Do you accept every LinkedIn connection request that you receive? I probably accept 30 to 40 percent of my requests to connect, and that’s because of a simple mistake that LinkedIn members keep making.
Please Don’t Do This
Please don’t send LinkedIn’s generic request. Take the extra step by explaining why you want to connect to them. I do this on every LinkedIn connection request, and my acceptance rate is nearly 100%.
The person above, like so many others, found my name and clicked the Connect button. I get about a dozen of these types of requests weekly.
I used to think people like this were just lazy. I’m no longer sure that’s the case. I used to do the same thing till I got called out on this. A peer kindly pointed out that I should send a polite message when asking for a connection request. “Duh, why didn’t I think of that earlier?”
Call this the case of needing a heightened sense of awareness when sending those connection requests. If you are in a hurry, wait. Just wait. Send the request later when you have time with a message.
Do This Instead
I have about 6 or 7 scripts that I keep in a Notepad for LinkedIn connection requests.
Here’s an example:
I notice that you and I have several common friends and LinkedIn connections. I also enjoyed reading about you in the Columbia Business Times which was outstanding.
Oh yes, your YouTube channel is over the top. I’d enjoy connecting with you so that I never miss an update.
A LinkedIn connection request to a small business CEO in Columbia, MO
If you owned a small business, would you be more likely to accept the invitation above or one that merely stated, “Hi Mark, I’d like to join your LinkedIn network?”
As an FYI, you need to keep your message to 300 characters or fewer. The one above is around 280 characters, and I always have to carve out words. You will too.
You’re Still Not Done
My success rate for LinkedIn connection requests is 60% based on a recent campaign with a targeted audience of nearly 300 members.
When a person accepts my request, I immediately thank them with a personalized note through LinkedIn’s messaging system (is it still called InMail?).
I’m still not done. About a week or two later, I more than likely will follow up with another personal message by sending that person a meaningful link to an article that might be helpful to them. This practice is especially useful when trying to establish a relationship with a local CEO.
When you perform these steps, don’t sell. Don’t manipulate. The goal is to build a relationship by being helpful. Your ultimate objective of landing that person as a client will eventually take care of itself.