I give a lot of presentations to large audiences about networking, referrals and LinkedIn.
Most of the times I include a moment to talk about the Know, Like, Trust factor in the session.
If people come up and talk to me afterwards and we have a nice chat of about 10 minutes in which they also explain what they do, my Know and Like factor towards them might have increased enough to accept a LinkedIn invitation to continue building the relationship further online and offline. (I also assume that they know and like ME enough otherwise they wouldn’t have come up and talk to me :-))
This doesn’t mean that I already trust them (or even know and like them enough) to introduce them to other people, but it is a minimum to start from to further build the relationship.
What also happens a lot is that people who were in the audience and didn’t come up and talk to me, send me the impersonal “Hi I’d like to add you to my network” message afterwards and then are mad that I don’t accept their invitation.
At least give me some background information where we have met and why you want to connect with me (even if it’s for your own benefit, not mine, clarity helps a lot). Do some effort to make the invitation personal, show me that you care to build a relationship. And keep the Know, Like, Trust factor in mind: what do you expect from me (or from someone else) when we have never met and never have talked with each other. How would you react when a total stranger did the same thing to you?
I would like to clarify the previous statement a little more from my personal background: I meet approximately 1500 people a year face-to-face and tens of thousands of people are attending a seminar, conference, workshop or web seminar where I am one of the speakers or the only speaker. My profession is different than that of most people with its pro’s and contra’s. Pro: I meet a lot of very interesting people. Contra: most of the time I don’t have enough time to spend even with the people I want to spend time with (sometimes I wish I could clone myself, but then I miss out on what the clones are experiencing :-)). Some people only meet tens of people of year due to the nature of their job, so for them it might be different.
Whether it’s me you want to invite to connect with on LinkedIn or someone else, it’s always a good idea to follow these 3 steps:
1) Ask yourself: “Why do I want this connection?”
2) Keep the Know, Like, Trust factor in mind.
3) Make your invitation personal to make a real connection and to show the other person that you are willing to do some effort to start or continue building the relationship.
To your success !