Asking a stranger to connect with you on Linkedin can feel like a daunting task. At times, it may even feel down right intrusive, but when done right, you can form a connection that will grow and be beneficial for both people involved.
In this article, you will learn the following techniques to get a Linkedin connection request approved every time. Before we get started, I am going to point out the obvious. If you are not adding a note to your connection request, you are doing it wrong. If you really want to make a connection, you need to add a note. I like to refer to my 5 P’s to the perfect Linkedin Connection Request:
- Build a Persona to know your Audience
- Be Polite
- Act Professional
- Get Personal
- Don’t be Pushy
Build Persona to Know Your Audience
As an inbound and content marketer, I always start with who your target persona is (inbound speak for your target audience). You can connect with anyone you would like, but it is best to build a persona and target that person. Your persona can be “Marketing Managers in the Northwest region” or “Regional Sales Representatives in Manufacturing”. By identifying your persona, you can tailor your search, writing style, content and research for the right person you are connecting with.
I debated including this in my “P’s” but after hearing stories from co-workers and friends, I felt I should keep it in. To me, it’s obvious to be a polite and nice person to everyone, but it does not always come as natural to some people. When composing your message, try and smile and pretend you are talking face to face to that person. Say “Hi” or “Hello” before starting your connection and end with a “thank you”. If they are in the news or their company has hit a recent goal, compliment them on their achievement.
If you want to read more on my thoughts of being a nice person, check out the article How to Calculate The ROI of Kindness.
Assuming you are reaching out for work or professional reasons, you should act like it. If you are at a networking event or business event, you tend to act like it. Well, there should be no reason to not act professional on Linkedin. Be sure to use proper grammar, check for spelling and aim to impress. This is your first impression with the prospect, so make sure to put your best self forward.
I am terrible with grammar and spelling, if you catch something in this article, I am sorry. I do use a free Google extension / App called Grammarly. If you are like me and struggle with spelling and grammar, I highly recommend it.
Just remember, there is a person on the other end of that request. There is a real person getting the notification that you want to connect with them. Try and find something in their profile to relate or connect with. Maybe you both volunteered for the same organization, or they have a special certification you're interested in learning more about. Find a way to make it more that you are both people and connect their first. Once that is established, business talk comes easy.
DON’T BE PUSHY!
Ok, last one but maybe the most important. No one wants to be sold on a cold call, cold email, and especially a cold linkedin request. I want you to think of how many cold linkedin requests you get that are just a big long sales pitch. Now I want you to think back and remember how many of those you actually said accepted, messaged back and created a relationship with? I can’t speak for everyone, but I often hit delete or ignore the message. Business is a human to human game, so try and remember what it feels like to get a telemarketer call when you are sitting down for dinner when writing your message.
There is more than one way to get a connection request approved and everyone has a different technique. Experience and test out what works for you as it may change from persona to persona. The good news, you can always adjust and try new things.
I would love to hear what techniques you use or tips you may have so please share them below!