Automatic “Disconnect”!


Twitter has an “unfollow” button which many people use when necessary. Unfortunately LinkedIn does not have a “disconnect” button, where you can “relieve yourself of the burden” of networking with somebody who just does not get it! You can remove a connection, but it takes some work.

I recently had a request to connect from a gentlemen on LinkedIn, which I accepted. I sent a personalized thank you note, and made mention of the other places that he could connect with me.

To my surprise, I was then sent a generic email (with my name inserted) promoting their business and asking me to get involved. There was no acknowledgement of my personalized reply, just them “barfing out” their sales pitch. Usually I let this type of interaction slide, but I had a little “bite in my step” that day, and wanted to give them some friendly advice.

My exact response was:

“I appreciate your connection, but I don’t think that you should be “flogging” your products the moment that we connect.

Just a friendly suggestion to change-up your approach as you attempt to attract partners.

Thank you,


I thought this was going to go one of two ways. I would either never hear from them again, or they could come back with some defence of their sales strategy. Instead I received:

“Dear Tim Mushey. Thank you so much for your reply”…

Followed by a canned sales pitch being “barfed” on me a second time, but now TWICE AS LONG!

Did I mention that he also sent me one of those generic LinkedIn invites ? Yuk.

At the end of the day, those who are engaging online, specifically for business purposes, should know better. This is networking 101! Would you try to sell somebody your products and services from the moment that you met them in person? I would hope not! So why should it be ok online?

Network “virtually” like you would “personally”. Show up, be responsive and care about your connections. The last thing you want is for people to “unfollow” or “disconnect” with you soon after accepting your requests.

That would be a huge red flag that you need to adjust your approach.


About Tim Mushey

Dynamic and energized sales rep, mentor and leader since 1999. This blog will be about sales, social networking, personal branding, leadership, music and having some laughs! Don’t be surprised if I mix it up on occasion, and talk about something totally different! I thrive on being part of successful, forward thinking teams. I am ready to go from the moment my feet hit the floor each morning, with the expectation that new adventures will be coming my way. It is rare that there isn't a smile on my face, as I take it all in, and have some fun along the way!

Posted on November 20, 2012, in Building Relationships, Networking and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 16 Comments.

  1. I feel your pain and am constantly amazed when it happens to me. I have a feeling back in the “old days” these were also the same people spending a whole lot of money on the “Dear Resident” or “Dear Sales Professional” mailers. At least those were easy to get rid of!

  2. I feel violated just reading that. It makes me so mad to see that despite everything that is written and said at every second networking meeting about connect personally and add vlae before you try to sell etc that either people are just unprofessional enough to do it that way or that it works enough to make it worthwhile.

    I feel for you.

    • Hey Rupert glad my post got you a little fired up today. It is certainly frustrating when you see this happen. It is like a violation of common sense. Oh well, “more for us” who have a handle on proper networking. Enjoy the rest of your day…

  3. Yes, yes, and yes! Do canned approaches ever work? I despise the generic direct message responses on twitter that tell me to find them on facebook, download a “gift”, or buy something from them seconds after I follow them. If my connection to them is that important, how about a personal note, a reciprocal follow, and – here’s the hard part – start a dialogue with me. Comment on posts, tweets, and blogs. Join my conversation, let me see why they and their solutions are better.

    On the upside, the generic responses do let me identify the people I don’t want to buy from 🙂

    • Great comments Broc! Thanks for sharing.. The automatic responses on Twitter are a bit of an irritant as well. And yes, engaging people is a great strategy after connecting with them via social networks. Barfing your sales pitch immediately is the worst possible strategy for success. Thanks!

  4. I agree with you Tim, what has happened to genuine networking? Is it all about “friend numbers”? A disconnect would be a nice button. 🙂

  5. I wonder why LinkedIn makes it so hard to unfollow! Anyway, now for my sales pitch…. 😉

  6. Thanks for the head’s up! I’m usually pretty open about who I connect with on LinkedIn, but after reading this post, I realized I should be on the lookout for potential spammers…

  7. Excellent post!!! I could not agree more with this advice. Networking online gives us access to so many more people who we might never meet in person- making it a fabulous opportunity to learn from and engage with interesting people. Unfortunately it also can give open access for people who just don’t get it. This post had me giggling, thinking off all the spammers who just don’t get it.

    • Hey Elisabeth! Thanks for taking the time to comment and your compliment. I really appreciate it. There are certainly “two sides to the street” when it comes to networking. I have met more awesome people than I would have ever dreamed of online.

      And of course on the flip side, there are those who do not get it, and are only out for the almighty dollar.

      Thanks again…

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