On my Linkedin Profile I can see those people I am connected to and their friends. This is a really useful feature as it means I can request an introduction if I would like to get in touch with someone I don't know. I am surprised that more people don't make use of this. I am even more surprised when I receive a generic message from someone when we share mutual connections.
This week I received a Linkedin message like this (I have removed any obvious identifying text):
Since we are connected via .......... and share the ............. group,
in the spirit of LinkedIn networking I thought I’d reach out.
Any chance you could help?
Would it be possible to introduce me to any of your associates
involved in ................. and responsible for ...........................?
As you can see from my profile we have developed a service that .............
Your help is really appreciated if you have a couple of minutes thanks Dave.
It was a very polite message, but from someone I don't know and with a pretty generalised request to non specified contacts. It was effectively the online equivalent of a cold call and missed the spirit of networking on Linkedin altogether.
To be in the spirit of Linkedin networking the person should have asked our shared connection for an introduction to a specific contact of mine. A request from a trusted contact with their endorsement is much more likely to produce a response.
Use Linkedin properly and you have some very powerful tools to complement your networking.