Inviting connections on professional networks: the importance of truthfulness

Lately, I’ve received a bunch of invitations to connect on professional networks from folks who say we’ve done business together. Unless I am suddenly suffering from acute Alzheimer’s, I’ve never heard of these individuals.

Neither sending nor accepting such invitations are smart networking or business development moves. An on-line professional network’s value lies in its credibility, your own E-reputation depends on it.

Connecting with individuals you don’t know, but would like to get to know, is easy:

  • You can ask for an introduction through someone you know in common
  • You can send a message introducing yourself and explaining why you’d like to connect
  • You can ask to connect with those with whom you share membership in discussion groups on these platforms

If you claim you’ve done business with me to connect with me, I am going to wonder about your business ethics and your networking goals.

And because my on-line network’s credibility matters, I won’t dilute it by adding people I cannot say one word about if called upon to introduce them to my colleagues, clients, acquaintances, or friends. It’s all about credibility and respect.

In sending an unfounded invitation to connect, you’ve wasted your time and mine.

I welcome new connections. I enjoy and look forward to meeting new people and sharing with them. I am a firm believer in the power of networking.

Please tell me about yourself. Tell me why you want to connect. What synergies may we share? What mutual interests can we promote? What may I discover from you that would benefit me? What may I offer you that you would benefit from?

I don’t want you to be just one more name in the race to the 500+ club. I want to know about you. Don’t be shy, you are worth it.

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