Why Are You Hiding Your Contact Information?

Have you ever noticed how difficult some people make it to connect with them? I can understand the very elite, supremely famous celebrities that are so inundated with attempted contacts from masses of strangers that they absolutely need to put up barriers. But, what about those whose web sites and professions would lead one to believe that they make a living based on their ability to serve the needs of potential customers, existing clients or others who could help them make valuable connections?

I’m thinking of business consultants and other experts who seem to be seeking exposure and yet who make it quite difficult to reach out and connect with them.

I think that social networking sites like Twitter and LinkedIn have actually capitalized on this tendency to make it difficult to contact people you don’t know. I can’t DM someone on Twitter if they’re not following me. I can’t contact someone on LinkedIn if they haven’t connected with me.

Ironically, though, people on these social networking sites apparently *want* to connect with others. Isn’t that why they call is social *networking*? And, from my observations many of those out there are attempting to sell their services and expertise. So why make it difficult?

Case in point. I’m working on an article for a well regarded trade publication with a very high circulation. Some background research on Google identified an individual I felt would be a great resource – so I’ve been trying to connect with this source. I tried finding contact information online – phone, email, anything! – no luck (and I’m a pretty tenacious searcher). So, I checked the social networks I’m in – voila! – found the person on LinkedIn – but not part of my network. So, I found someone in my network who has the same person in their list of connections and contacted that person to see if they could put me in touch. Here’s the thread:

On 11/06/09 3:00 PM, Linda Pophal wrote:
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Hi “X” – I’m trying to connect with “Y”as a potential source for an article on XYA that I’m writing for XXX and I see s/he is one of your connections!

Would you be able to put me in touch? Thanks!

On 11/10/09 7:05 AM, X wrote:
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Lin, I don’t think I know Y personally – but if s/he is on my contact list as a connection, I’d be happy to make a LinkedIn introduction or referral for you.

On 11/10/09 9:02 AM, Linda Pophal wrote:
——————–
That would be great – thanks!
And now there’s nothing more to do but wait.

I’m perplexed over the whole thing and actually would normally just go on to find some other source – there are plenty out there! – but I’m just curious to see how this will all play out, and how long it may actually take! I’m perplexed that someone who appears to be in a consultative/expert role (and a somewhat obscure one at that) would be so difficult to contact.

This is actually the third time in the last couple of weeks – and it’s only Tuesday! – that I have spent time trying to track down contact information for a source for a project/article. These are people who are in the consulting industry so my assumption is that they would *like* people to find them and to be able to connect with them. I may be assuming incorrectly.

Ironically, if I were connected to these people via LinkedIn or Twitter I could make a connection with them. But in order to make a connection they need to know me and they don’t know me – yet. Of course, they are not going to get the opportunity to know me (well, actually the *real* opportunity which is the opportunity to get exposure in media outlets that appears to be targeted to the markets they serve) because I can’t connect with them. Because they don’t know me.

So…in this particular case, I’m testing the LinkedIn introduction process. But, despite the sincere and timely efforts of my contact, it’s already been 4 days…

In the other cases, I just gave up and found another source.

Personally, I *want* people – friends, former colleagues, current colleagues, clients, potential clients, the media, etc., etc. – to be able to connect with me – quickly, easily and using the communication channel they prefer. I know there are plenty of other alternatives if I’m not available. In this era of instant communication and  heavy competition it just seems that it makes sense to keep it simple. I don’t want people to have to jump through hoops to get in touch with me – and I don’t want to have to jump through hoops to get in touch with them.

But that’s me. What about you? Are you making it tough for people to connect with you?

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