Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Why I'm not likely to accept your LinkedIn invite


Or alternate title: Why are your invites boring me to death?
 
 
We've all gotten these invites on LinkedIn right?  You know what I'm talking about-the form that LinkedIn populates into the template for sending invitations to connect:
 
 
Hello,
 
 
I would like to add you to my professional netZZZZZZZ. 
 
Oops-sorry.  Drifted off on that one because IT'S A FORM PEOPLE!
 
 
I will be the first to admit that I do use the form from time to time.  Typically I only use it when I have already given someone the heads up that I will be sending an invite or when it's someone I know already.  But what stymies me is when I receive the form from people that I do not know, that I cannot understand the value in networking with and that I see no commonality between the two of us.  In that case, while I might be an open networker, it still has to be a value add for me to include you in my network.
 
So, please remember that while it's a size restricted form (that is-you won't have the room to write a 5 page letter), you still need to get bang for your buck with ideas like:
 
 
One I sent recently to a total stranger that was not only accepted, but she took the time to respond:
 
Dear name,
 
I just tripped across an old posting from you on Answers and it led me to further activity of yours here on the site. Long story short-I'm impressed! If I can do anything to help you, please don't hesitate to ask. In the interim, I'd love to add you to my network.

Best,
Michelle
 
Or when perhaps there is a common group:
 
Dear name,
 
I see that you and I are both in the Blah Blah group.  I'm looking to further my networking in the group by connecting individually.  I would love to chat with you to learn more about what you do.  If you have a couple of minutes to connect, I'd appreciate it.  In the interim, can I add you to my network?
 
Best,
Michelle
 
Another option when there is a connection in common:
 
Dear name,
 
You and I are both connected to Clark Kent here on LinkedIn.  When I asked him about you, he had nothing but praise for your work and professionalism.  I am seeking to expand my networking efforts with people that are also interested in finding ways to do more with LinkedIn.  Think we might connect?
 
Best,
Michelle
 
Bottom line is this.  There is no perfect way to send an invitation to connect but you have to remember that if you are using a basic form, you are going to be imminently forgettable.  Speak genuinely and from the heart without pretense or falsehood.  And of course, remember that you only have one chance to make a first impression!  Good luck and happy hunting!


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