[I try to be careful with my linking and networking, working hard not to take up time with it I should be doing other things. For example, the fact that I can send invitations via LinkedIn Mobile really speeds things up for me!]
He leaned over after a few minutes and said to me:
Him: Are you on LinkedIn?
Me: Yes. Great tool, huh?
Him: Yes, I love it… its a great way to get to know more people.
We introduced each other and talked cordially for a moment, then he went in for the kill:
Him: So… do you mind if I link to you?
Me: No, not at all…
Him: Awesome. I will send you an invitation…
(pause while he typed in my information)
…see, it’s my goal to become one of those people who has 500+ connections on there. THOSE ARE THE POWER NETWORKERS…
Me: (silence, and a little dumbfounded that I’ve just been suckered into his network)
Him: (sensing my dumbfoundedness) Yo-you don’t agree?…
Me: I just think you can do more with a small network of people who TRUST and KNOW you than you ever could with a huge network of people who really have no idea who you are.
Him: (…. thinking now….) … what do you mean?
Me: I mean, I have worked very hard to build my network of trusted associates carefully. My LinkedIn network, for example, is completely made up of people I have had some kind of meaningful connection or communication with. I know I can ask those people for real help or real assistance and they will reply to me because they actually know me.
Him: (…. still thinking….) … well, sure… I can see your point…. but I still think it would be cool to just, you know, be “connected to everybody”. I guess we just have different reasons for networking.
Me: Well, I guess we do.
We went on about our business and, a few minutes later, as I was leaving to go to a meeting, he caught up with me:
Him: Hey, man! You have 447 connections! Woah! There’s no way you actually know all those people!
Me: Well, I didn’t say I started networking yesterday… and… I actually know you, don’t I?