Something I get a little prickly about is receiving ‘Invite to Connect’ messages from people on LinkedIn whom I have never met.
If I don’t recognise a name, the first thing I do is check the profile of the person sending the invite just in case it’s someone from the distant past I’ve forgotten or it’s someone I don’t know very well but was recently introduced to at a networking event. If the inviter turns out to be in either of those categories, I’ll accept the invite and shoot off a quick mail as a follow-up.
There are times though when I’ll make an exception and if I’m honest it’s because the inviter looks like an interesting contact for me. If that’s the case, I’ll happily accept the invite and follow-up hitting that accept button with a message like, “Thanks for the invite to connect” plus something along the lines of, “I don’t believe we’ve met, but looking at your profile, we have mutual contacts/business goals etc.” You get the idea. It’s all about relationship building. It’s why we’re on LinkedIn isn’t it?
However, what sometimes happens is (and this is when I get a bit prickly), the message I send out remains unanswered. Now that indicates one of two things,
1) The person sending out the invite feels they’re too busy to reply or
2) The inviter is simply a collector of contacts on LinkedIn, and probably building a database.
Neither reflects well on you or your business. Plus you’ve lost any opportunity of cultivating what could have the potential to be a meaningful and quality connection.
In the offline world, relationship building is something we do without too much pre-thinking. We know there is etiquette to networking. If I meet you at an event, we say “Hello,” we chat, we have a little banter, we move on to discuss business and we’ll exchange cards.
What we’d never think of doing is walking into a room, throwing our business cards at the crowd, then leave expecting positive results. And yet on LinkedIn, the networking site for professionals, that’s exactly what happens when you throw out ‘Invite to Connect’ messages without any follow-up.
There is much to be gained from cultivating business relationships online and all it requires is a little bit of effort and a dash of those social skills you already have.
If you’d like to know how to become more effective using LinkedIn and how best to create quality leads, book a 1-to-1 LinkedIn Masterclass by calling 01 547 7884 or emailing [email protected] Alternatively, find out about our upcoming LinkedIn training courses and webinars.
To your online success!
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