Are Your LinkedIn Connection Intentions Disconnected?

TomCostello
Tom Costello CEO & Managing Director, iGroupAdvisors

Posted on December 23rd 2012

Are Your LinkedIn Connection Intentions Disconnected?

Many of us who are involved in hospitality and travel are members of LinkedIn, have joined and are active in various industry-related groups, and connect with other like-minded individuals in oder to expand our professional network.

So after you’ve asked someone to join your professional network and they have accepted your invitation, what happens next?

Are you allowing your LinkedIn connections to collect dust or are you looking for ways to add value to those who are a part of your network? After all isn’t that a function of networking?

Starting with your LinkedIn outreach message do you take the time to create a meaningful note why you would like to connect and the mutual benefits of your eventual connection or do you use the boilerplate “I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn”?  What value does the latter present?  None whatsoever.

Networking for mutual benefit is not a sales or a numbers game.  It’s a relationship game.

Have a plan.  Don’s sell – serve.  Help others to get what they want.

Liz Ryan, author of  ’Ten Tips: LinkedIn Etiquette‘ writes “As in physical-world networking, valuing people for their intrinsic worth over the business transactions they enable is key…LinkedIn is a fabulous tool that enables connectors and influencers to help other people and achieve their own goals too – and it’s great when we keep those priorities in balance.”

Susan Ruhl, founder of OI Partners-Denver suggests “First and foremost, it’s (networking) about establishing a give and take relationship.”

As you go forth building your LinkedIn network, keep in mind that it is as much about how you can help as it is about how you can be helped.

Reach out to one of your connections today and let them know that you would welcome the opportunity to provide them with your support.

You’ll be glad you did!

Social Networks such as LinkedIn are just one of the areas addressed in my new workshop for hotel Sales Managers – ‘Mapping the Course‘.

Tom Costello is the CEO and Managing Director of iGroupAdvisors, a performance improvement consulting firm that specializes in the hospitality and travel verticals.  Connect with him on LinkedInTwitter, and Google+, or contact him byemail.  Request a complimentary copy of his new book “Prepare for Liftoff.

TomCostello

Tom Costello

CEO & Managing Director, iGroupAdvisors

Tom Costello is a business owner, sales consultant, and author whose career encompasses more than 20 years of experience in the hospitality and travel industries that includes startups, strategic business planning, P&L management, branding, sales, marketing, social media, e-reputation management, technology development, channel distribution, vendor and third-party relations. 

As the Principal of Groups International, a meetings and events management company, Tom drives the strategic growth of the company in the areas of sales, marketing, brand image, social media, and vendor relations.

In addition to launching Groups International in 2006, Tom co-developed a patent pending web-based meetings and events solution, iGroupPlanner™ and introduced Hotelmine™, an online direct connect booking channel for hotels.

Tom recently expanded the company’s services to include iGroupAdvisors, a performance improvement consulting firm, that enables hotel general managers and sales managers to effectively communicate their hotel’s value proposition and generate more revenue through a variety of services that include new business development, the “Mapping the Course” workshop, social media sales mining, online reputation management strategies, and customer assurance programs.

Tom is a recognized thought leader and is the author of “Prepare for Liftoff - How to Launch a Career in Sales”.

Tom has been quoted in USA Today, Center for Mentoring Excellence, Hotel Management Asia, TalkHotels, Franchise Times and Monscierge GEM Report Q2 2012 and his columns appear in American Hotel & Lodging Association, HospitalityNET, Hotel Interactive, HotelMarketing.com, eHotelier.com, Tnooz, HSMAI Foundation eConnect, Corporate Venues UK, Hospitality Maldives,Hotel Industry Magazine UK, Business 2 Community, Hospitality News, Hotel Online, World Hotel Magazine, SalesJournal.com, and Starwood Hsyndicate.   

His blog, The Advisor Hotel Blog, is read in 103 countries.

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Comments

When building your LinkedIn connections, make sure that you continue interacting with them once they accept your request.  Let them know why you wanted to connect; you never know when you can help them or they can help you down the line.

Qnary,

Thank you for your reply.  I am curious to find out what percentage of those who are connected to you really are interested in networking or are just interested in adding you to their network in order to raise their "connection" numbers?

Tom

Hi Tom, agree with you. But some people just don't know how to use Linkedin. They sent me invitations without purpose. When I replied and asked them anything that you want to talk to, work together or even asked them "How can I help you?", most of them would never replied.

Hi Kent,

I receive a number of invites and find that the following will separate those who really want to connect with you from those that simply want to add people to their network with no intention of networking at all in the future.

"Hello Mr./Ms. Smith,

You were kind enough to invite me to join your LinkedIn network but at this time I will have to humbly decline your request.  

I receive many invitations that state “I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn” but unfortunately find invitations of this nature provide little to no benefit to one another.

I'm hope you understand. 

Regards,

Mr. Jones"

Hi Tom, thanks for the tip. will use it when I want to decline an invitation.