It’s easy enough – Linkedin does it for you, but how do you make a good connection with someone? Just use the standard wording that LinkedIn gives you?..”thanks for connecting…” or should you do something more meaningful? And does that bring its own problems?


Below is a real (names changed) series of emails between me and J when J connected with me. You’ll see I thought he was a bit too forward to start with, (although he shows good emotional intelligence and willingness to ask questions), and it prompted us to think more about it. See what you think.

On 06/18/13 3:35 AM, J wrote

Hi Nick
Thanks for connecting
We are a local family run telecommunications company in Charminster/Bournemouth
We deal with tailored Mobile packages and landline rates (phone systems, I.T and Data cabling)
If we can benefit your business in these areas then please don’t hesitate to contact me


On 06/18/13 3:40 AM, Nick Hixson wrote:
Little bit early in the relationship for a direct sales pitch perhaps? 🙂

On 06/18/13 3:45 AM, J wrote:
Hi Nick

To be honest it was not a sales pitch it was more an introduction to our company and message to say thanks for connecting

Apologies if you thought it was too forward


On 06/18/13 3:55 AM, Nick wrote:
Don’t sweat it, J, I’m not that easily offended, but I can think of a few folk who are!

On 06/18/13 4:08 AM, J Butler wrote:
Can I ask you how you would approach it?


On 06/18/13 4:26 AM, Nick wrote:
Good question. You see, I don’t say anything, but your email prompts to think that maybe I should and maybe I should tell my clients what they can do too.

I’ll raise it at the next marketing summit(!) on Thursday. You will be the first to know.

This whole thing was prompted by an attempt (failed) by me to just be helpful to someone who had approached me, and was in breach of their disclosure rules on their website. Did that start a fuss. Glad you’ve got far more emotional intelligence.

On 06/18/13 4:37 AM, J wrote:
Well if you could keep me updated on how it goes, its good to hear other users opinion on the site and what does and doesn’t work for them


On 06/20/13 4:26 AM, Nick wrote:
The team has thought!

Peter likened it to letter 4 out of 5 in a direct marketing campaign – letters 1-3 should have come first. General view was that it was too direct as LinkedIn is a business help and social concept. Letter 4 is like expecting sex on the first date – not quite the reality!

Perhaps start with talking about “you” more than me. So – maybe like this:

“! looked at your profile, Nick, and it’s interesting you mention strategy a lot. It’s good to see that you try and help where you can. 

In that spirit, you will have seen that I’m involved in a mobile communications company (Of course I know that as I looked at your profile before I accepted your connection request!). If I can be of any help – just a general question, something you don’t understand, do please call or email me.


You’ll see that this is non selling, just being helpful so you should end up with someone feeling well disposed towards you, and not threatened, and happy that he (that is me in this case) has a resource they can call on when needed. Maybe I’ll buy something in the future, maybe I’ll be happy to recommend, which is the key benefit, I think.

How does that sound?

So – how does that sound? Do you think we should be saying more about “you” and less about “us”? Should we be trying to put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and see what they see? I think so. It’s what we suggest to our clients anyway, and they seem to find it useful in aligning their business to what their customers need and want, and will pay for.