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Do you connect or follow in LinkedIn?

I am reaching out to current and prospective customers to set up appointments for our inside sales and would like to know if you "follow" or "connect" via LinkedIn.. looking for suggestions, please. Thank you!

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    • Hey @mollyqhp!

      I do “follow” some people – usually authors or renowned business leaders.

      But anybody I want to eventually have an actual conversation with, I just connect. I think people sort of expect it at this point, so I’ve never seen any backlash from it.

      And for context, I connect with people for all kinds of reasons: to ask them to speak at conferences, to ask them for advice, to set up networking calls so I don’t go crazy during quarantine, to try to hire them, etc. So in my case, usually not to sell them something.

      But still I think the “connect” is a good way to go.

      What you put in the message matters a TON though. Conventional wisdom is to NOT include information about your product or company in that first message, and instead use it to just start a nice, human conversation about a shared interest (personal or professional).

      • @colin-campbell hit the nail on the head with this response. DO NOT make your connect message about your product or ask for time on a calendar. It’s not genuine and we are all tired of it :).

    • If they aren’t likely to connect with me, you know Bill Gates, then I follow. If they are likely to connect with me, I’ll connect and leave them a message. I wonder what some of our other members will think @benjamin_larue, @elriclegloire @massimo.

    • Profile picture of Katie Ray
      @katie_ray
      ( 1.7k POINTS )
      1 week, 2 days ago

      I would also suggest starting with connecting (I dont leave a custom note because it always feels super sales-y), then I begin to comment on what they post and sometimes I will send the prospect content around the topic they posted about (ex. “hey I saw you posted about XYZ. The company Im with helped ABC handle the same thing. Here’s an interesting case study/2 min video/etc.). I would encourage the reps to not push the prospect too much, but try and make it natural and all around solving a problem.

    • Profile picture of Anna Whittlestone
      @awhi
      ( 290 POINTS )
      1 week, 1 day ago

      I usually connect with prospects with a message saying “Hi … I saw we work in the same industry. I look forward to staying in touch.” or something like that. Works quite well

    • I think it depends on what your relationship is like with them. In my main job, most of our people don’t use LinkedIn so I would NOT follow up on LI. In my other side-hustle/ PT job EVERYTHING is done via LI so I would. I think it depends as well if they ghosted you on email or call. Reaching out on LI might just make you seem annoying.

      Needless to say it’s worth a try.

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