In the last month I've recieved 20 connection requests on LinkedIn. The breakdown of the people wanting to connect has been,
9 from people who have recently attended a johnpc ltd sales skills training workshop. Some chose to attach a message to their request explaining why the request was sent, some did not. However, (obviously) given the immediacy between the “human level” contact and the request, all were accepted.
1 request was from an ex-colleague who I knew well during our time working together. No message attached, but also accepted. I know the person well enough that if I met them on a street we could easily spend half an hour conversing about the past and about people we jointly know.
Nothing out of the ordinary so far. However, the other 10 requests were from people I did not know, all were 2nd level connections.
9 of these requests were “standard” with no message attached. It may come as no surprise to you that all of these were rejected and the “I don’t know this person” button was selected. I must admit I am not sure what LinkedIn does with this info, I’m sure it is something dark and nefarious!
The remaining 1 was also from a 2nd level connection, but included a reason for the request, a very short explanation of how we might both benefit and referenced 1 or 2 people we both know. The result being connection request accepted.
I am sure nothing I have wrote so far is a surprise to anyone and that all of you do the same when you get this type of connection request.
For the people that send them though, if you are going to the trouble of trying to connect, just explain why and what’s in it for the person you are trying to connect with or at least why you want to connect.
It will also help if you can show that you have taken an interest in the person you want to connect to, after all “who we are and what we do” are some of the things closest to our heart. If you can’t come up with a reason don’t bother sending the request. It's (more than likely) not going to be accepted, so you’re wasting your own time as well as everyone else’s.
It’s not that difficult (or time consuming) to get this right, but it makes a massive difference between being accepted and rejected.
Which after all is the reason you sent the request in the first place, isn’t it?