Distinctive Thinking

on Business Success – Articles, tips, and Q&A’s

LinkedIn: The Debate Continues…

Posted by bizcoachjason on March 21, 2008

Are you a LION? Are you uncertain if you
should be concentrating on getting
connections of quantity or quality for your
best business results?

I just received ANOTHER invitation that used
a canned text. And I can almost recite it verbatim.
It was the third or fourth time this person with
500+ connections has invited me to join his
LinkedIn network.

I joined LinkedIn in early 2006, and I have enjoyed
the use of this business networking site for
multiple purposes – finding old colleagues,
strengthening relationships with quality people
that I have recently met, getting ideas and helping
others through the “Questions & Answers” feature.

But, I have become more and more selective
about which invitations I accept.

I feel quality is better than quantity. I almost
cringe when I receive an invitation in which the
default text hasn’t been changed at all. If you
really think we should be connected to help
each other grow our networks, why not type in
something that let’s me know:

• Who are you?
• How do we know each other, or how did you
come across my profile?
• Why do you think that you and I specifically
would make good networking partners?
• How can I help you?
• What’s in it for me, other than having another
connection that I can’t confidently refer people to?

The basic tenet of relationship building (think
sales skills) is normally absent from the volume
of invitations. Focus on the other person, not
yourself. No one wants to be friends with
someone that’s all “me, me, me…” You don’t
need to write a book, but write something to
make it personal. Refer to something unique in
my profile that lets me know this isn’t a canned
invitation.

“I know the value of having a ridiculously large
network, so let’s connect” doesn’t sound like
someone with whom I can pick up the phone,
or email to, and get together with for lunch,
get support or ideas from, or give a
recommendation to.

If you add people at random and have no intention
of getting to know them, you are not building a
network, you are building the Whitepages. I threw
my last published phone directory out years ago,
and I don’t need another one.

But I do accept invitations from sincere, caring
professionals that REALLY want to help each
other and can show me why they, and why I
should, value this special, potential connection.

After all, that’s why I am a big believer in the
power of networking and helping each other.
Have a fantastic Friday, and a Happy Easter
to those of you that celebrate!

All the best,
Jason

P.S. Chicago, 4/19/08 – We will be delving into
this and other networking topics to help you
supercharge your networking and sales!
Please see http://www.DistinctiveCoaching.com/Supercharge.html

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One Response to “LinkedIn: The Debate Continues…”

  1. Richard said

    Hi Jason
    I’m in agreement with a lot of what you are saying here.
    I’m UK based, and have been on LinkedIn for about three years, but have seen an explosion in its popularity here in the past year.
    I got caught up in the numbers game a little, but have recently been reconsidering that stance. Hene, your opinions struck a chord.
    Has there been a lot of discussion on this subject?

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