guest blogMy colleague and friend Diane DiResta responded to my blog post yesterday with an email. And it’s a good one!

So I asked her to convert her email to a guest blog post here since her reaction is a classic example of what no one should ever do to someone else on LinkedIn and how Diane felt on the receiving end. Thanks as always, Diane, for sharing your rich experience.

LinkedIn is my social media platform of choice. It’s a great way to research people and to build relationships. And that’s the key word-relationships. Too many people lose opportunities because they don’t understand online relationship-building.

Recently, someone on LinkedIn sent me a request to connect. She wrote a personal message rather than sending a generic LinkedIn request. That was a good thing.  I agreed to connect with her because she was a member of my professional association and I’m interested in connecting with those members. In addition, we had a number of connections in common. So far, so good. 

Accepting the invitation was my error. I should have vetted the person with some back and forth messages and a phone call. 

Once I accepted the invitation, she sent a longer personal message. 

The message began by complimenting me and referencing our common interests. Again, it started off on the right note. Then she introduced herself and her business. All good. Networking 101. Very acceptable. 

And then it happened! The sales pitch. 

Before ever hearing my voice, before ever asking me about my business goals, she invited me to send some of my contacts to her. Because her service didn’t compete with mine, this would be a way for me to make additional money. By sending my followers to her, I would receive a referral fee.  This was personally insulting. I don’t sell heads and I respect the privacy of my relationships. And I value my reputation. 

Why would anybody think I would give them names for money? 

Lesson learned. Vet people before you connect with them. When asking for a connection, send content the person will value such as a blog post or a video. Then schedule a phone call. Trust doesn’t happen overnight. You have to earn it.

Right, Diane, so well said. Another “I can’t make this stuff up” story, folks….


Diane DiRestaDiane DiResta, Certified Speaking Professional, is founder and president of DiResta Communications, Inc. Known as the Speaking Strategist, Diane brings over 20 years as a communications expert and speech pathologist using her unique 4M approach. Her company works with Fortune 500 companies, media trains sports and entertainment celebrities from the NBA, WNBA, USGA and coaches C-level executives how to exude executive presence and shine on the platform. She’s been featured on CNN and quoted in the NY Times. WSJ, Investors Business Daily, the London Guardian, Fast Company and more.

She’s past president of NSA NY chapter and recipient of the Golden Mic award.

As a professional speaker, Diane has spoken in Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, Russia, the Middle East and South America. Prior to establishing her company, she was an AVP at Drexel Burnham, a training specialist for Salomon Brothers and a Speech Pathologist for the NYC schools. She holds a Masters Degree in Speech Pathology from Columbia University, is a graduate of CoachU, and the author of the popular book, Knockout Presentations. Now in its 3rd edition.



Marc W. Halpert

LinkedIn personal coach, group trainer, marketing strategist and overall evangelist, having a great time pursuing my passion of connecting professionals so they can collaborate better!

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