Between speaking to groups, client interactions, attending networking meetings, and all the various people who are referred to me, I receive LinkedIn invites nearly everyday. Most of the invites have this same comment: “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.”
Connecting with people isn’t a problem at all. But what is the problem is that I don’t actually know who all these people are that want to connect. So, when I receive these messages, my first thought is “Ummm, okay. Great. I’m glad you want to connect.” My immediate next thought is, “But, how do I know you? Uh-oh! Have we met before? What do you need from me?!“
Generally speaking, starting off a relationship by stressing out the other party is not a good idea. Just saying. So, that’s why it’s such a big pet peeve to me when people don’t indicate how we know each other, or why they want to connect.
I’m aware that the LinkedIn settings make it easy to send connection requests with the click of the button or tap of your finger on the screen. With that in mind and to give people the benefit of the doubt, I usually send a follow-up message after accepting their connection request. I often message back, “Thank you for the invite, so-in-so. What prompted the connection request?”.
Even though the introduction is starting off a little rocky, I’m still curious to know what they need from me, how we met, or whatever is prompting the connection request. I’ve found that my short question back is helpful to engage in conversations. But, I am surprised how many people have no reason to connect other than it was suggested by LinkedIn in the endless scroll of possible people to connect with online.
Regardless of how easy LinkedIn makes it to connect with other people, it still bugs me a little because if you called me up on the phone you would explain how we know each other. If you sent me an email, you’d likely explain how you got my email address and why you wanted to reach out to me. You’d never start off a conversation with “I’d like to add you to my professional network.”
When you’re reaching out to connect on LinkedIn, make sure to personalize the message. It’s just good etiquette to explain why you want to connect. Who knows, maybe you’ll impress me and I can put my extensive network to good use for you. Just saying.
What is your LinkedIn pet peeve?