Ok, Kelly –
What’s the proper way to handle the repeated Linkedin queries from people who “find my profile interesting” and keep pinging through the messaging system? Usually I just ignore them. Is there a more appropriate form of etiquette? I feel like I want to vet them before connecting, but who has the time?!
Ok, Un-linked Lucy,
Let me start by saying, I see you on this and feel your repeated-random-pinging pain! Socially speaking, the senders of these requests are pursuing the wrong metrics on LinkedIn (it’s a meaningful connection platform not a popularity contest, so WTFC how many connections you have), and as for etiquette, one word: jerks.
So how to handle this one?
As continuing to ignore isn’t sitting right with you – and I acknowledge you want to manage your time (this is sort of like dilemma with a blue Valpak envelope landing in your mailbox, do you the time to sort through in the hope that one of the coupons is for something you’d like, or do you simply toss it aside, all the while wondering if you missed a useful item…).
My guidance, borrowed from the incredibly wise Joyce Sullivan, is to craft a standard response for these queries (keep it somewhere handy so you can cut & paste it each time you receive a ‘I find your profile interesting” in your DMs) and in crafting the response, turn the tables on the pinging-pain-in-the-ass-profile-stalking-stranger, by asking them precisely why they find your profile so incredibly interesting ( i.e. “Thank you for reaching out to connect. I’m intrigued to learn how you discovered my particular profile and why specifically, you are so interested in connecting with me, as it is not clear from your message”). Joyce tells me that 9 times out of 10 this approach ends the pinging, and as for 10th time, well, it delightfully results in a serendipitous connection or a timely tidbit on what makes her LinkedIn profile catnip for curious connectors – and frankly, any of these outcomes are worth your networking time on LinkedIn.
Have fun with politely flipping the bird on annoying random outreach – and in taking back control of your power to connect when and with whom you wish to, on the platform.
Hope my answer makes it all OK on this matter,
p.s. ICYMI – Is It OK to… is a new Q&A series based on networking queries and conundrums sent in by you, the readers.