“Oh connections, connections, wherefore art thou connections?”
So there you are on LinkedIn one Sunday afternoon, and then you spot him, your Romeo. Not so much your Romeo because you are struck by cupids bow but more because Romeo is actually Raymond Smith and he looks like your ideal client.
The thing is you have only checked out his profile and you’ve never actually met. I’m not talking the locking of eyes through the glass of a tropical fish tank meeting, I’m talking just the shaking of hands and discussion about all things in your business niche. So what do you do now? What is the right LinkedIn etiquette for such an affair?
Personally I think people over think this. Let’s take this scenario offline for a moment and say you were at a networking event and the host said I know someone you should meet. Hands you their bio then points your Romeo out (I mean Raymond) from across the room.Wow, on paper this person seems like a great fit, he is the decision maker and has loads of experience in this field. You have a photo of him so are sure which person it is, so what would you do now? Would you walk over to him and hand him your business card without so much as an introduction? It would seem rather weird wouldn’t it? Regardless if you were male or female.
Essentially that is what people do on LinkedIn all the time. They click the connect button without any kind of message or introduction. But LinkedIn is just the tool of introduction, just like the host at the network event offline, the rest is up to you to cultivate the business relationship.
Why people send a connection request with no message or follow up is beyond me. They are essentially setting themselves up to suffer the same fate as Mercutio. I personally have over 50 requests to connect this year sitting in my inbox right now. Not one had a message with it. I have no clue why they want to connect, so if I was their target market I wouldn’t know it.
Connecting with people you don’t know is not a problem on LinkedIn just like it isn’t offline. But send an InMail first. Talk about why you would like to connect and what stood out for you in their profile. Once you have exchanged a few messages then offer your card (or offer to be 1st connection). The ultimate aim here of course is to do business and communication is the key to any business relationship.
You have just beenninjafied by the LinkedIn Ninja Down Under.