The Secret to Connecting on LinkedIn

If you want to connect with more people on LinkedIn, I have a foolproof tip. Make a real connection.

What do I mean?

You, like me, have probably received dozens or more generic LinkedIn invitations from people you may not even know.

They all say: “I’d like to connect with you on LinkedIn.”

When you get these invites maybe the skeptic in you wonders, “What do you want from me?”

The truth is, if you want to make a meaningful connection with someone—whether virtually through a social network or in-person—don’t send a generic invite. They don’t work. And here’s why…

Generic invites fail because they don’t answer a fundamental question.As a marketer, I’m acutely aware that just about every person on the planet—consciously or unconsciously—wants to know “What’s in it for me?” (WIIFM) before they decide to invest their energy, time, or money in something.

Whether it’s submitting contact info in order to download an eBook or calculating the upside/downside of publicly “linking in” with someone they may not know, people want—and need—to see enough value in it to take that step.

That’s where Mandel’s SCI-PAB® method can help.

Thousands of professionals who’ve participated in Mandel’s training use a communications tool called Situation-Complication-Implication-Position-Action-Benefit® (SCI-PAB) to craft messages that get results—including irresistible LinkedIn invites or networking emails.

Let me share an example of what I mean.

Recently, I had a graphic designer with whom I’d never worked send me a generic LinkedIn invitation. While I don’t know him personally, he’s worked with a fellow marketer I know through a professional association.

Why does he want to connect? Is he looking for work? Does he think he can help me? Was it a mistake?

I have no idea.

Instead of a generic invite, he should’ve SCI-PAB-ed it!

If he had used SCI-PAB, his message might have sounded something like this.

Hi Heather. I see you know Sue Smith, for whom I’ve done a lot of work recently. Like you, I’m in the Bay Area.

I know it can be difficult for marketers to find dependable graphic designers who can meet in person to discuss projects.

I’ve heard horror stories from clients about the time and money they’ve wasted trying to chase after freelancers.

You won’t need to chase me. I’m in your backyard and I have lots of references from other marketers.

I’d love to connect here with you and remain in touch should you have any future design needs.

We can meet up anytime. I’m happy to talk about upcoming projects and share ideas.

Do you feel the difference?

The real secret to connecting on LinkedIn is to…CONNECT!

By that I mean establish rapport. Help the person to whom you’re sending an invite understand how a relationship with you could be mutually beneficial.

And if you’re unsure of how to go about that, SCI-PAB can help.

It can help you fully think through and link ideas together in a sequence that grabs your recipient’s attention and more deeply connects with their interests and needs.

In other words, it can help you answer the fundamental question on their mind: “What’s in it for me?”

Download your SCI-PAB pocket prompt—use it to craft LinkedIn invites or quick emails on the fly. Get yours today!

Picture of Heather Muir

Heather Muir

As Vice President of Marketing, Heather directs Mandel’s marketing, branding, and communications strategies in collaboration with the Executive Team. In addition, Heather leads Mandel’s public- and industry-relations activities. Prior to joining Mandel in 2010, Heather held several marketing and communications roles within the learning and training industry. She is also an active member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD), Training Industry, Inc.; eLearningGuild; and the Association of Briefing Program Managers (ABPM). Heather holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Davis, and has completed graduate courses in business and entrepreneurship at the University of Washington.
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