BLUF: Is it "kosher" to send LinkedIn requests to client contacts one worked with for a period of a few weeks but will likely not run into again for some time, if at all?

I work for a very large company (40,000+ employees worldwide) and as part of my current duties, I perform "revolving door setups" which is to say "get 'em in, set 'em up, hand 'em off" to Customer Service.  That setup phase though could take anywhere from 1 to 12 weeks.  In some of the longer setups, I get to know my direct contact fairly well - countless emails, phone calls and PC-connections.

I had a LinkedIn request from one of these client contacts (about a year ago) a few weeks after our setup phase ended and she had been handed off to customer service.  That was the one & only time I've had a client contact try to connect through LinkedIn.  (I did, of course, accept the request.)

The podcast(s) talk about connecting with people you know so I suppose my question is: what's the threshhold for "knowing" someone?  I never meet any of these people in person. There is not an extended relationship beyond the setup phase, though sometimes I get to work with them again on other project setups later on but that's fairly rare.

Would I look like a stalker if I scheduled an hour once a month to search LinkedIn for some of the folks I enjoyed working with during the preceding month & request to be linked to them (if I find them there)?  

I'm assuming that it would be a little bizarre to keep a running list and perpetually search for some of those names because, truly, after six weeks, would anyone remember working with me?  (I'd certainly like to think so but I don't want to be too presumptuous or seem like a stalker.)

In the "What's In It For Me Category" is the fact that I'm outright miserable in this current role and things are slow to change at this company so I don't forsee much in the way of managerial positions opening up in the next two or three years.  I would hope that I could network my way into a stellar managerial job at one of the client companies down the road (or even after I leave this current company.)  To be fair, the vast majority of my clients are far from local so the pickin's would be slim at the very least but the network is larger than just two people (me and the person I worked with.) 

Thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions? 

mmann's picture
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Perhaps, if you look at it from their perspective it would help you decide who to 'friend up.'  What would they get from the relationship on LinkedIn?  What can you give them?  Expanding a network into an organization of 40,000 people has an appeal for most people!

Consider asking them.  "Hey, our interactions have been transparent/professional/positive/whatever and that's the kind of person I like to work with.  It's too easy in these fast-paced times and in this economy  to lose track of good people. If you have a LinkedIn profile, would you mind if I invite you into my network?"



ashdenver's picture

Michael, thanks for the feedback.  I've printed that off & willl try it in the near future.

(The one client contact who requested me on LinkedIn didn't ask verbally first; just sent the request with something along the lines of what you suggested in the invite.)

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