So why would you just send an impersonal “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.” message?
I did actually have a builder just walk up to me and hand me a business card at a networking event in Newcastle Upon Tyne !
I did say “what do you want me to do with this?” and he thought we might be able to do business together until I explained that I lived 4 hours away and had been Coaching a Client of mine, for the last 2 years, who runs a building firm and has become a friend !!
He hadn’t stopped to find out about me and what was important to me or to ask if I had any needs that he might be able to help with.
The same needs to apply with your use of Linkedin which is, after all, “an on-line networking tool”.
My **GOLDEN RULE** is to personalise every connection request that I send and give the recipient a reason to accept and to connect with me. So my personalised message might read something like:
“Hi John, I came across your profile and am always looking to connect with pro-active Sales Directors in the Midlands. I also noticed that we are both connected to xxxxxx and thought we should connect. Regards Andy.“
Then when they accept you can respond with thanks and ask them if they would like to talk about how you can help them get more business through their use of Linkedin / save money on their XY or Z etc etc etc.
**BIG TIP** – You cannot personalise your connection invites from your mobile or tablet ! so I wait until I am back in the office to connect with people.
Always think “what’s in it for them?” – give them a reason to connect, talk with you and meet with you.
Have a look at my Linkedin Profile and download the “10 Reasons People aren’t Getting Business Through Linkedin” for free, for more ideas that can help.
All the best,