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 protected]
. I am happy to share.)
I’d love to know how you use LinkedIn to connect with great people
Author: Jennifer Mallory