Connection requests on LinkedIn have sky-rocketed since lockdown. This means your prospects are getting inundated with connection requests right now, making it harder for you to cut through noise and get noticed.
We’re all familiar with those generic “would be great to connect” request messages, but beware that this approach won’t get you anywhere in the current market.
Here’s how to get prospects to accept your LinkedIn connection requests and get the relationship off to a positive start…
Personalise your outreach
You know immediately when a LinkedIn message someone sends you has been lazily copied and pasted – so why would you send these messages to prospects? It’s a sure-fire way to get your connection request ignored.
Show your prospects you know exactly who they are and that you have a specific reason for reaching out – not just to bulk up your network.
Here are five ways to personalise your outreach:
- Highlight something specific about their profile (if you have something in common, that’s a bonus)
- Discuss a piece of content they recently shared that caught your eye
- Mention a mutual connection
- Use LinkedIn’s personalisation tools (if you have a LinkedIn license)
- Ask a question about their industry (this is an example of the foot-in-the-door method)
You can easily write a good hook in 300 characters – just make sure you use those characters wisely!
Don’t talk about yourself
Always use the pronouns ‘you’ and ‘yours’ (rather than ‘I’, ‘me’ or ‘my’) as much as possible. There’s nothing more un-engaging than a stranger reaching out to talk about themselves.
Consider the below contrasting examples to see the difference:
Example 1: I’ve been a recruiter in the engineering sector for a numbers of year and have a great track record in the industry. It would be beneficial for us both to connect”.
Example 2: “I just saw your recent post about your team’s achievements – impressive. I’m representing a number of excellent candidates with similar skill sets to the engineers in your team. I’d love to connect to keep up with the good work you and your team are doing.
This tactic helps ensure your introduction gives your prospects some WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) to show them you’re thinking about their needs and interests – not just your own.
Build a LinkedIn profile that sells you
If you send a connection request to someone you don’t know, it’s likely they’ll take a look at your LinkedIn profile before deciding whether to accept your request.
But does your profile page sell you as an expert?
These are the basics you need to check:
- Does your profile picture look professional?
- Does your ‘about me’ include the basics of your recruitment pitch?
- Have you gathered LinkedIn recommendations as proof that you’re great at what you do?
It’s also important to be connected to other prominent recruiters and leaders who are influencers in your specialist niche. Here are some tips on how to become a recruitment influencer yourself.
Get the connection requests to come to you!
If you’re receiving the connection requests instead of sending them, this puts the ball in your court from your first interaction with a prospect. It’s an ideal situation, so you should encourage people to connect with you as much as possible.
Encourage people in your niche to connect with you by making it clear that it’s ok – some people don’t appreciate requests from strangers, so it’s best to clarify that you’re happy to connect with strangers if they’re relevant to your niche.
You can do this by mentioning you’re happy to connect in LinkedIn posts and on your profile. You can’t guarantee that the people you want to connect with will go for it, but this tactic will help you build a larger LinkedIn network and this will mean your posts will have a wider reach.
LinkedIn is one of the best platforms to generate sales in recruitment. Download the eBook below to learn how to use social platforms to boost your recruitment sales.