Poor e-Networking Etiquette
As everyone probably knows by now, you can request an introduction to someone else on your network through LinkedIn. I had a business opportunity for an old colleague of mine (let’s call her Jill) that I thought she would be perfect for. Jill is an event management contractor and one of my colleagues needed help. Unfortunately, I had lost Jill’s card and her e-mail address.
I decided to use one of my available “introduction credits” to ask a mutual friend to connect us. Since she knew that Jill and I already knew each other I suppose I didn’t have to tell her why I wanted to be connected. The fact that I lost Jill’s e-mail address should have been good enough. But, I’m pretty open so I said I had an opportunity that I thought our mutual friend might want to consider.
The friend I contacted decided that she would not pass along the introduction because Jill was “happy where she was at” and she was “sure she would not be interested.”
I didn’t respond to the response, but I am still floored that this person declined to pass along an opportunity for business to a mutual friend. Granted, Jill was a contractor for her and the opportunity I had was with a competitor. Would anyone be so spiteful against the competition that they would withhold a potential business opportunity from someone? Especially someone who was a friend. It wasn’t like this person worked for the company and I was trying to steal them away. Contractors work for competing companies all the time.
Maybe I am just being naïve but, if I know who you are, I can’t imagine turning down a request for an introduction. Even if I don’t know you, I’m likely to pass along the intro because who am I to judge what my contacts will be interested in? Isn’t that what the six degrees of separation is all about? She was within her rights to turn down my request but was it the right thing for her to do?
I’ve seen many other, far worse, abuses of LinkedIn that I’ll try to share in upcoming posts, but this one is stuck uppermost in my brain. By blogging about it I am hoping I can just move on.
If you have any other examples of bad e-networking etiquette, I’d love to hear about them. The rules for e-Networking are still evolving. Those of us who are on the forefront have a great opportunity to lead by example.