Should Only 14% Of LinkedIn Connection Requests Be Personalized?

Gabe Larsen dives into why you should take the time to personalize your LinkedIn connection request, and teaches you how to send a connection request on LinkedIn. Keep reading to find out more.

RELATED: Social Selling and the Law of Reciprocity

In this article:

  1. The Right Approach to Social Selling: LinkedIn Connection Request
  2. LinkedIn Connection Request Etiquette: How You Can Personalize Your Response
    1. Make It About Them and Not About You
    2. Make Use of Referrals
    3. Seek Adviser Help
    4. Congratulate People
    5. Mention the Competitor

How to Customize a LinkedIn Connection Request

The Right Approach to Social Selling: LinkedIn Connection Request

Every day I spend 30 minutes on social selling. For this task, I mainly use LinkedIn.

I told myself before that each person who connects with me will get a personalized note or some sort of personalized interaction back. Frankly, I’m a little behind on this commitment.

I went through my 990 LinkedIn connection requests, which by the way, doesn’t mean I’m popular. It only means I’m behind in responding to these requests.

Yet, I noticed that most of these people haven’t taken the time to introduce themselves properly and tell me why they want to connect with me. To be honest, it’s such a small effort.

Of the 990, only 142 managed to include a personalized note with their connection request. That’s only 14% of all the connection requests I received.

How did we get to this practice of not making an effort to write a LinkedIn connection request message?

If you remember the movie Hitch, Will Smith’s character Hitch Hitchens approaches tabloid reporter Sara Melas (played by Eva Mendes). He personalized his approach, unlike the other guy before him.

That’s why when he left, she realized she wanted to interact with him more.

Social selling requires the same kind of approach. If you’re connecting with people on LinkedIn, you have to commit to it.

I know this is already overused, but it takes such little time.

If you connect, or if someone connects with you, take the time to personalize your response because I promise you, it’s worth it.

LinkedIn Connection Request Etiquette: How You Can Personalize Your Response

There are several ways how you can construct your LinkedIn connect script without sounding impersonal. Below are some tips you can use to help personalize your response on LinkedIn.

1. Make It About Them and Not About You

If you can find a topic to bring up, that makes all the difference. This could be something you have in common with the person, or something you think may interest them.

Once you find this, use it to personalize your LinkedIn connection request note.

2. Make Use of Referrals

businessman consulting his co-worker | Should Only 14% of LinkedIn Connection Requests be Personalized? | linkedin connection request | linkedin connection request message

Using referrals for better social selling

Referrals are always fantastic. You can have a mutual connection or somebody credible and valuable to the person refer you.

Use that in your intro, and it’s going to make all the difference.

RELATED: Social Selling | A Basic Guide for Beginners

3. Seek Adviser Help

This is a technique I use religiously. I use LinkedIn to source and schedule my podcast guests, so I regularly send messages to thought leaders and experts.

I normally start with, “I was able to check your LinkedIn profile, and I think you are someone my podcast listeners will learn a lot from. Any chance you’d be willing to guest on my podcast?”

I use that as an intro to have a conversation we can take into the sales cycle.

A lot of people ask why I host a podcast. The main reason why we have the Sales Secrets podcast is to build pipeline.

Using LinkedIn connection requests to ask people to help me out on my podcast makes a huge difference.

4. Congratulate People

This is always a good one. If someone changes their job or they’re hiring and you see a topic you can bring up in your note, use that for personalization.

5. Mention the Competitor

If you want to be a little vaguer, you can bring the competition in. Personally, I don’t mind reaching out to people and starting off with, “I was just talking to John Doe at Company XYZ…”

That’s always a great way to spark conversation.

There are lots of ways and opportunities for you to write LinkedIn connection request introductions that will lead to personalized conversations. When you connect with somebody, write a quick blurb introducing yourself and your purpose for connecting.

You should also make it a goal to spend time writing personalized messages back to people who connect with you. Those will go a long way.

You can also use technology to help you do this. We’ve actually got this awesome feature built right into our Playbooks product, which you can check out here.

Remember, LinkedIn can be powerful. Take a little bit of time writing a personalized LinkedIn connection request — it makes all the difference.

Don’t forget to apply the LinkedIn connection request etiquette you’ve learned, and you’ll be all set to make quality network connections.

What other best practices do you apply when it comes to social selling? We’d love to learn from you in the comments section below!

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Should Only 14% Of LinkedIn Connection Requests Be Personalized?

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