“It’s nice to meet you” the words smacked me in the face about twelve seconds after accepting a LinkedIn connection request.
There are many philosophies about sending requests to people you don’t actually know — or accepting requests from people you don’t actually know.
My personal philosophy is it’s a judgement call. For me I automatically say yes to people who fit my client profile, work for a former employer and/or are in a similar industry. It’s always good to see their content and you never know when a great collaboration will come from it.
Usually after connecting with someone outside of my usual network I will send (or receive) a quick note to say thanks for the connection and a little bit about why it’s great to be connected.
Catch my eye and I will be happy to grab a coffee or jump on a quick call so we can learn more about each other’s careers and what we’re looking for on LinkedIn.
I have even had some of the most fun and informational knowledge sharing calls come from random LinkedIn connections. Not to mention the number of clients I have met just by being active on the platform. It’s true what they say, your network is your net worth and if you use LinkedIn the right ways both can expand dramatically.
But this time, it felt different. There was no explanation of why the person had reached out. Just intrusive conversation. I don’t know you. I’ve never met you. Jumping in with both feet felt as awkward as a stranger walking up to me on the street and starting in the middle of a conversation .
Next time you connect with someone new, think about what it would be like in person – say thank you, explain why you want to connect and you’ll make a much better first impression. If you make a good impression and start the relationship off on a positive note, you have a better chance of getting what you want from the connection.