Quick Tip

My LinkedIn Weed-Wacker

I first joined LinkedIn 119 years ago.

(BTW, whoever decided internet years are the same as dog years was just plain lazy - right?)

Anywho, over the years I've changed my approach to handling connection invites.

Back when there were less than 1/2 million people on LinkedIn, I accepted all connection requests.

At some point, I started requesting a quick phone call with people who wanted to connect. I wanted to make sure they were a good fit for my network before I added them.

Then I reversed my approach. I accepted all requests. I would then try to start a conversation with them. If they were unresponsive - I would "unlink" them.

Then the pitch-fest started.

Most LinkedIn users don't seem to be interested in networking anymore.

They want to pitch and move on.

They haven't figured out that relationship building doesn't "scale."

"How do you weed out the ones who are only interested in pitching?"

That's a question I get a lot. Here's what I do.

I ask a question.

I don't have a standard question. I ask a question like I would if we were talking in person.

  • "How long have you been in business?"
  • "How do you know Joe [a shared connection]?"
  • "Who's your favorite type of client?"

It doesn't matter what the question is. Here's why...

Those who are only pitching (or the people they hire) have a script.

And they don't know how to go off-script.

They give themselves away by spitting out the next message in their script.

And it doesn't make any sense in terms of a conversation.

I ask, "How do you know Joe?"

And they barf up their sales pitch about how they can build me a website for $20/hr.

Or how they can teach me how to use LinkedIn to lose friends and alienate people.

So if you want to weed out the script followers from the relationship builders, try starting a conversation.

The non-humans will reveal themselves.

Yours for smarter marketing,



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