LinkedIn has made it easier for us to accomplish one of the 4 Cs of building Relationships with LinkedIn.
Contribute, Collaborate and Cram are still easy to do; however Connect just got easier.
LinkedIn is letting us Beta test a new “People you may know” tool.
It lets us forgo entering in the answers to the original connection request question of “How we do we know…”
I like this idea and think it is going to be very useful.
However I strongly caution that we not abuse this new tool and go off half-cocked.
Anytime we are working on building mutually beneficial relationships thru LinkedIn we must start the relationship the right way.
We must be honest, transparent and relevant.
How do we know this person? If we don’t know them, or more importantly, they don’t know us, we need to find a way to get an introduction. Even a simple email from a mutual connection saying, “Hi Stephen. You may not know who Teddy Burriss is, but I think you two should get to know each other. Here is his contact info for you two to connect.” After this email is sent, then follow up LinkedIn connection request is very appropriate.
Why are we connecting with this person? Hopefully we are asking for a LinkedIn connection so that we can learn more about our new person and work on building even the simplest relationship thru Contributing and Collaborating. If you want to connect so that you can immediately begin to “sell your freakin widget to them”, do us all a favor and don’t. Social Media is a tool use to get social. Sales comes later on.
What is our message to this person? This beta tool allows us to enter a “Personal note.” This is important. Building a relationship directly with someone thru a direct and personal note to them is the best way to get started. “Hello Stephen. Per the email that Bill sent out to you and I, let’s connect on LinkedIn. Then at your convenience let’s find a time to do coffee, sweet tea or “soda”-30 and get to know each other better. I look forward to meeting you.”
Here is a video from LinkedIn about this new Connect tool
Thanks LinkedIn for this new Connect tool. I hope that we all get benefit from using it the right way.