I used to only accept a LinkedIn connection request if I actually knew you. This would equate to accepting roughly 10% of the requests I received. I eventually re-thought my approach towards this and began accepting around 70% of requests. If I think there is potentially a mutualistic relationship to be had, I am accepting. This brings on some risk, as sometimes what appears as a potential mutualistic relationship, is in fact someone that only has one objective, SELL ME.
Let’s recap, I accept roughly 70% of connection requests. If you are part of the 30% not making the cut, perhaps you should reevaluate your approach.
Connection requests fall into 2 buckets, those that put a message and those that do not. LinkedIn suggests that putting a message will increase your likeliness to have someone accept, and that is true in theory. It does, however, give you an opportunity to blow your shot before you even connect. If I were a sales guy, I would conduct an A/B test on sending requests with and without a message and seeing which performs better. If you don’t have a message, you need to understand that most people will be making their decision solely on your name, picture, and headline. An attractive person with an awesome name and wicked cool headline? No message might convert best for you.
If you are connecting purely from a sales prospecting perspective, there is an argument to be made on putting in a message. Setting proper expectations from the jump does have value, but it also causes your prey to put their guard up immediately, and if you are not spittin’ some next-level stuff in the message, good luck making it into their kingdom.
Let’s look at some of this week’s requests that fell into the NOPE category.
Example 1: Congrats!
Larger image: http://prntscr.com/u1u5xg
The Good: Nothing
The Bad: Gonna put everything in Ugly on this one.
The Ugly: New job? Nope, did not start a new job. Software project? At this point, I am confused, should I understand what they mean by this? Clearly this is being sent out to a bunch of people with no customization and because of this it does not resonate and is tone-deaf.
As a side note, if I am going to be sold on something, I really don't want to see the CEO doing it, I would prefer to see a sales position. If I did have a ‘software project’ I needed someone to help with, I am more likely to engage and accept with a salesperson. I understand this is quite possibly ‘ghostwritten’ and is not actually the CEO, but I would rather you ghostwrite from the sales person’s account.
Example 2: Ads on Facebook? WOW, TELL ME MORE!
Larger Image: http://prntscr.com/u1ucx0
The Good: Nothing
The Bad: Who is your ideal customer, a complete idiot? You are reaching out to a CMO of an eCommerce company suggesting Facebook advertising to increase sales?
The Ugly: If you own a marketing agency and reading this right now… take note. Out of all of the products and solutions people try and sell me via LinkedIn and Email, Marketing Agency services are by far the most. It is a very competitive space. Mainly because the barrier to entry is minimal. I could ‘start’ an agency tomorrow and begin reaching out to potential prospects.
The reality of the marketing agency space is that it is overcrowded. Filled with a bunch of clowns that make it difficult for the truly talented people/agencies to shine and get through.
You need to create some separation. You are a marketer trying to get me to trust you with marketing. If you cannot put together a concise, appealing, ‘different’ than the rest approach; why would I trust you to manage any part of my brand’s marketing? GTFO
Example 3: How many buzzwords can you put in a message?
Larger Image: http://prntscr.com/u1uka0
The Good: Nope
The Bad: You managed to max out your quota of buzzwords. Unfortunately, there was no actual substance to your message. You created ZERO separation. All agencies are trying to decrease your acquisition cost for a new customer, it’s one of their jobs.
The Ugly: Again, you are 1 of the 10 agencies that reached out to me on that given day. Give me data, give me separation, give me something. I would have preferred you put NO message at all and reached out after we connected with a series of messages that might actually have some small tidbit of separation. Instead, you were not allowed admission and you don't get to play.