Thursday, 1 July 2010

Getting Time and Attention Through LinkedIn

I have a policy of removing contacts from my Linkedin contact list that do not allow me to see their contacts.

For me it is a policy that I've adopted that seems to get support. Linkedin is a networking site and should be about people helping each other to reach out to each others contacts - sharing and collaboration.

In a world where getting the attention and the time of prospects is getting harder Linkedin can be a great tool for initial introductions. However it can't work if people block or hide their connections from other people they are connected to. If you don't trust them to see your connections - why did you connect with them?

Access to your contacts allows me - through you and with your permission and support - to reach out to your contacts who I feel might benefit from my work.

If you have used me and value what I deliver then you should be happy to refer me (as someone that you know can do the job) to your own personal contacts and friends for their benefit. To help with that introduction, I would typically send a short script that you could use and then you use the introduction facility on Linkedin to put us in contact with each other.

This is as I woild say on my ClientEQ High Trust Advisor programme - I'm just looking for their permission to call them and get a meeting for coffee - once I'm there it allows me to research their needs and look at areas that I can bring value to them. If I can't, I move on and thank them for their time (and buy the coffee!) and of course, I've asked permission to link through Linkedin if I haven't already.

If I'm referred to them through Linkedin from a trusted contact of theirs - this gives me a visibility and trust factor right from the word go. Just like being introduced to someone at a 'live' networking event - I get their attention and a higher chance of getting to meet them.

Networking is about trust and sharing and those that don't share don't get to play with me.

To be fair people sometimes don't know that they have their settings set on Linkedin to prevent their contacts beeing seen - and this is just a matter of ticking the box in the Settings section to make them visible.

But for those who deliberately keep their contacts private and aren't willing to share - it's like 'you show me yours but I won't show you mine' - sorry but I don't play that way. Transparency is king.

I have deliberately removed even good business acquaintances who are equally firm on their own policy on not allowing people to see their contacts. For me that just defeats the purpose of networking in the first place and serves no value to the wider community.

So think about sharing and collaborating - it just makes for a biggger cake for us all.

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