Without a doubt I am asked at least 5 times a week to connect to a stranger with the generic message:
I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn. – Unknown Stranger.
For a long time I ignored the folks who didn’t take the time to write a personal note, but then I thought about it. What if someone called me, got my voice mail and only left their name and number but not the reason they called, would I ever return one of those messages? And, my answer was…maybe. So, I had to rethink my strategy. What if I am missing important business or networking opportunities?
What if, before I accepted them into my network I inquired about who they are, how they found me and why they want to connect with me? So, I no longer ignore them, I…
Reply (don’t accept yet)
- Click on the inbox on the top right
- Click on Invitations on the left (under messages).
- It looks as though there are only two choices, Accept and Ignore, but there is a third. Click on the arrow next to Accept and click on Reply don’t accept yet.
- A message box will open and you can communicate with them before you decide whether or not you would like to add them to your LinkedIn connections.
What is your connection strategy? Share in comments!
P.S. Best practice is to always personalize your invitations, it makes connecting so much more meaningful.