LinkedIn: Accepting Connection Requests

Friday, July 6th, 2012 - LinkedIn, Video

LinkedIn: Accepting Connection Requests

As an active member of LinkedIn and further a LinkedIn LION, it is often assumed that I am compelled to accept all LinkedIn connection requests. Not true, and no I don’t!

When I first got “active” as opposed to “on” the LinkedIn platform, I built my network from under 500 connections to over 2,000 in less than 18months. But I would never recommend that anyone follow the way in which I did that. There are far better, efficient and effective networking building techniques that we teach and coach now on the 5 Steps To Employment system, to get you employed or just to build your network for professional purposes.

So, how do we now recommend that you build your LinkedIn network, and how should you accept LinkedIn connection requests?

Why not just accept all LinkedIn connection requests?

The first question is, why not just accept all LinkedIn connection requests? There are personally three core reasons for not doing that:

  1. Because not all people are “real” or have good intentions: people network for many reasons. Most people are good, and have good intentions, but do those intentions align with yours? While LinkedIn used to frown on Network Marketing, now – although not open – there are large numbers of Network Marketers, website SEO specialists, and Internet Marketers simply looking to collect eMail addresses and fill their boots. In May 2012, leading Internet Marketer Brad Callan said to an audience: “Forget Facebook, LinkedIn is where the money is!” Since this point the number of list fillers and hence spam connection requests has greatly increased
  2. Because you are about to give away your contact details: the moment you accept a connection request, you give away your contact details. I use a LinkedIn/networking specific email address and have the NGN office telephone as my contact details, but many use their corporate or personal details. If you value these, you will use them well and on occasions protect them
  3. Because LinkedIn Customer Services is not perfect: Compared to many customer service teams to be found on the internet, let alone in Social Media, the team at LI are on the ball and pro-active. However, they are not perfect! For instance, there are currently (July 2012) 25 pages/173 individuals with the name of “Bart Simpson” on the LinkedIn platform

A safe system for accepting LinkedIn connection requests

So, what you need is a safe system of accepting LinkedIn connection requests. here’s mine, and the one that we recommend:

  • Are they Real? Firstly, before choosing the Accept/Do Not Know/Spam options, click on their name to be connected to their profile. Now ask yourself the question, Do They Look Real? What you are looking for is signs that they have made an effort to fill out their LinkedIn Profile, so do they have: a real name; photograph; location; employer or company; time line
  • Their intention: do they mention the reason for their connection request in their message, or is it just the standard LI connection request version? Spammers and list builders tend to be lazy; active networkers can interact with you on a human level, as they want to connect for a reason
  • What is your intention in Networking: why are you on the LinkedIn platform? This makes the biggest difference as to whom and why you connect. Are you there for research, job seeking, to access new clients or suppliers, or are you like me a LION?
  • What do others say about themselves: what does their profile and other Social Media connections and links say about them?
    • Themselves: websites, external connections. I find Twitter one of the best “intentions” feeds around
    • Recommendations: do they have LinkedIn Recommendations, and are these from real people and real connections?

How to create active LinkedIn connections, not a numbers network

Once you have decided to accept a LinkedIn connection request, the process of networking has not finished by you simply adding another number to your network.

Why connect at all, if its just for numbers? There is no point in having a dead connection! Make it live. This is a lesson that I learnt from Ron Bates, then LinkedIn’s most connected person.

So send your new connection a Thank You message, but don’t make it a sales brochure as I note that many list builders, network marketers and internet marketers coach. Here’s my Thank You message after connecting:


Thank you for your invitation to connect, which is gratefully accepted.
If ever you think that I could help you, please – just ask!

With Best Regards,

The result? I get responding messages from about 15% of connections, and great interaction on platform (people remember me for saying Thank You!)

Connecting on LinkedIn compared to crossing the road is not dangerous, but you can make your networking experience less fulfilling if you don’t use some caution when accepting connection requests. Secondly, while building a numbers network may be great, having an active and responsive network is where the value of networking comes from.

Good Luck!


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2 Responses to “LinkedIn: Accepting Connection Requests”

  1. L Watkins Says:

    Woah this blog is excellent! Many are searching around for this info, you can aid them greatly. Thanks – Larry

  2. Harriet Says:

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