Recently I was invited to connect on LinkedIn by a real estate agent who was switching tracks as a mortgage broker. Where I frowned a bit was the pretense I felt about the request to connect and how that “relationship” evolved.
The initial request came from a mortgage broker who introduced himself as someone who once worked for the same real estate company I worked at. The reason for connecting: to stay in touch with past colleagues, share knowledge, share potential opportunities where they might arise, and offer mutual support. I figured, “great,” all the things I find valuable about networking.
So, I accepted. I sent him an e-mail reply thanking him for the invitation. And, since I noticed his business was in the next county over, I suggested we meet sometime for lunch when he was down in my neck of the woods, or me in his.
I received no reply -- not even a non-committal “sure, sounds good.” But, no problem, as these things often go, they remain open invitations.
But here’s the deal: Within a week after connecting with this guy, and with no further inquiries about me or what I do, or what I stand for, I started getting e-mails pitching his mortgage services, rate quotes, fee quotes, “mortgage broker for life,” and on an on. Clearly, I was now in some e-mail database drip campaign. And though I didn’t much like it, I have to at least concede his e-mail drip was at least consistent. Every few days, there’d be another one reminding me of his services, new rate quotes, “mortgage broker for life...” His drip campaign was definitely working as designed... to be in my FACE. And he was. Until I removed him.
Now, I have my own thoughts about why/how I participate with my online business connections. But, I’m curious what your thoughts are and your philosophy of online networking? Am I too sensitive about e-mail drips from LinkedIn business connections? Should I be more forgiving? After all, isn’t networking about getting opportunities for more business leads?