One of the most common questions I get asked is how to successfully reach out to people on LinkedIn for coffee chats. In this post, I will break down what you need to know to maneuver effectively and create a strong impression in order to get the networking mindset down, from the psychology, to the tactical aspects.
Psychology Of Networking
Firstly, let’s talk about the psychology of networking. Why do people help others?
Well if you look at human instincts, it is in our general nature to want to help our peers. Compassion is deeply rooted in human nature; it has a biological basis in the brain and we understand this can serve vital social functions. Not to mention how great it feels!
Imagine this scenario: you are a third year university student, and have a high school student reach out to you and explain how they found your profile as the both of you graduated from the same high school, andy were a top performing GPA student involved in DECA, thus wanted to get some advice on which university to choose.
Would you help them?
Most would say yes… why is that?
We enjoy helping others!
The second most common reason people like to help others is because winners like to help winners. Imagine Mark Zuckerburg reached out to you for a coffee chat, would you agree to it? Of course you would, because you would also feel like he could help you back in the future, or that you could learn from him.
Because winners like to help winners, you must learn to present yourself as a winner in order to convince others to become interested in helping you. There is a reason people often reach out to leaders for help – it’s because they figure look up to them, and want to be like them in some way.
How to Reach Out To People on LinkedIn
1. Search for people who are an Alumni at your school, other common ground
2. Find someone you look up to
3. Click Connect > Click Personalize Invite
4. Follow the 3 step messaging method below
3 Step Template In Writing a Personalized Invitation
When I reach out to a company or people I intend on networking with on LinkedIn, I have a very high success rate due to a number of reasons. I always create a personalized invitation that follows a three step simple guide, alongside ensuring my profile portrays myself as a “winner” in my career!
These are the three steps I follow when sending out an invite:
Why You – specify why you are reaching out to them in particular, so they know it is not a random connection
Why Me – specify why you are unique, why should they spend time talking to you
What Impact This Conversation Will Have – specify what impact this conversation will have not only on you, but them as well.For example, when someone says “I have an interview with your company next week”, I am more likely to accept because I know this coffee chat will have a direct impact and has a general vicinity of topic area in discussion
Notice how I don’t ask for a coffee chat in the message? My goal is to get them to accept the initial invite, gauge response, then ask for a coffee chat when, and if appropriate.
Other Pro Tip: The more complete your profile, the more likely people are willing to accept the invite. Why? Back to the same reason above. Winners like to network with winners.