LinkedIn is a powerful networking tool for serious business people, but there's one mistake users are making that sends a latent message that a professional connection with them isn't likely to yield any benefit.
Power networking is not measured in time spent, connection requests sent, or number of connections made. It's measured in results.
LinkedIn is a business platform. Its users are there to do business and advance their careers. And in business, time is money, and energy is fuel.
How do savvy LinkedIn users discern which connections are worth making and which aren't? They read between the lines.
What You're Saying By Not Saying Anything
When you click the "connect" button without adding a message to the person your inviting to connect, your action and silence tell the receiver that you lack the confidence and social skills to introduce yourself properly and that you have little to offer in the way of a strategic partnership.
It's a look-at-me, look-at-me plea not a work-with-me invitation.
The way we approach and interact with each other says a lot about our motives and shows how future interactions with us might look and feel.
Mind the Gap
You wouldn't walk up to a person at a business or social event and without a word hand them your business card and walk away, so don't do it on LinkedIn.
If being connected to a person isn't worth the few minutes it takes to research them and write a short, professional, and personable message, a connection to you probably isn't worth the time it would take for them to hit the "accept" button.
If you truly want to connect and form strategic partnerships and mutually beneficial, dynamic relationships, mind the gap--the communication gap.