Friday, October 12, 2012

Sending LinkedIn invites to new connections

Every once in a while, I receive a LinkedIn invitation from someone I don't know, have never met, and have never e-mailed or spoken with. 

The LinkedIn invitation email message simply says:

"Matt Groening wants to connect with you on LinkedIn"

"Aziz Ansari wants to connect with you on LinkedIn"

There is no note, no introduction, no explanation as to why they have sent me the invite.  Who is this person that I've never met and why would I want to accept his invitation?

Don't get me wrong--I don't mind receiving invites from people I don't know and have never met--in fact I appreciate them and think they are part of the value of LinkedIn and online networking.

But what I don't like is the complete lack of introduction by the person sending the invite to me.  It would be like attending a business networking "mixer" event, walking up to someone, handing them your business card, and then walking away, all without even saying "Hi".  You would never do that in person, so why do that online?

Sometimes I take the time to click on the LinkedIn profile and look up the sender.  Most of the time it appears that they work with Dynamics GP in some fashion.  But without any explanation, for all I know, they may have just sent random invites out to random people recommended to them by LinkedIn.

I am not a heavy LinkedIn user, but when I do send LinkedIn invitations, I always delete the default message of "I'd like to add you to my network" and then write a brief note introducing myself or mentioning why I would like to connect with the person.

Maybe I want to connect with someone after reading their blog.  "Hi Ted, I just read your blog post about how Dynamics GP is going to conquer the world and really enjoyed it.  I look forward to more articles!"

More often, I send an invite to people after I've spoken with them on the phone for the first time.  "Hi Sally, it was great to speak with you this morning about your client that is looking for assistance with their Dynamics GP integrations.  I look forward to speaking with you when they are ready to move forward."

Or even simpler.  "Hi, I see that you are a member of the Dynamics GP group.  I'm connecting with other GP users and consultants." 

Any reason is fine with me, as long as there is some reason and you are willing to take 30 seconds to type something. 

LinkedIn can be a valuable resource and the connections you can make can be valuable as well.  So invest a few seconds to at least write a brief note if you are going to send someone an invitation to connect.

Steve Endow is a Dynamics GP Certified Trainer and Dynamics GP Certified IT Professional in Los Angeles.  He is also the owner of Precipio Services, which provides Dynamics GP integrations, customizations, and automation solutions.

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