Why You Should Always Send A Personalized LinkedIn Connection Request

Posted by Jamie Kreft in B2B Lead Generation & Sales Insights, LinkedIn Marketing Insights

Will you marry me?

This is not something you want to hear on your first date.

Just like nobody wants to hear a sales pitch right off the bat. It’s the relationship that warms up a prospect and that builds trust in you and your company.

In the book Ultimate Sales Machine, Chet Holmes found that for a lot of his companies, it took 12 attempts on average before a sales person could break through to a prospect.

This isn’t just a social media thing. It’s sales 101.

Just sending one message on LinkedIn is not going to get the job done. Maybe you’ll get a few nibbles, but to create sustainable success, you have to design a campaign so you stay in front of your BEST prospects over time.

Building a relationship cannot be underestimated, and today we wanted to focus on that very first impression on LinkedIn – the connection request. This is the first touchpoint that sets the tone and opens the door for a business relationship.

A Connection Request Is Your First Impression

Like a first impression, you want to put you best foot forward, you want to find commonalities, and you want to stand out.

And it’s pretty easy to do because here’s how most people use LinkedIn:

They find somebody they want to be in touch with (many times just a random connection) and send a blank connection request. Hoping they’ll get a new connection.

And… that’s why most people don’t get the results they’re looking for. These connection requests look exactly like everyone else’s.

Quit Making This Common LinkedIn Mistake

You've probably received a connection request like this one in your email inbox:

When you don’t fill in a personalized message, LinkedIn auto-populates one for you. That’s where “Hi [Name], I’d like to join your LinkedIn network” comes from. When people see that, the only thing people hear from you is that you’d like to join their network… just like everybody else.

The reality is, doing this tells people you don't care that much, you're just firing off connection requests, and you don’t separate yourself from the crowd, so people tend to pass over you.

The other place people will see your connection request is on LinkedIn itself when you click on “My Network” and you see a list of all the invitations people have sent you.

Without a personalized message, you look like this…

The problem is that if you’re trying to connect with someone who gets a lot of requests, it’s too easy for them to pass over you because you just become one name and face in a long list – a bunch of these stacked on top of each other.

Whereas if you include a message with it, you’re automatically differentiated because LinkedIn includes your message within the list, giving your profile more space, giving you more personality, and giving your prospect a reason to accept your connection request.

Now you look like this…

Stand Out: How to Personalize your LinkedIn Connection Request

We always recommend going the extra mile with personalization, because you get better results.

If you include a personalized message, letting the person know why you think the two of you would benefit from being connected, the response rate will go through the roof.

So even though these are cold prospects who don’t know you, we often see for our client campaigns that more than half will usually accept that connection request from you. And just like that, you now have a database of strong potential clients to start working through the rest of your lead generation system.

And the best part is this can be a fairly short, simple message. Because just by including a note at all – you’re showing that you’ve gone an extra step.

And are making the outreach feel more unique to your prospect.

So when you go to someone’s profile and you click the “CONNECT” button, this will pop up:

Always click “Add a note.”

Your personalized note doesn't have to be a work of art. It doesn't even have to be that specific to the person.

It could be something as simple as: “Hey, I came across your profile here on LinkedIn and I thought we might benefit from being connected.”

Or maybe you mention a shared group you both belong to on LinkedIn.

There are a lot of ways to go about it, but the example above is our gold standard when building a large database of high-ticket prospects for our clients.

Clicking “Send now” and automatically sending the default message is probably the biggest rookie mistake. In my experience, sending a personalized connection request can DOUBLE or TRIPLE your results- which is huge!

Remember, these are people who don't even know who you are; they are cold prospects. LinkedIn users already have the mindset of wanting to connect with other business people… you just have to give them a decent reason to accept your connect request.

Here are some additional tips if you want to take your connection requests to the next-level:

  1. Include their first name.
  2. Mention a mutual connection (if possible).
  3. Mention something that you have in common.
  4. Mention something on their profile that you noticed or admire.
  5. Keep it short and sweet!

What This Means For You And Your Business

If you can get a 50% acceptance rate from cold prospects (assuming you’re targeting your ideal prospects), this means that you can have a never-ending supply of new prospects that you can work through the rest of our systems, to turn these CONNECTIONS into SALES CALLS AND MEETINGS and then a percentage of them into CLIENTS.  

If you’d like to learn more about our systems to build the relationships that turn connections into clients, check out our latest LinkedIn training…


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