I receive about 10 LinkedIn invitations a week. Over half of these invitations are “generic,” using the LinkedIn script “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Really?!! Do I know you? Is there a REASON why you want to connect with me? (Other than gaining access to my LinkedIn connections).
When I conduct LinkedIn training for both individuals and business organizations the subject of the “generic invitation” is always a topic.
I use the analogy of the Unknown Comic. For those of you too young to remember, he was a comic that performed on the Gong Show with a bag on his head – no name, couldn’t see his face – doing very corny jokes.
When you send out a generic LinkedIn invitation it’s like the Unknown Comic going to a business mixer – no name tag, no business cards – walking up to someone and asking them if they want to do business together.
The most important thing about building relationships on LinkedIn is finding commonalities and personalizing your interactions.
Review a potential connection’s LinkedIn profile. See if you have any connections in common, where they went to school or where they worked. Mention it in the personalized invitation you send out.
With LinkedIn mobile and the “easy button” that says connect, it’s a temptation to hit that button and hope for the best. DON’T!
Take the time upfront to invest in the potential relationship. Take the bag off your head and stop being the Unknown Connector!
About the Author: Chuck Hester, main contributor to the Linked Essentials channel on commpro.biz, is a keynote speaker and LinkedIn power connector with more than 17,000 direct connections. Managing Partner of The Hester Group, he helps clients get their stories told through influencer relations, good old fashion PR strategies and hard work. Through www.chuckhester.com he also offers LinkedIn Corporate Boot Camps that help businesses maximize their use of LinkedIn, find and retain customers and enhance their social media footprints. You can find him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/