You’ve heard us say many times that LinkedIn is a great platform for networking with professionals and your target market, but how do you know who to accept? LinkedIn says to only accept invitations from people you know and trust, but we think that this concept is fundamentally wrong. You may be thinking that we have gone mad; sending and receiving connection requests is easy! Well I guess there really isn’t a wrong way to connect, but there’s a right way that is more certain to get you those connections.
What is your LinkedIn connection policy? Some LinkedIn users have a more open policy regarding accepting connection requests from people they don’t know but how do you determine the good from the bad?
“I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” The default message that LinkedIn provides…Boring right! Whilst LinkedIn has this message readily available to send to connections, it is an idea to customise your introductory message. The reason being is that: It may not be true to some people but to most, not sending a customised message is LAZY. The first thing we think is that if you haven’t taken the time to write a message or the effort to attach a customised note, then why should we talk? Furthermore, it’s unprofessional. Business is all about relationships and LinkedIn can help you build the foundations to a good relationship. Each communication you have is going to strengthen or weaken that relationship.
Now imagine you send the default message to your dream customer…they’re not going to feel very special are they? A LinkedIn connection may seem like an unimportant e-mail, but it’s a perfect opportunity to shine. “Are you on LinkedIn? Add me” we’ve all said it when networking but there’s always that one person that you may not remember and likewise may not remember you. Everyone is guilty of talking to someone then getting back to the office and have a complete mind blank as to how you know that person.
A connection request is a great opportunity to remind someone how they know you. If you are not customising your messages, you are missing out on an opportunity to overcome objections. Many people just want to know why you are connecting and a good reason to accept, so tell them straight up. You are more likely to get a response if you are forward and suggest the reasons why you should talk. However, this is not your time to sell!!!
The next thing you may want to consider is what the purpose of your profile is? Whether it’s for friends, business or networking, from there you can determine your connection policy for who you will accept into your network.