertise requests
  • Business deals
  • Personal reference requests
  • Requests to connect

After selecting your preferences, there is an open text field where you can elaborate on the question, “What advice would you give users considering connecting with you?”

This is what my LinkedIn profile says:

There are several different approaches to being a member of a person’s LinkedIn network. Some people are power networkers; I choose to establish knowledgeable and tangible relationships with individuals. I believe being able to recommend a person is a key indicator. I am open to new relationships and recognize it takes time to cultivate on both sides. To your continued success, Lynn Dessert

Here is common situation, a stranger requests to connect with you. They may be an open networker and my hunch is that they quickly scanned or did not read your profile before hitting the “send” button.

How can you tell? Because the majority of these requests utilize the default message:

I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Where is the personal message? What makes you think that they really want to get to know you? You begin to wonder, why do they want to connect? Will you ever hear from them again?

If someone knew you eons ago in a former employer, you may receive this message:

Since you are a person I trust, I wanted to invite you to join my network on LinkedIn.

Hint to the sender – the longer you have been out of touch, the more appropriate it is for you to send a personal update and ask your contact what is going on their life. You may or may not receive a response but you will trigger their memory and avoid the IDK response.

To increase your connection success rate with strangers, it is essential that you communicate with them why you want to connect, instead of sending the default message.

Here are some of the requests I received over the years:

Lynn, Thanks for taking the time to meet with me. It was appreciated. Thanks also for the contacts; I will let you know how they progress. I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Lynn, it was great to meet you Friday at the RPCN meeting. Thank you for the suggestions – Blog and TCM contact info.

I saw your question and realized we had a common business opportunity but in different continents. We also run a change management consultancy in the UK and thought we might want to share common practice It would be great to connect.

Hi Lynn, I came across your response regarding coaching on Feedback Strategies. I believe you may very well be a fellow Feedback Enthusiast.I would be thrilled if you would join my network!

We met on Twitter and are members of LinkedIn 2 Leadership. You may be able to help my business and clients. I may be able to help yours. I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

Read your bio while looking for a resource for a client. Please check out my Summary and personal core values, and let me know if you think there is an opportunity to connect here. Take care

In each of these situations, I had met the requester or they knew something about what I did. They reinforced or created the opportunity for a connection together.

Here is an example of a request from someone who is trying to manage his or her network and avoid the IDK problem.

Hello, I have recently discovered Linked In and I am reaching out to old colleges and to make new friends. I would like to add you to my network. If you do not want to connect now please, select archive and I will withdraw my invitation. If I can be of help in the future please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime. Regards,

When someone approaches me that I do not know I send this response or one very similar:

Hello (Name),

I appreciate the feedback on the article and request for linking in. It is wonderful that groups give us an opportunity to interact without having a direct connection.

My approach to LinkedIn is to connect with people that I know personally through business or have cultivated a relationship beyond this medium. The relationships I have are built on trust and support of both parties goals.

I am always open to doing that by phone. If this is of interest, we can schedule sometime in the near future and get to know one another on a more personal level.

Lynn

P.S. If by chance you want to connect because you have interest in the Elephants at Work blog, there is an RSS feed or e-mail option on the website to receive the latest articles and keep in touch.

The reason I use this response is three-fold:

  1. I want them to understand I connect with people I know.
  2. I am willing to do cultivate a relationship.
  3. If they want to stay in touch, there are other ways to do it.

Often people do not take the next step and invest in a mutual beneficial relationship. That is OK with me. Sometimes, I get responses like these:

I appreciate the response and the explanation. In an effort to expand my LinkedIn network, I have chosen to reach out to others who are members of LinkedIn groups that are in my field. Best of luck in your endeavors.

I can understand setting the boundaries with social networking. I believe we offer complementary services. If you are interested in talking to get acquainted let me know.

The idea was to connect with you based on the article, also to build up my network. Furthermore to look at opportunities coming up within the group, should you be expanding in India. However, your point is well taken on linked in network.

I actually appreciate your way of approaching this site. Bottom line, it will allow all groups members to be accurately oriented while searching business opportunities or sharing experiences. Anyway, once u r interested in sharing any kind of infos, or needing others don t hesitate to contact me.

Hi Madam, A person wants to join you what’s the problem behind that. I honor your approach & attitude towards professional front. I respect your each & every word towards life & contacts. I like your profile on the HR front. That’s the reason I want to add you, I liked your experiences in HR….Please reply once if I win.

Now it is your turn. Do you have a response you can share that works well or one that bombed? Please remove identifying information or I will before it goes to press!