I receive about a dozen LinkedIn connection requests per day that have no note, no reason for reaching out to me, and absolutely no introduction whatsoever.
That makes me crazy!
If that wasn't enough, when I look at a person's profile (taking my own time and energy to try and figure out why you might be reaching out to me, other than to see if you can do business directly with me even though you don't know me), the first word of the profile is almost always "I."
The moment you start talking to me and use the word "I," you've already lost me.
The most effective way to instantly begin engaging someone, and making them think about why they would want to connect with you, is to start with the word "you."
The key to effective communication, and to effective networking and connecting, is to give me an opportunity to instantly experience a value for myself. It might be something you do, it might be something you offer, it might be something you really help people accomplish.
But, when you jump right in, and start by telling me about yourself first, you've lost a huge opportunity.
You also sound like everybody else out there trying to pitch me something. It makes you sound like a telemarketer...and most people don't like or respond to that in a positive way.
Try rewriting the beginning of your profile using "you."
For example, if you help small businesses organize better, please don't start with "I help small businesses get better organized."
If you want to be more effective with your communication, and really stand out from the pack, my first sentence might be something like, "When your small business feels disorganized, it can really increase your stress!"
The key is, make them think of themselves, not you. After all, they have no idea who the heck you are! For that reason, you're not going to motivate them by telling them about yourself right off the bat.
What you help people do is solve their problem, but if they don't feel that problem, or even know that they have it, they don't care...and they're already done listening before you get to the great stuff you may do for people who actually need you.
You first need to get people to think about themselves, or they will stop listening quickly.
That sounds really self-centered and egotistical, but it's the truth.
Talk about what people who work with you get out of it, not what you do for those people.
Little shift, huge difference!
So the next time you want to connect with someone in a "non-salesy" way, look at their profile and add a note to your invite that explains why you see a connection. If you don't do that, all you've done is given someone a potential homework assignment to try and figure out who the hell you are.
Please stop doing that. Your reputation and credibility depend on it.
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