Tonality in Email

What do you think of this exchange? I’ll share my questions at the end of the post. Please share your thoughts in the comment section. (His name is not George.)

On November 21, 2012 8:18 AM, George wrote:

I’d like to add you to my professional network.
I replied, Hi George,
Do we know each other? Have we ever met or spoken?
Rick Roberge
On 11/21/12 2:57 PM, George wrote:
I participated in the training for hubspot with kurlan.
On 11/22/12 3:04 AM, Rick Roberge wrote:
Casey Lockwood wrote a guest post for my blog last week about connecting on LinkedIn. You can read it here.
Bottom line is that I don’t know that we know each other well enough to connect, yet. However, if you’re open to having a conversation just hop on my calendar ( and I’ll do the rest.
On 11/26/12 at 12:43 PM, George scheduled a call with me for 12/11 with this comment. “OK, I’ll bite. I would be open to having a conversation with you.”
OK, so my questions are
Is the fact that he couldn’t come up with anything more original than “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” a sign of his interest in actually engaging?
What tonality did you hear when you read these words, “OK, I’ll bite.  I would be open to having a conversation with you.”?

6 thoughts on “Tonality in Email

  1. Guy sounds reluctant to engage for real. Like many who play the game of collecting connections in social media, his view of these connections is pretty shallow. The “OK, I’ll bite” is jarring because he takes the stance that you are coming after him, rather than accommodating his request. I find the whole thing to be rather insulting. I’d be interested to hear how the conversation goes, if he keeps his end of the appointment.

  2. Ken makes several good points, particularly the bite comment.

    I believe emoticons [even sarcasm] are best left out of electronic communications until you really know one another. There’s too many possibilities for misinterpretation.

  3. maybe he feels your name on his network will give him some prestige….but deep down he feels there is really nothing you can tell him that he dosen’t know already……

  4. OK, he did not personalize the default LinkedIn language “I’d like to add you to my professional network”. If you have never left this as your invite language you’re a better person than me.

    Rick essentially gave George a rulebook and rules of engagement. George is following the rules! I get the feeling that George hasn’t had the benefit of following this blog for several years and knowing how Rick works. Let’s give George a chance! I think he’s just trying to make a new connection and has no idea what he’s gotten himself into 🙂 Sorry couldn’t resist the emoticon.

  5. A generic email demonstrates a low level of effort to engage and indicates a mass marketing tactic which really lacks appeal. I believe emoticons should not be present (particularly in B2B marketing) as they diminish professionalism. In the age of social media, netiquette is growing in importance and too many are getting it wrong! For B2B marketing, social media, particularly LinkedIn, is a huge asset when used correctly.

Care to share what you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s