LinkedIn is great for introductions

To connect or not to connect on LinkedIn? That is the question.

What do you do when you receive a LinkedIn invitation to connect? Do you?:

  • Hit accept and move on or
  • Just ignore it and move on

From conversations I’ve had it seems that both of these reactions are the norm. Some people want to keep their connections nice and tidy, just including those they’ve met. Others are happy to collect as many connections as possible; the more the merrier.

Thing is, both strategies seem to have the same outcome; zilch.

I believe the best action is halfway between.

Strategy No. 1 – I’ve just made a great connection via LinkedIn

Like everyone, I receive a lot of invitations to connect on LinkedIn, but I’m choosy! If someone particularly takes my interest I’ll take a look at their profile, accept the invitation then send them a message with a question aiming to start a conversation.

I did exactly that just recently. I’d spotted that the person was the perfect profile for one of my clients. Having exchanged a couple of messages I then sent an email introducing my new LinkedIn connection to my client. This resulted in a meeting which I was also invited to.

It was an excellent meeting, which has resulted in my client and me being asked to present at a quarterly gathering to 10 more perfectly profiled contacts.

Of course it helps to know exactly who your ideal customer is!

Strategy No. 2 – Can you introduce me please?

Another strategy that I use for my clients to gain introductions via LinkedIn is to research who they’d like to meet and then see who of their existing connections are already connected to that person.

Once you’ve spotted it you can send an email to your contact asking how well they know them and would they feel happy enough to make the introduction. It can be quite difficult gaining access to the right person in big corporates and I’ve found this to be quite a successful way to get past the gatekeeper.  Give it a go!

LinkedIn is a powerful tool which is often under-utilised. I hope that sharing these two tried and tested strategies has given you some ideas of your own. Let me know how you get on.