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If you attend a networking event and follow up with people afterwards I applaud you. Most people don’t. You get extra credit if you simply reach out to someone on your own through social media (LinkedIn most likely) and connect on your own sans event. But it is important to be mindful of how you connect if you want that person to engage, reply, or build a relationship. Here’s 3 things NOT to do:

1. Don’t send an automated message. Here’s an example I received:

“I’ve been using Connected to keep in touch with my connections. Check it out! Download it here: http://lnkd.in/connected-invite-stl

Is this someone I am going to want to engage with? I think not.

2. Don’t connect and then automatically respond with a sales pitch. Here’s an example I received:

“I am reaching out to you because I can help you and your business become great. I am an (removed business name for confidentiality)  Chair and my calling is to transform both the business and personal lives of CEO’s, executives and business owners. You were recommended as a possible member candidate. I would love to tell you more about it.”

Wow, I feel warm and fuzzy about how personal my first interaction with my new connection was, don’t you? Maybe if they bothered to look at my profile or business they would realize I do much of the same in my own work.

3. Don’t ask for a favor from a new connection unless they offer it. Often times people connect with me and then ask if I can make introductions for them, if they can use my name, or if I can push something out to my network for them. I am happy to do these type of things when I KNOW and TRUST people. A lot of times with new connections I have people in mind to connect them with and will initiate intros and other assistance. But if I don’t do it on my own, then don’t ask me to do it till I know you better-or at all.

Have you experienced anything similar? Please comment below.

As always, feel free to connect with me on Twitter at @AreYouNetworked and at my website purposefulnetworking.com.

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