By Tim Hughes | @Timothy_Hughes
As Autumn (or Fall as some places call it) is here, it always reminds me of my childhood and how we would go out and collect conkers and acorns.
For those of you that don’t know a conker, it’s the nut of a horse chestnut tree. As children we collected them and with the best one you would drill a hole in the middle, thread through a shoe lace. Then in the playground you would take strikes at each other. The winner being the one with the conker that didn’t smash first.
Every time you won a game you could call the conker by a different number. If you won one game you had a “oner”, two games a “twoer”, three games a “threer” and so on.
The trick to winning at conkers – and social selling
The trick was to find as many conkers as you can. Why? Because many would smash during the drilling process. You also needed to get as many as possible as you were probably sourcing from the same “talent pool” as your school friends. More conkers for you, less for your school friends or your competitors.
Everybody knew where the conker trees were and you needed to get a conker with the right consistency. So not the crop that fell first.
So, while all you needed was one conker, everybody treated it as a numbers game. The more conkers the more chances to win, surely? In fact, all you needed was one. I would qualify the conkers on site and leave the not so good ones for the school friends to waste their time on. Another blog for another day I guess.
What has that got to do with social selling?
Take a look at LinkedIn.
The number of LinkedIn contact requests I seem to be getting has been risen exponentially. I know that might come with the territory of being an influencer, but I’ve also seen comments by friends such as Jim Keenan and Ted Rubin who have complained about the number of LinkedIn requests with no context.
What do I mean?
When you send a note to somebody, you should explain why you want to connect.
Here is an example I sent after a dinner we ran with Hootsuite in London.
It maybe that you have read an article of mine, read my book, attended one of my presentations. I don’t mind which, but to make sure you get your connection request accepted, some context please!
The LinkedIn connection collector
I know somebody with 30,000 connections, they are out of work.
Connections are not “power”, but network is. They are different.
It does seem like people are trying to collect as many connections as they can. I have no idea why, having multiple connections on LinkedIn that you don’t know, buys you anything. I highly recommend that if you don’t know somebody, and they provide no context, that you decline the request.
The more people that do this, the more likely these ‘empty’ requests will decline.
As I said before, to win a game of conkers, all I need is one conker, not a whole bag!
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Pic credit: By Solipsist – Own work, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=230159