As an entrepreneur, I understand the utility of connecting with potential clients on LinkedIn.
It’s a great tool for delivering a message to just the right people. At its best, it can be the basis of a wonderful relationship. (In fact, recently I attended the wedding of two wonderful people who met via a LinkedIn connection request.)
All too often, though, connection requests feel inauthentic and like someone’s idea of the quickest route to a buck.
As a coach who works through communication challenges, I’ve come to realize that most people are well-meaning, and believe they have something of value to offer. They just don’t know how to ask gracefully for what they want
Every week, I receive at least 10 connection requests from people whose tag line is something like: “I help coaches get 10 leads a week, guaranteed!” I used to roll my eyes with exasperation at each one. “This technique won’t work with the people I want to connect with,” I thought to myself. “Is this the best they can offer?”
Recently, it occurred to me that being so judgmental, I could be missing a great connection simply because it felt awkward to me. And hey, I’ve fumbled my fair share of networking techniques.
I started responding to requests from people I don’t know with a brief statement of what I am about and how I use LinkedIn for business. I invite them to a 15-minute conversation, to learn if being connected would benefit our networks. About 75% don’t follow up. But the ones that do are gold!
This week, I made two terrific connections by taking the time to make sure were right for my network. (If you are interested in seeing my response, please send me an email at email@example.com
. I am happy to share.)
I’d love to know how you use LinkedIn to connect with great people
Author: Jennifer Mallory