I receive lots of requests to connect on LinkedIn. That’s very nice. I’m glad people are interested.
I’m selective about who I connect with, and go by quality over quantity.
Typically people inviting me don’t bother to actually write a message. They use the lifeless default, “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”. This practice is a huge pet peeve of mine, and usually turns me off.
Occasionally, they personalize the message. Sometimes they want information on my services. I’m happy to oblige.
Sometimes people boldly ask me to make an introduction for them, or help them in some way that will take me a fair amount of time. I say to myself, “Wait a minute . . . you’re a complete stranger to me, and you expect me to go out on a limb for you, and do you a favor?” I’m not likely to connect with them, or even respond.
Conversely, but all too infrequently, the message I receive is a gem that perks me up and generates my immediate interest in that person. Here’s one very recent request:
“I am a loyal follower on Twitter and am very impressed with what you do in life. I was hoping we could connect so I can learn even more from you.”
And another really nice one:
“Loved your recent post, 29 Biggest LinkedIn Mistakes. I shared it, along with others in the past, with several of my LinkedIn Groups. Would you like to connect with me here on LinkedIn? I feel like I already know you!”
No surprise, I immediately accept and respond to such requests with a personalized message. I’m drawn to people who take the time to craft a personal message that let’s me know how they know me, why we should connect, and possibly, how we can help each other. And throwing a compliment my way never hurts!
I do connect with people who use the default message, but only after I’ve reviewed their profile to see whether we might be able to help each other. I rarely connect with people who expect a favor before we even have a relationship.
No matter what the person’s situation, or whether we may be able to help each other, I will always accept an invitation accompanied by a well-crafted message, such as the two above. Wouldn’t you?
photo by nan palmero