In May of 2014 I penned the piece “‘Since You are a Person I Trust…’ To Connect or Not To Connect on LinkedIn?” that railed against what I see as the impersonal and lazy approach to networking on LinkedIn. That is, sending generic messages with no substance to let the recipient know why someone wants to connect with them. What made it worse for me were the messages that included the legendarily silly (okay, legendarily stupid) ‘Since You are a Person I Trust…‘ which was almost always sent by someone who couldn’t possibly trust you since that message was the first attempt at any type of communication, ever. I equated the actions of the ‘number chasers’ to so-called professionals I’ve seen at some networking events who quite literally throw their business cards at other attendees. Maybe their strategy, like some on LinkedIn, is to simply see what sticks.
I received a message and invitation that was awesome! Not only because the sender went beyond what is widely accepted as ‘good form’ on LinkedIn, but unlike some of the chuckleheads who use LinkedIn to spam you via invites and the messaging system to sell their crap, this gent also did some research prior to sending his invite. Isn’t that one of the perks of having so much information available at our fingertips nowadays?
Here’s the message:
Note he references referrals to warm up the invite, provides some background to help me understand where we have relevance, and went as far as including a personal tie-in with homemade pizza and pasta (I guarantee his little old Italian grandma’s cooking puts mine to shame!). Additionally, based on language in his message, it’s pretty apparent he read the ‘Advice for Contacting Guy‘ portion of my profile which for most on LinkedIn seems to get the same amount of use as turn signals in cars.
My question is, why isn’t THIS approach the norm? Networking on LinkedIn or anywhere is about developing relationships, so why not leverage (and mention) existing relationships to help move things along?
Needless to say I happily accepted Chris’ invitation and look forward to getting to know him and his company.
I also want to make sure I let my fellow business leaders Staci Redmon and Victor Holt know I appreciate their referral. It’s very apparent Chris does too based on the care and effort he put into crafting an excellent first impression!
“The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it.”