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Will you please stop trying “to connect” with me!

I’m sure you get lots of invitations to connect with people including some you know and even more you have never heard of. Should you just hit “accept” quickly to make your life easier and take them out of your outstanding invitations box, or should you try and connect with them in the truest sense?

In my view you should go with the second option of trying to connect with them and by that I mean speak with them to understand what they do, who they find interesting to talk to, what a good introduction to them may look like and what a client looks like for them.

It doesn’t take a moment to send a quick message back in response to a connection request to ask for a bit more information about them, I tend to use the following words:

“Thank you for taking the time to send me a connection invitation, it is always flattering to be asked to connect.

Is there any chance we could find a 15 minute slot to have a conversation and really connect before I accept your kind invitation?

Rather than just accept a ‘connection’ I like to learn more about what you do, who you find interesting to talk to, what a good introduction may look like, what a client looks like for you and if I can introduce you to anyone useful I may already know”.

The percentage of people who reply to this is just 20% in our research which goes to show that not everyone is looking to develop a business relationship that can benefit both parties. Perhaps they are just trying to increase the number of connections they have under the misguided opinion that the higher number of contacts they have the better, or perhaps they are aiming to become a LinkedIn LION (LinkedIn Open Networker)?

Both approaches may seem valid at a first glance but I truly believe that if you connect with somebody on LinkedIn you should know who they are, that you can share lots of information with them, you can trust them and be honestly happy to refer them onto your other connections who you respect and value. Just like in real life your network and connections reflect on you so it’s better to be around good people that say nice things about you 😉

If somebody takes the time to respond to your request to speak with them you know you are on the right road to developing a sound relationship and who knows where that might take you in the future.

15 May 2018



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