My personal policy regarding accepting LinkedIn Invitations

September 30, 2010

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 !


PS: get your free light version and free updates of the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (or in Dutch: het boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken)


I have many contacts from years ago. Can I still contact them?

September 23, 2010

A question we get a lot at Networking Coach from our audiences (whether we do a session about online or offline networking) is: “I haven’t been in touch for years with some people. Can I still contact them?”

Yes, you can always reconnect with them. Don’t feel bad that it is from such a long time ago. They didn’t take action either. They probably have the same hesitation as you do.

When you reconnect with them, always make your message personal. Refer to the time you spent together, the projects you worked on or the time in college. Use the name in your invitation message you were known by the time you knew them. This especially applies to women who now go by the name of their husband.

To your success !


PS: in the book “Let’s Connect!” you will find many more networking tips. You can download a free light version of the networking book Let’s Connect in English (or het netwerk boek Let’s Connect in Dutch)

LinkedIn Confusion: Can I only connect with people I know very well? If I connect with others I can’t recommend them.

September 18, 2010

It is very important to keep the difference between an introduction and a recommendation in mind.

You can only honestly recommend people you have had an experience with. But don’t let that keep you from making introductions. You can always introduce two people to each other without even knowing them well. However, the words you use when you make the introduction are important.

If you only met someone for 5 minutes, but think that he might be of help to one of your business contacts use a phrase like: “Hi Marie, I want to introduce you to John Smith. I met John at the Safety conference last week. In the 5 minutes we were able to speak to each other he told me he just finished doing a safety project at a large chemical plant. Maybe he can help you too with your projects.”

When you use words like “last week, 5 minutes and maybe” Marie will know that you don’t have any personal experience with John and that you can’t recommend him. But she will be happy that you thought of her and wanted to help her.

To your success !


PS: get your free light version and free updates of the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (or in Dutch: het boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken)

How to download people’s contact details from LinkedIn

September 9, 2010

A question we get a lot during our networking and LinkedIn courses, is: “How do I get my contact details out of LinkedIn and into my contact folder in my email program?”

It is pretty easy, if you know where to look 🙂

If you want to download only one person’s contact details, follow these steps:

1) Go to their Profile
2) On the right hand side (next to their picture) you see a few action items and a few icons (the first icon is a printer)
3) Click on the third icon (when you hoover over it, it says “Download VCard”)
4) Save
5) Import in your email program (in some email programs this is automatically done, when you press “save”)

If you want to download the contact details of all of your connections, follow these steps:

1) Choose from the top menu “Contacts” and then “My Connections”
2) Scroll down to the bottom of the page
3) Under the table, above the menu at the bottom, click on “Export connections”
4) On the next page, choose your email program or type of export you would like
5) Save the file
6) Import the file in your email program

Important: this only works for your first degree contacts !

To your success !


PS: get your free light version and free updates of the book How to REALLY use LinkedIn (or in Dutch: het boek Hoe LinkedIn nu ECHT gebruiken)

New: Advanced LinkedIn Webinars

September 1, 2010

I’m very proud to announce that we are going to organize a series of “advanced” LinkedIn webinars.

In this 4 part “LinkedIn Steps to Success” webinar series we will go deeper into the following topics:

– Session 1: How to Create an Attractive Profile
– Session 2: How to Build and Expand Your Network
– Session 3: Personal and Company Branding
– Session 4: Finding New Customers

The reason why we offer these webinars is that many people from around the globe are not able to attend our live seminars or training courses (which are mainly organized in Europe and the USA).

In order to also have them benefit from the large variety of (business) opportunities LinkedIn can bring to them, we will host those 4 webinars. These webinars can be followed separately or as a series of 4 (at a discount). Each participant will also receive the recording.

Find the dates and the detailed program of the LinkedIn Steps to Success Webinar series in English or in Dutch.

To your success !


PS: we also offer a FREE LinkedIn Fundamentals introduction webinar (English) or in Dutch: GRATIS LinkedIn Fundamentals introductie web seminarie on regular basis.

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