|Are Your LinkedIn Connection Intentions Disconnected?|
By Tom Costello
Tuesday, 5th March 2013
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’ve 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’d 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 marketing, 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’s 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’d welcome the opportunity to provide them with your support.
You’ll be glad you did!
LinkedIn is just one of the areas that I address in my new educational workshop for hotel sales managers called ‘Mapping the Course‘: www.igroupadvisors.com/iGroupAdvisors/Workshop.html
Tom Costello is a business owner, 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.