3 Mistakes To Avoid When Connecting Professionally

Do you struggle to connect with someone professionally on various social media platforms?  

Do your introduction emails, your calls, and connection requests go unanswered? 

Do you get blocked often on various social media platforms when you send a connection request to prospects? 

If your answer is YES, then this article is for you.

People often use social media to connect with interesting people, prospects, and people from similar experiences or spaces. It’s endearing to see such attempts, but at the same time, it gets annoying when people become one-track minds and only concentrate on getting something out of this connection. Generally, people make these three biggest mistakes while connecting with someone online.

  1. No context setting: People do not set the context for why they want to connect with someone. Let’s be honest; any random and unknown connection requests without a context will go to the ‘archive,’ or, even worse, for repeat offenders, it will go to the ‘spam’ folder. Connection requests without context-setting are like blindly firing the arrows. It will hardly ever hit the target. 
  2. Irrelevant information overload: This happens most of the time. While sending the connection requests, people send unnecessary information about them and their business. Thereby annoying the receiver. This, too, will get ignored at best. I have personally started ignoring such attempts. And I see other professionals doing it as well.
  3. Offering help without understanding the problem: This is my favorite category. It is super amusing when people offer a solution without knowing the problem. Classic ‘My company and I will solve it all for you’ folks. This category of folks gets deleted immediately without even giving a second thought.

So what is the solution for these? What should you be doing to improve your connection prowess? Follow these steps to build a lifelong professional connection and gain from it long-term.

  1. Change your approach from taking to GIVE. Most people trying to connect to others are so focused on gaining something from it that they forget that the best connections work when you give more than you receive. When you change your approach, your success rate will shoot up for sure change. 
  2. Ask the permission of the person to connect. I see people sending connection requests randomly and without seeking permission to connect. As if it’s their right to be connected to the person they want to. Whereas, actually, it is not. It’s essential to seek permission to communicate with them politely. You come across as a balanced and sane human being. 
  3. Set the context correctly. Sending connection requests without context setting is a BIG NO. Ensure you send the person an appropriate note along with your connection request. The note needs to know why you sent them a connection request. Be honest and open about your reason without being salesy, pushy, and preachy. 
  4. Understand their world and work. You must understand and respect their world and work. What it means is that you must find out from people what time suits them for having a conversation, which medium they are comfortable with, what their work demands are, etc. Once you understand these better, it will be super easy for you to connect with them.
  5. Understand their challenges before helping. I often see people reaching out to others with the help they can offer without asking if they are looking for help. It’s futile to help people when they do not need help in that particular area. Therefore, understanding their challenges enables you to think from their perspective and provide the valuable help they seek. 
  6. Offer help instead of business. Most people send a templated business email while connecting with new people. These emails are loaded with many offers, products, and services that the person receiving them needs help understanding or fitting into their scope. Therefore, it is vital to offer genuine help instead of business. The business will eventually follow when they have built trust in you. 

In today’s age of overflowing information, people’s attention span and patience levels have dropped drastically. The fraudulent connection requests don’t help genuine folks, either. Therefore, it is crucial to stand out in the crowded commercialism.

On the other hand, people are looking to connect, but ONLY with genuine people, and not some sales folks desperate to achieve their targets. If you are a salesperson trying to communicate with someone, please DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT offer your services to them in your intro email. It puts people off!

Be genuine, humble, giving, and friendly; you will see your attempts working way better than before.

Do you agree?

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