A couple of years ago, I wrote about the LinkedIn connection dilemma I face when I receive a request from someone I don’t know. Back then, I would just hit the “ignore” button because I have no idea who John Doe is, nor do I know any tire salesmen across the country in Maine.
I have taken a different approach after reading a few blog posts by Joel Ungar in AccountingWEB. Joel is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC in the Detroit area and a CPA who really understands social media.
Like me, Joel sometimes receives LinkedIn connection invitations from people he doesn’t know with the generic text, “I’d like to add you to my professional network.” However, he doesn’t ignore all of them. He has a rule for requests from the Detroit area: if he meets them first, he’ll accept. He replies to invitations (without initially accepting them) to explain his rule and suggest meeting for lunch, breakfast or coffee. Joel says that he has developed some great relationships from this rule.
Be sure to read Joel’s excellent advice for how to make a connection on LinkedIn. He also has several examples of how NOT to make a connection on LinkedIn (sales pitch, not taking time to learn about a person, and starting a relationship with a falsehood).
Many of his replies to LinkedIn invitations go unanswered, which is unfortunate. He is a nice guy and fun to talk to. I met Joel briefly last year when he came to Las Vegas for a conference and look forward to meeting up with him again next month.
If you’re ready to make a LinkedIn connection the right way and you’re willing to meet in some shape or form, you can find me at http://www.linkedin.com/in/dustinwheeler.