LinkedIn is great isn’t it? I get invites to connect every day. Some actually have a personalised note, which is a light touch. This post is about LinkedIn connections, follow up and next steps. It’s a fact that some people do these things well. Others not so well.
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Let’s connect……we can help each other!
I receive a LinkedIn invitation to connect from someone I don’t know. Such messages are not often that revealing. This message was actually personalised. Extra points. It explained we could help each other and encouraged me to look at their profile.
I duly took a peek and could see where the synergy lay. It seemed we both helped business owners in London and I was intrigued by the summary I found. I replied with my phone number and looked forward to the call.
Ping pong doesn’t mean ding dong
A quick voicemail rally followed and a conversation got underway. It started so well – ”I have loads of ways I can help you, I love what you’re doing”. Platitudes are something we hear everyday yet this guy wasn’t trying to sell me something, right? Wrong.
I asked how we were going to help each other and discovered my “beau” wanted to sell me a service that would, one day, provide me with a better business. So the way we would help each other is I would pay and he would play, one day I would get something. Mmmmm.
Next steps, treading carefully is better than not treading at all
I asked, purely out of curiosity, what the next step would be if I was interested. “I’m too busy to meet you. Come to my office, I’ll put the kettle on”, came the reply. It reminded me of a comment in a LinkedIn discussion that stated “people that get their business purely by networking are lazy!” This irked me at the time yet this might have been his overall experience played out in my World.
Realising that mutual help meant I would have to go to someone else’s office, listen to their pitch, pay them money and wait for a return I politely declined. But I do wonder how many people waste their time doing this? I meet people committed to business who are making things happen. Which means I get to spend less time with people whose get up and go has got up and left. Networking works better when you get out there.
Wrap up: There are many ways to provide benefits to others. The word mutual only applies when both people know what they’re getting. Ensure your profile is congruent with what you are actually offering to attract the right connections.
Top tip: Some people who ask you to “connect” may be following a LinkedIn guidebook. Check out their profile before rushing to delete their request. Try sending a few personalised invitations rather than a batch of lonely requests to connect.
Who to share this with: LinkedIn users who wonder what to do with requests to connect.
Further reading: What are you doing to your brand on LinkedIn?