Have you ever sent a connection request on LinkedIn and not had it accepted? Not being accepted can happen for a few reasons, like the person doesn't remember you or you're missing a profile photo.
I am certain you frequently receive connection requests from strangers like I do. Your parents taught you not to talk to strangers, so it makes sense that you ignore the requests. I recently wrote a post about how I handle requests from people I don’t know. In this post, I will teach you how to send requests that get accepted.
If you want to have your connection request accepted, you need to consider a few things. The person may not use LinkedIn frequently, so sending the request through LinkedIn is often not the best first move.
I always email the contact before I send them the connection request. In the email, I remind him who I am and how we met. Perhaps we met at a networking mixer or a conference. I use his email from his business card, or I go to his site to find his contact information.
I write a follow-up email within 24 hours of the conference, so I am still fresh in people's minds. It doesn’t take long for people to forget who you are, unless you left an impressive impression.
In closing the message, I add that I am going to send him a connection request on LinkedIn. I explain that I am happy to provide him with an introduction to someone in my network should he need it. How’s that for value? Isn’t this better than just blindly sending a request to connect?
After I send the email, I send the connection request via LinkedIn. I always avoid sending the default connection request. I send a personal message and refer back to the email. I will write something like, “Hi John. It was a pleasure meeting you at XYZ Conference. Let’s connect on LinkedIn please. If I can provide you with an intro to one of my connections, let me know. Cheers, Dave. Futureforth.com”
I always include my business URL in the signature on LinkedIn, so he can visit to learn more about my services.
LinkedIn: Now boasting more than 360 million users.
If John does not accept my request after a couple of weeks, I will reassess. I will ask myself why I wanted to connect in the first place. Obviously, networking is key with LinkedIn. John could provide me with an introduction to help my business or career. Perhaps John isn’t that active on LinkedIn. It’s OK, because I still have his email address and can follow up that way.
One of the best ways to grow and nurture your professional network is by using LinkedIn. Now boasting more than 360 million users and a new user every two seconds, it’s clear that LinkedIn really is the professional social network. It makes sense to do everything you can to get connection requests accepted, so you can grow your network.
Photo from Flickr by Alessandro Valli liquene