Have you ever tried to connect with someone on LinkedIn, only to have them deny your request? Are you sitting there, scratching your head wondering why the heck are they on LinkedIn if they don’t want to connect with people? Would you like to grow your network, but are frustrated because people just don’t seem friendly? We’ve all been there!
Perhaps you’re doing a job search and there’s someone that works at the company that you’d like to work for, and you’d do anything to speak with them. Maybe you’re a business owner and there’s a key contact you’d like to make, but they just aren’t responding to your attempts to connect. If this sounds like you, you’re probably making the biggest mistake most people make on LinkedIn that dooms having your requests always end up being denied.
The mistake that you’re probably making, and one of my biggest pet peeves about people reaching out to connect on LinkedIn, is simply pushing the connect button! Yes, that’s correct. The biggest mistake you are making is hitting the connect button. Think about it for a moment. How many times have you opened up your LinkedIn profile, and someone is trying to connect with you, and they leave the pre-scripted, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message with their request to connect? You’re left there starring at their profile, with no clue as to who they are or why they want to connect with you, other than the obvious reason of, “I want to connect with you”. If this has happened to you, and you are like most people, you simply hit delete.
So, what should you do instead, you may ask? It’s simple. When you want to connect with someone on LinkedIn, simply hit the connect button, delete the pre-written “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” message, and instead write a personal message that contains the following three things: who you are, why you are trying to connect with them, and what you want them to do. Keep it simple and to the point so that you keep within the 310 characters allowed. Doing this will almost always get a response, as the person on the other end now knows who you are, why you are reaching out, and what you want them to do.
Here’s a real world example of how this works. Just the other day I was helping out a friend of mine who is looking for a new job. She’s looking for a sales job and has a targeted company that she is interested in. So, I did a quick search of my network, and I noticed that I have a 2nd level connection that works in sales for the targeted company. I also noticed that we had a mutual connection. So, I reached out by hitting the connect button, and leaving this simple message:
Name, I notice that we have a mutual connection in _____. I’m reaching out because I have a friend that is targeting your company for a sales role, and is looking to speak with someone that works there. Would you be willing to speak with her? If so, simply connect with me and I’ll introduce you to her.
Within a couple of hours, he connected with me and sent me a message back telling me that he’d be happy to speak with this person, and provided his cell phone number. I then forwarded his number to her, and they had a conversation the next day which lead to an introduction to the hiring manager. Simple. Easy. Effective!
So, the next time you are looking to connect with someone on LinkedIn, remember to take the extra time to write a quick note stating who you are, why you want to connect, and what you want them to do. I think you’ll find this method tremendously effective.
Tom Kelly is a Professional Business Coach that specializes in working with small business owners, entrepreneurs, and salespeople. He can be reached at (630) 964-0112, or at www.businesscoachchicago.com.
Copyright © Tom Kelly, Potential In Motion, Inc.TM 2016