Posted on Mar 26, 2012

Sending Effective Link Requests(part 8 of “LinkedIn Groups: Untapped Goldmines of Opportunity” series)

Now that you’re able to tactfully respond to a “Link Request”, it’s time to shake things up a bit and place yourself in the role of the pursuer. Accepting quality Connection requests is one way to further your presence on LinkedIn, but taking an active role in building your network will multiply your opportunities by leaps and bounds.

Here’s the scenario: You’re looking through the members of a LinkedIn Group and see someone who you want to contact (a potential client, potential referral partner, professional in the industry you’re hoping to find a job in, a potential employer). What next?

While it’s tempting to take the easy route and send the pre-generated: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn,”  do not – I repeat – do NOT get into this lazy habit!

If you just send a generic Link Request, people are less likely to accept it than if you write something personal.

So start the “Link Request” by identifying which LinkedIn Group you both belong to and then add a personalizing element.

Here are the three personalizing elements that I’ve found are the most effective in getting the person to accept the request:

1. Tell them why you want to link with them:

For example, “I’d like to explore any business synergies we may have,” or “I’d like to learn more about your company and what it’s like to work there.“

2. Complement them:

Everyone loves to get a complement. Here’s an example that got me to accept a “Link Request”: “I loved your LinkedIn Summary. I also believe that “happiness breeds success.”

Please note: physical complements are not acceptable. The classic pickup line: “If I said you had a great body, would you hold it against me?” will not work in this situation (or in any other situation, for that matter).

3. Identify something you have in common:

Here are some examples:

“I see that we are both went to UCLA,” “I used to work in Aerospace also,” or “I see you know Valerie Smith.”

In my next blog post, I will give examples of what to write to specific types of potential Connections (Recruiters, Hiring Managers, Potential Clients, or Potential Referral Partners).

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