- Be very selective of the companies and people you approach. People you don’t know will always listen if you can help them or their friends and colleagues but you must first make sure there is a very good chance they will ‘benefit’ from an association with you. Take time researching the LinkedIn™ database and upgrade to a premium account to make best use of the system.
- Respect people’s time and catch their interest. Keep an introductory message very brief and personal, explaining what you have in common and why you’ve made an approach. It should take the recipient no more than a few seconds to read. Naturally if people are interested they’ll dig deeper and look at your LinkedIn™ profile summary page and browse the information resources available.
- Outline your value proposition on your profile. To help people further assess interest, explain your value proposition and networking objectives on your LinkedIn™ profile summary and company page. Make sure they are easy to read and understand – invest time to create video content, presentations, documents and blogs. Think of the ‘experience’ you create for your visitors.
- Communicate politely, honestly and respectfully. Save humour for off line communication or at least once there is a very clear sign of mutual interest. Always thank people for any assistance or thoughts they may share and act immediately on any request for help. Make introductions wherever possible, particularly for those out of work.
- Research before responding. To initiate traction and build relationships with people who reply to an approach it is essential to take time to read their profiles (and resources) in detail. Follow up by asking leading questions which demonstrate your interest in them and their business and increase dialogue.
- Get the relationship offline ASAP. The sooner you can ‘press the flesh’ the better but these meetings are costly in time and expense. To qualify mutual interest and warrant a face to face meeting, to save you the time, get an assistant to call the interested party to set up a 15-30 minute phone call or better still arrange a Skype video call which is more social – do this the same day..whilst the ‘iron’s hot’.
taken from an article by Tim Bond, Network Sunday