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Sending generic LinkedIn requests -- we all do it from time to time. I'm certainly guilty of it.

Maybe you're in a rush. Maybe you're lost for words. Maybe you think the recipient of the request won't care. Hey, it's not like "I'd like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn" is offensive. What's the harm?

But as it turns out, generic LinkedIn requests can take a drastic toll on how the recipient views you. We all knew this from anecdotal stories, but now there's hard data to prove the damaging effect.

HubSpot's survey report "Is Social Selling Creepy?" shows that buyers and consumers react quite differently to a generic request than a customized one. Just look at the following two charts:

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The percentages almost do a perfect reversal when the request is customized compared to when it's generic. While it's interesting to note that a solid 40% of respondents said a request from a salesperson would still be creepy even if it was customized, the odds of a custom invitation being well received by a buyer is in the salesperson's favor.

Do you want to be known as "that creepy stalker sales rep?" I didn't think so. Here's a visual template for how to customize your LinkedIn sales connection request:

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free report on social selling

Originally published May 4, 2015 8:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017

Topics:

Social Selling