Don’t Settle for Lame LinkedIn Invitations

Another day, another crop of terrible LinkedIn connection requests:

“I’ve found your profile here on LinkedIn, thought we could benefit by connecting.”

“I love connecting with professionals.”

“I love connecting with other industry experts.”

Now don’t get me wrong.  I love LinkedIn. But has LinkedIn become Tinder for business professionals? Every request seems to be a stale, uninspired attempt at making a sale. But let’s be serious, it isn’t even a real connection.

Something Surprising

The amazing thing about this parade of canned intros is that it becomes easier to spot the ones that take the time to carefully craft an introduction.  Amazingly, it doesn’t take much. Even a few minutes on someone’s profile, or on their website should tell you what you need to know to make an authentic connection.

Those that take the time and care about their approach are rewarded with responses, conversations, and maybe even business. Today, even the least little bit of preparation makes your connection request stand out above all others. It also makes LinkedIn work the way it was supposed to.

Unfortunately, the bar is low. The slightest bit of authenticity will stand out.

Step up Your LinkedIn Game

Here are 4 elements of a good LinkedIn request:

  1. Personal approach. Noticeable requests stand out because someone took the time to research. Read their blog, look at their website, learn something interesting about them and mention it in the request. It’ll show that you took the time to care.
  2. It’s about them. Making the request is not the time to sell your services. That is called a sales pitch. Clearly distinguish between the two. Connecting relies on finding something in common.
  3. What do they need?Chances are, no one needs what you are selling. Even if they did, they probably have an existing vendor. No one buys the pitch, they buy from people that they like, know and trust. How do you know what they need if you don’t ask?
  4. Follow-up. After the connection, then what? No connection? Have a plan for follow-up and conversation.

Conversely, here are 4 elements to avoid

How to get Ignored:

  1. Lying. Many requests mention that we have “many connections in common” when there are clearly not. Ignore.
  2. Heavy sales pitches. Stop. Just stop.
  3. Canned Requests. When you use the same pick-up line as everyone else, you simply blend into the blandness.
  4. Automated connection requests. Using automated methods to extract company names creates awkward phrasings more than you realize.

Take a few minutes to make a connection more personal. You’ll stand out every time!

If you’d like to hear more, listen to my podcast: “Make the Perfect Pitch” with Sue Grabowski, founder of Desidara.