Here’s the scoop. If you ask to become one of my LinkedIn connections, DO NOT make our first communication one where you are trying to sell me your services or products.

That is NOT what LinkedIn is for. Period. If you do that you will lose connections, you will lose respect, and for certain you will NOT get any business from me, or any of the people I work with.

So what is the purpose of LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is a professional platform where business people can go to network, learn from and share ideas with other professionals.

It’s a great way to get to “know” a person, or their company, without having to even be in the same city or state.

LinkedIn is a resource for new jobs, to see who is hiring, to learn what they keywords should be on your next resume, and most importantly, to build personal connections by asking your connections if they will introduce you to their connections.

They are called connections, not sales prospects.

Once you have built a trusted connection on LinkedIn, then you can, and probably should ask for a one on one meeting, to see if you and your connection might be a good fit. Perhaps you can offer professional services or products the other person is looking for. That’s when you inform and Listen. Not just sell.

I personally love to build connections. I like being able to say to friends and family, I know who can help you with that problem. I love connecting other people and feeling like I have done something positive for another business owner.

I intensely dislike being asked to make a connection, and immediately get hit up for a sales pitch. So do most of the other professionals on LinkedIn.

There is a great post on Top Resume that you might like to read, which talks about the purpose of LinkedIn and how to use it effectively.