The art of dealing with the Tinder players on LinkedIn.
People really need to start understanding what LinkedIn is for.
It's for networking. For finding leads. For seeing how many of the "cool kids" from high school are still unemployed.
It's NOT for hitting on people.
So why is it that so many people seem to think the LinkedIn and Tinder are one and the same?
A number of females I know run into this problem on a regular basis. They are business professionals. They are mining LinkedIn to find prospects or networking opportunities. Then, all of a sudden, the CEO of a major corporation hits them up. Gold, right? Until the back and forth InMail starts looking like this:
CEO: "Hi - I saw your profile and was quite impressed. What are you searching for?"
Woman: "I've been on LI for a couple of years now and have found that it's a great opportunity to meet professionals like yourself. My company offers xyz services...and from what I know about your company...it might make sense for us to chat."
CEO: "Sure. How about over dinner?"
Woman: "I was thinking perhaps I could swing by the office. I'll be happy to bring coffee and donuts for the staff."
CEO: "How about I just take YOU out for coffee the morning after our dinner?"
So what is one to do? Do you sever the connection? Clearly this is an individual that's not looking to get down to the same kind of business you are.
Here's the 1-2-3 with how to save face while putting the creepers in their place.
1. Professionally respond that while you appreciate the compliment, your boss/husband/IT department wouldn't be crazy about you using LinkedIn for flirting purposes. Clearly state your intention. If this doesn't do it - cut bait.
2. Call them out. Let them know that while they might feel they are offering a compliment, you - as someone who doesn't know them - finds it to instead be disconcerting. Let them know that if they are indeed looking for the services or product you offer, it may be more appropriate for you to now refer them to someone else. If they are serious about doing business with you, they'll be mortified and make amends.
3. Keep in mind that there's also a distinct possibility that it's not a creeper at all - but rather a spammer. There's a pretty good chance that if they mention being a prince, having a large sum of money, or have countless grammar errors in their message...they might just be hitting you up from Nigeria and hoping for a little cash. Don't fall victim.
Ladies - what have been your experiences with creepers on LinkedIn? And how have you handled it?
Kyle Reyes is President and CEO of The Silent Partner Marketing. He's also an acclaimed Keynote Speaker on entrepreneurship, leadership, marketing and social media. You can find him on Facebook and Twitter.