Turns out Mom was spot on. You only get one chance to make a first impression and that carries over to LinkedIn as well. How important is responding to someone when you’re talking about communication, even if that person isn’t in the market for what you’re selling? Well, ask yourself… how important is communication, really? Important. Responses are a form of communication and when you respond to someone (vs simply ignoring communication that isn’t going to help you that moment) it shows that you value their time as much as you value your own.
I recently sent someone an InMail on LinkedIn. He responded that while he appreciated me reaching out to him, he wasn’t interested. I responded back saying “Thanks for getting back with me, have a great weekend and let’s stay in touch”. That’s it – it took me less than 30 seconds. I got a response back from him saying that he really appreciated my response back, going on to say that he typically gets the warm & fuzzy emails from recruiters, but that after taking the time to respond to them with “thanks but no thanks” they typically ignore it with no reply.
I think that the misconception about LinkedIn when it comes to Recruiters is that we send out tons of bulk InMails with no individual time or thought going into each one. That’s simply not the case. I take the time to write an InMail to each person I send it to. I get a lot of people that never respond and others that are interested in speaking. But every now and then I get people that aren’t interested but still take the time to respond. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that. Thank you for taking the time to get back to me, even if it is a “thanks but no thanks”. Those are the people that stay in my database for future reference and the first ones I reach out to when new opportunities arise.
Networking is key in the business world. Do it effectively and you will always have connections to turn to. What’s that old saying, “It’s not what you know, but who you know?” Make a bad impression and you may never have the opportunity to get it right.